If Liverpudlian David Price is feeling the cold after his recent return to the UK from his training camp in Portugal, then he can rest assured he will be warmed by the reception he receives when he steps through the ropes at his home city’s Aintree Equestrian Centre this Friday( Nov 30).
Price, who has been training on the continent alongside John McDermott and Danny Price, defends his British and Commonwealth titles against former domestic and European belt holder Matt Skelton at the famous ’Grand National’ racecourse, and the popular heavyweight assures that, as usual, he will be in top shape come fight-night.
"I’m one hundred per cent prepared," said David, 29. "I mean, preparation was never going to be a problem for this fight [after October’s first round KO of Audley Harrison] but I’ve had a great camp, good sparring, and I am going to be 100 per cent ready."
Level headed and grounded, Price isn’t getting carried away by the pundits and punters alike who are writing off the challenge of Skelton. With the fight bearing all the hallmarks of a potential banana skin, David knows he cannot afford to overlook the challenge of the ’Bedford Bear’ – a boxer with a reputation as someone who always comes to fight.
"I’ve just got to be one hundred per cent professional. I can’t afford to slip up. I can’t even afford to not look good against Matt Skelton," revealed the unbeaten Price, who has 12 KOs in 14 contests.
"I’ve got to win and win well. I’m not taking him lightly. I know some people have written him off already but this is heavyweight boxing and I’m fully focused on him."
This year has been a remarkable one for Price. The likeable big man has had three fights and picked up three titles - so far. If Skelton does become the Merseysider’s fourth victim, then 2012 will go down as a defining period for the 6’8" fighter. One in which he proved he was the best of British, and more than ready for greater challenges.
"Obviously I’ve got to get past Matt Skelton to cap the year off, which I’m confident of doing, but this year I’ve confirmed what I already knew, which is that I’m the best heavyweight in the country.
"I’ve become British champion; I’ve won all my fights in style so far. For me it’s not really a surprise, it’s just been a matter of performing like I know I can.
"I’m just improving all the time and next year is going to be a massive year. Once I beat Matt Skelton on Friday I’ll be able to relax and look back on a great year."
November 28, 2012