Harry Pratt

Price calls out Fury after stopping Skelton in two


British and Commonwealth heavyweight holder David Price stretched his perfect record to 15 wins, including 13 knockouts, as he destroyed veteran countryman Matt Skelton inside two rounds at the Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool on Friday.

The fast-rising English contender launched a savage, brutal attack to the body of 45-year-old Skelton at the end of second round and, while the challenger was being counted out by referee Richie Evans, his corner threw in the towel. The official time was 2:56.

And after another easy domestic workout in front of his home fans, Price, 29, and his promoter Frank Maloney immediately called out Manchester rival Tyson Fury, THE RING’s No 10-rated heavyweight, who faces American Kevin Johnson in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday night.

“I won’t be watching Fury tomorrow because I have something else on but I will record it and watch it later – just as I do all my rival heavyweights,” said Price after the second successful defense of the two belts he won in May.

“My message to Tyson is keep on talking and keep on giving us all a laugh. I’m having a good time listening to him going on about me. That’s fine. He’s great for me and I’m great for him — as long as the fight happens. We’re two young men, so let’s make it happen in a big stadium. The best man will win and, obviously, that will be me.”

altMaloney is equally bullish, and is once again offering a sum of around $1 million to the Fury camp for a fight in July. First, though, Price will face an American opponent – to be confirmed later this weekend.

“We will name a top American within the next 24 hours for David to be out in February,” said the one-time promoter of former heavyweight champion Lennon Lewis. “Then we will look for him to fight against either Dereck Chisora or Tyson Fury.

“I’m offering him £650,000 now to Tyson to fight in July. That’s £150,000 more than last time and it’s more than he will get for fighting one of the Klitschkos. He’ll get $500,000 for that fight and a share of the TV rights. That’s all.”

Price-Fury may be the domestic blockbuster everyone in the UK wants to see but it is not going to happen anytime soon as both men take different routes towards a title shot.

In the meantime, Price is happy to clean up the domestic scene and claim the cherished Lonsdale belt outright. One more successful defense of his British crown and that goal will be ticked off.

Skelton, a brave but ultimately past-his-best opponent, suggested in the opening 30 seconds that he could cause  6-foot-9 Price problems. He connected with two hooks and perhaps even brawled and butted his way to nicking the first round.

However, a second warning early in the next round for the use of the head seemed to check Skelton’s aggressive approach and proved the signal for Price to unleash in ferocious fashion, and he caught Skelton flush with one particularly powerful straight right.

Skelton (28-7, 23 knockouts) attempted to brush aside the assault with a spot of showboating – even raising his arms above the head in defiance.

A few seconds later, though, the former European and British holder was paying for that bravado when a crunching left hook downstairs had him recoiling in agony. Price was in the mood to finish the job off — and did exactly that, throwing a barrage to the head before returning to the body, dropping Skelton for the first and last time.

“We knew it would be scrappy but I made a statement by taking him out inside two rounds. No one had done that to him before,” said Price.


Photos / Chris Brunskill-Gettyimages


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