Ibrahim Harb – Birmingham
Heavyweight phenom Tyson Fury, champion of the British and Commonwealth titles, has revealed that his rivalry with 28-year-old David Price has it’s roots in the amateur scene. Fury has claimed he was often overlooked for the larger tournaments by the Amateur Boxing Association as Britain did not want him to defeat Price. Fury would welcome a chance to fight Price in the professional ranks so he could “level him up” as he “has no chin!”
“I was only 17 when I fought David Price and I had 11 [amateur] fights, [I was] inexperienced but I’ve always been the type of person who would get in a fight anyway win, lose or draw and as an amateur you don’t mind if you win or lose anyway,” Fury explained to BoxingIreland.com.
“So I fought David Price in 2006, I was inexperienced and he was like, Commonwealth champion and he was double ABA champion as well. He had about 80 fights then. He was well seasoned and a world class amateur then and I was a novice!
“I gave him a good fight and gave him a good run for his money but he beat me on points but in two years they [the governing body] didn’t give me a box-off even after I won all these tournaments.”
By 2007, Fury had developed a formidable reputation in the unpaid ranks. He was denied gold the European Junior Championship finals due to a contentious decision, and blasted his way through German, Polish and Ukranian competition.
He continued: “I beat the number one American who was representing for the Olympic Games – Michael Hunter, I beat the number one Polish man, I beat them all… Russian, everyone they put in front of me I beat. And they still didn’t give me a box-off [with Price]. I only fought [Price] once,” he stressed, adding how he long had enthusiasm for a do-over after he had gained further experience.
“I just went in there for the experience but to be honest with you, if I was in his shoes then… if a 17-year-old lad gave me war and put me over and I was Commonwealth champion, it’s like a 17-year-old now beating me all around the ring but me jib-jabbing him and beating him on points. I’d retire!
“I tell you what it was, he won on points but… I tell you what it was, he got a run for his money, his tongue was hanging that far out [gestures around 6-9 inches] afterwards. I’d love to get him as a professional, I’d level him up completely cause he’s got no chin! You can’t go swimming and not get wet!”
Price is currently garnering more and more attention due to his one-two jab-right cross combination that has seen him amass a perfect 11-0-0 9ko record. Fury, though, has scoffed at the power Price can brag as he said it would mean little when you cannot take a punch back: “I don’t care how hard he punches or how big of a right hand he’s got or whatever, I’m telling you, if he gets in the ring with me his lights are getting kayoed. And he knows that.
“I know he’s a bottle job and he bottled it in the Olympic Games against that Italian fellow [Roberto Cammarelle], he went in and lost on purpose, he was waiting for a shot to go over. He’s a swallower and once you do that once you’ll always do it yea.
“What got me pissed off is they wouldn’t even give me a chance, they said to me you can go to the qualifier in Italy after he goes to the World Amateur Championships but they were going to send me there as well as two teams cause Team GB think they send one from Wales, Scotland they got three chances yea but they wouldn’t send me because they were scared of me drawing him and beating him because by then I had international experiences.”
Fury (15-0-0, 10ko) is currently aligned with Nicolai Firtha in a contest at the King’s Hall in Belfast on Saturday, September 17. He will likely soon be granted his professional match-up with Price as the Liverpudlian is due to box John McDermott later this year in a British title eliminator. Should Price emerge victorious, then he will become mandatory challenger to one of two domestic titles that Fury currently champions.