Liverpool’s heavyweight hope David Price is no longer a hope, but a champion as he produced fight history on Merseyside following his victory over Norwich’s Sam Sexton with a punch-perfect performance in their bout for the vacant British & Commonwealth heavyweight titles at a full to the brim Aintree Equestrian Centre on Saturday. A great atmosphere proved to add to a great night of boxing in Liverpool.
6ft 8inch Price, who’s now unbeaten with a record of 13-0-0, tipped the scales in the Weighing Room at the world’s most famous racecourse in Aintree at 17st 7.5lbs on Friday afternoon. He did battle with Sexton, and having come out on top, he was the proud recipient of that coveted Lonsdale belt come the final bell. Pricey, who is promoted by Londoner Frank Maloney, is now the first ever Liverpool-born British & Commonwealth heavyweight champion.
The 28-year-old weighed in only half-a-pound heavier that what he tipped the scales at in January for his lightning quick dispatch of Basildon’s John McDermott – which lasted all of seventy three seconds.
On the contrary, Sam Sexton weighed in the lighter of the pair at 16st 4.5lbs. Only twice before in his seventeen fight career had Sexton weighed in heavier than the weight he went into this fight with.
Victorious Price, whose ringwalk was his side Liverpool’s song You’ll Never Walk Alone, won the straps headlining a card which featured no fewer than five fights for belts (including his own).
In the beginning of the fight between the two biggest men in the country, we saw David Price boxing clever. He boxed in such a way that he could mask his big overhand right and unleash it when Sexton was least expecting it. Liverpool’s number one heavyweight showed Sexton the jab for the opening; he was cool, calm and collected as he looked – not to get Sexton out of there early but – to get rounds into the bag. This was key as Price had, previous to Saturday, an eighty three percent knockout percentage.
The second was pretty much the same, despite Sexton managing to throw a few digs of his own. Price took those digs and reconfigured his defences rapidly in order for him not to be able to allow Sexton a sustained spell of pressure.
The third saw Price’s dominance show even more. He continued to box on the jab and try to disguise the big right, which was the punch that he eventually ended the fight with. Sexton was put onto the seat of his pants twice before the final round, which was the fourth and had to switch to the survival tactics. The survival tactics didn’t work, however, because he didn’t survive much longer. Referee Howard Foster waved the fight off after two minutes and seven seconds of round four.
The medical team were straight into the ring to ensure Sexton was okay. He was up on his feet after around a minute which was good to see, but nevertheless he was comprehensively beaten by the better fighter on the night.
Price said in his post-fight Sky Sports interview: “I think Frank [Maloney] will answer the question of what’s to happen next, but for me I’m ready to move on to the next level.”
It was a faultless performance from the big man who is now the British & Commonwealth heavyweight champ. All talk now will be whether to step David Price up to the European stage, hopefully on his way to World heavyweight domination. As Barry McGuigan said post-fight: “This kid’s got the potential to go all the way.” The Klitschko’s are being talked up as possible future opponents, but that’s too risky for me. He’s there; there’s no doubt about that – I just think it’ll be too soon for the big man and he could fall from grace if his team make the wrong decision. Price’s future is all down to his promoter Frank Maloney now and I’m pretty sure that Frank will make the correct decision in order to take Pricey to the top.
Chief support for the fight between Price and Sexton was an all-Scouse affair for the vacant Commonwealth title at 112lbs between 25-year-old Paul Edwards & Everton Red Triangle’s Kevin Satchell. That eagerly-anticipated showdown was won by Kev Satchell. Ahead of this, pundits like Barry McGuigan & Sky’s Glenn McCrory were questioning Satchell’s ability to make the weight. He proved everyone wrong on Saturday, despite reportedly looking drawn & drained at the weight at the weigh-in on Friday afternoon. In the opening rounds, Edwards had a poor defence and looked to be struggling with the sheer strength and attack of Kevin Satchell. As the fight progressed, the early events never really changed and “Satch” continued to heap the pressure on “Eddy” using the left jab, which was clearly the most effective punch of the fight. Edwards wasn’t matching the volume or work rate of Satchell, but he improved defensively and began to get his punches off. As well as getting his own punches away, Eddy was slipping Satchell’s attacks. However, the good spell that Edwards had in the opening half of the fifth round subsided and Satchell came back to show his control and threw many of his own shots. Saturday was also the first fight in eight that Satchell had boxed past six rounds. He’s improving with every fight and he showed his character and persistence against Edwards. The persistence of Satchell paid off and after only eight fights, the 23-year-old is the new Commonwealth flyweight champion, following the decision made by Paul Edwards’ corner to pull him out midway through round ten.
However, that wasn’t the end of the strapping action on the night as there were three other titles to be decided. Firstly, Ashley Theophane fought newly-appointed opponent Darren Hamilton – the same Darren Hamilton who fought and defeated Liverpool’s John Watson Jnr. on the bill of Tony Bellew’s British light heavyweight title defence against Danny McIntosh, who’s from the same neck of the woods as Sam Sexton, last month – for the British light welterweight title after his original opponent, another Scouser Steve Williams, was forced to pull out with a chest infection last week. Hamilton pulled off a late replacement shock in the defeat of Ashley Theophane. “Treasure” Theophane has a new record, following this loss, of 31(9)-5-0. It was a unanimous points decision made by the three judges in favour of Darren Hamilton. When the scorecards were announced, Theophane was aghast with disbelief as he firmly believed that he had out-pointed his opponent. This clearly wasn’t the case as Darren Hamilton is the new British light welterweight champion.
The Aintree crowd was then treated to a title fight between Jevgenijs Andrejevs and Travis Dickinson. The pair fought it out for the English light heavyweight title and Dickinson, who’s only had five knockouts, won on points. He dismissed Andrejevs on points after the late withdrawal of Bob Ajisafe.
The other title bout that everybody saw was the British light welterweight eliminator contested between Prizefighter winner Adil Anwar & Dave Ryan in a ten round contest. Prizefighter victor Anwar was the victor on Saturday. He had his opponent Dave Ryan down twice – once in the tenth and once in the eleventh – before going on to win via a points decision.
The undercard featured a wealth of talent including ERT’s Ryan Farrag, Farrag’s fellow Scousers Mike Robinson & cruiserweight Louis Cuddy, along with John Quigley and Venture’s Sean Dodd in his second professional contest. Also on the undercard was London heavyweight Dillian Whyte.
Louis Cuddy, London’s Dillian Whyte, Venture’s Sean Dodd & John Quigley of Quigley’s Gym all got wins on the undercard of the fight that was being talked up as the bout which included the best British heavyweight since Lennox Lewis, against their respective opponents.
Ryan Farrag and Mike Robinson, who were due to showcase their talent on the bill, never boxed; Farrag’s opponent pulled out & Mike Robinson withdrew from his fight with Gareth Smith due to stomach cramps.