David Price is on a mission to rule the heavyweight world as Phil Kirkbride talks to the Liverpool giant
AS world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitshcko repeatedly landed punches on the face of challenger Marius Wach in Hamburg last month, David Price was making mental notes.
But there has been a shift in the thinking of this giant Liverpool man.
Where he previously looked at the Ukrainian as a blueprint, Price was now looking at ways he could bring Klitshcko down.
Twelve months ago he needed convincing that he had the attributes and ability to claim one of sport’s golden prizes but after a breakthrough year, in which he has claimed British, Commonwealth and English titles, Price sees no reason why not.
On Friday night he defends those British and Commonwealth belts for the second time when Matt Skelton, a man hardened by over a decade in the sport, meets him in the ring at the Equestrian Centre, Aintree.
On current form Price, who took just 82 seconds to leave Audley Harrison prostrate on the Echo Arena canvas last month, will be expected to dispatch Skelton swiftly this week and move towards more significant fights in 2013.
After just 14 paid fights since leaving amateur boxing with an Olympic bronze medal, Price would traditionally be still some way off a tilt at the world title.
But heavyweight boxing moves quicker these days and Price knows the opportunity to take on either Vitali or Wladimir may come sooner rather than later.
Price won’t be pressured into accepting such a fight but can feel himself edging closer to being ready.
“A fight with one of the Klitshckos is coming closer to being a reality,” he said.
“In the past I’ve studied them to add to my own game because of their similarities and styles but now I’m looking at them as a potential opponent and seeing what I could do to beat them.
“It has changed how I’ve looked at them.
“I believe I’m top five in the world, behind the two Klitshckos, David Haye and Kubrat Pulev, the Bulgarian.”
Price was ringside on Saturday night as the curtain came down on the career of Ricky Hatton.
He left Manchester with mixed emotions; disappointed that one of the most loved of all British boxers has finally calling it quits, but also inspired to pick up his mantle.
Price believes his 6’8” frame can fill the void left by the ‘Hitman’.