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Written by Jake Wallwork

David Price is Tyson Fury's mandatory but the fight is unlikely to happen



By demolishing John McDermott in the first round of their fight on Saturday, David Price has put himself in a mandatory position for Tyson Fury’s British and Commonwealth belts. Price has effectively backed Fury into a corner, prompting Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessey to (maybe) shout “nobody backs Fury into a corner.”

Fury (17-0-0) has two options; fight Price and risk losing a shot at a world title or vacate the Commonwealth belt and be called a ‘ducker’ by the fans. Fury’s reputation is on the line no matter what he does.

The Punchbag Blog take is that the fight won't happen. There are doubts over Tyson Fury's desire to take a risk against David Price and there's also the man in the middle – Mick Hennessy - who might not be as passionate for the fight as Price and his promoter Frank Maloney are.

If Price was Fury’s mandatory right after he won the belt from DereckChisora, the fight would go ahead; Hennessy had just watched his fighter easily outpoint Chisora and probably felt he was invincible at that time. But in his two recent fights Fury looked vulnerable and with his shoddy conditioning and lumbering defence, he is a knockout disaster waiting to happen. We saw the first signs of this in November when Neven Pajkic put him on the floor.

These vulnerabilities might give Hennessy second thoughts before putting Fury in the ring with someone who is the same size but is faster and stronger. Like so many other fights in boxing, this one likely won’t happen because of a promoter.

Not all the blame would lie at Mick's door though; I get the impression Tyson Fury is not in love with boxing and might be seeing his career through to get one or two retirement-worthy paydays. A couple of times Fury has promised to retire if he loses a fight, once before a bout with John McDermott and the other on the eve of his Nicolai Firtha match. Fighting Price is all risk, little reward for Fury - a win gives him credibility but doesn't advance him much, whereas a loss sends him right back to the pre-Chisora stage of his career.

Tyson Fury won't take a risk when he is a borderline contender and I might regret writing this, but I don't think the Tyson Fury vs David Price fight will happen.

“People say he’s going to avoid me. But I know Tyson Fury will fight because he’s a fighting man. Otherwise, he will look like a bit of a coward."
David Price is hoping to coax Tyson Fury into the ring.

What if it did happen?

It wouldn't be any fun if I didn't speculate on a winner and I think David Price would be the favourite for the same reason Andre Ward was the bookies favourite against Carl Froch. Froch’s only career loss was to Mikkel Kessler, a man Ward dominated, and Tyson Fury's two toughest fights were against John McDermott, a man Price sent out of the ring before halfway through the first round.

In an ideal world both would have a tune-up fight before they met so we can get a clearer view on how the fight would pan out. I would like Fury to fight someone like Tye Fields to see how he copes with the big Heavyweights. My guess is not well, but I wouldn’t write off Fury completely. Even though Price looked spectacular in knocking out John McDermott, he did get caught with a few jabs and one or two right hands. This is something that would give Fury confidence as he has a great jab and throws a powerful right hand.

In his fight with McDermott I was hoping to find out how Price can fight and defend himself on the inside. If he can then he would blitz Tyson Fury, but if he is open to getting hit on the inside Fury has a good chance. Sadly the closest we got to seeing how Price is on the inside was when McDermott held onto him after a knockdown.

My take is that the fight won't happen and if it does David Price will win. What about you?