The world of professional boxing has become a landscape defined by big money mega bouts getting made as the exception and not the rule.
Even those not actively following the sport were aware of the hysteria, which culminated in a potential deflated hiccup, for the proposed bout between the fallen Filipino, Manny Pacquiao and Showtime’s new six-bout-plan man, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
While not in the same potential earnings sphere as the above mentioned potential deflated hiccup, an intriguing matchup from a hype building standpoint, in the heavyweight division between undefeated Englishmen, David Price (15-0, 13 KO’s) and Tyson Fury (20-0, 14 KO’s), has drawn attention for false starts and its potential to not happen.
In the time honored spirit of the sport of self-promotion, Price has been vocal in his belief that the Irish Traveller son of former British heavyweight champ, John “Gypsy” Fury, is ducking him, in an effort to preserve his perfect record for a potential bout with one of the Klitschko bros.
Price was quoted at the end of 2012 in the UK newspaper, The Daily Mirror as saying, "Tyson Fury won't fight me until he fights a Klitschko, that's pretty clear to me. He does not want to lose his unbeaten record by taking a fight with me first because the Klitschkos won't want to fight him if he loses.” He went on to say, "I'd love to fight him next year and give the fans what they want, but I don't think it will happen soon."
These comments from Price were on the back-end of an initiation of the out of ring exchange in which Fury intimated that he would put Price, who he has affectionately referred to as a “plumber from Liverpool,” in “intensive care,” and also made crude allusions to Price’s sexual preferences.
Despite the out of ring barrage of bellicose verbiage, Fury did relinquish his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, with Price being the next in line mandatory challenger, as well as more recently rebuking Price's manager Frank Maloney for his latest monetary offer to make the fight happen.
These actions in tandem can be perceived as part of the Fury camp’s strategy towards a Klitschko bout no doubt, but also a reflection of avoidance towards the already overhyped potential match with Price. Also adding to the speculation of potential side-stepping is that the aforementioned Liverpudlian, fought Fury and defeated him in the English senior national championships in 2006, when both were amateurs.
All of this only makes this bout another enabler of the tendencies of the sport, to not make such bouts happen while they still have meaning, or some portion of the public interest.
Despite the consistent out of ring ridiculousness, both fighters are moving forward at the moment, with Price slated to take on Tony Thompson in his hometown of Liverpool this coming Saturday February 23rd, and Fury fighting for the first time in the United States against Steve Cunningham, in an IBF Heavyweight Title Eliminator on April 20th in New York.
And Price for his part has backed off the bravado based accusations towards Fury’s perceived deficient desire to make this fight happen, perhaps realizing the line between the perception and reality of Fury’s desires and his camp’s agenda is at the root of the stalling.
He stated, “Do you know what—I don't believe Fury would back out of a fight with me. But I do believe the people around him are viewing it as a dangerous prospect.” Price also added dismissively, “Fury's not clever enough to think I'll wait and do this and that first. He'd just run in and fight me tomorrow, I know that for a fact. It's the people around him. They've got the brains and they are thinking David Price is a big puncher and a dangerous opponent, this could all end very quickly.”
The fact is that Price could be accurate in his assessment, both about Fury’s paunchy prowess as a negotiator as well as an opponent. The question is, with this much verbal grandstanding preceding the potential matchup, if and when it does take place, can it possibly live up to anything more than underwhelming standards?