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Hard yards

'Essex man McDermott must outwork lofty Price'

Johnny Nelson Posted 20th January 2012 view comments

The jury is still out on David Price.

I like him and think everything he has done so far has been perfect; four years ago he was in the Olympics, now he's an unbeaten pro and on the way to proving himself.

However, his heart hasn't been tested yet and he's yet to be given a significant challenge in his 11 bouts, the last five of which he has won via knockout.

McDermott: can beat Price, says Johnny

McDermott: can beat Price, says Johnny

The Liverpudlian has a myriad of things in his favour, though, most notably that he has sparred all over the world with the likes of Odlanier Solis, Vitali Klitschko and David Haye.

Clocking up the miles as a sparring partner is a very humble thing for a fighter to do but it's something they should do. It gives them that extra something that most domestic boxers who aren't willing to travel abroad don't have.

McDermott is going to have to ride Price's shots, keep his pace up and outwork him, but can he do that for 12 rounds?

Johnny Nelson
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The 6ft 8in Price also looks like a heavyweight boxer; he's a big, athletic unit with a long reach, similar to Lennox Lewis and the Klitshckos.

He is lean, not lanky, and the running he has been doing in the build up to his fight with John McDermott should improve his durability.

Vulnerable

For McDermott's trainers, though, the key will have been getting inside their man's head and boosting his confidence as he has been vulnerable in that respect before.

However, the Essex man knows this is probably his last chance of domestic glory - the winner will face Tyson Fury for the British Heavyweight Title - so I expect him to give it his all.

If he is to topple Price, he must be the initiator and utilise his fast hands.

Unlike his opponent, he is only big around the middle and isn't going to be that nimble on his toes, while he's also not going to outbox a man with a five-inch height advantage.

McDermott is going to have to ride Price's shots, keep his pace up and outwork him, but can he do that for 12 rounds?

Pressure

There is a danger that Price may freeze in front of his home fans at Liverpool Olympia.

Whenever he walks down the street, he will be asked about the fight and when he gets into the ring on Saturday night, the pressure of the city will be on his shoulders. But his international amateur experience should ensure he doesn't get overawed.

There is a difference of opinion between myself and my Ringside colleague, Adam Smith, as to how this fight will pan out.

Adam thinks it could be a dissecting mission from Price, like we saw when Lennox Lewis fought Frank Bruno, but I don't think he has the experience to do that yet.

And if the real John McDermott turns up, an upset could be on the cards; I wouldn't be surprised if he pulled it off.

If McDermott does everything right he can win, if he does anything else but put Price under pressure for three minutes of every round, he will lose.

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