David Price vs Matt Skelton: In Defense of RealityWritten by Lee Cleveland
Fresh off his 82 second destruction of Audley Harrison, David Price (14-0, 12 KO's) will face 45-year-old Matt Skelton (28-6, 23 KO's) on November 30th.
The bout will take place at Aintree Equestrian Centre, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Is Price vs Skelton a mismatch?
But Price said "I'm aware he [Skelton] is 45, but he has won major championships and challenged for a world title. I have only boxed 14 times as a professional and still learning and Matt will bring something new for me."
And Price, to a degree, makes sense. He's still learning and perhaps not quite ready to face an elite fighter. And at this point, why risk losing to up-and-coming fighters like Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder who are virtually on the same path as Price.
The natives are getting restless and its understandable. Sooner or later the 29-year-old Price will have to step up his level of competition. Price vs Chisora would be interesting as would Price vs Wilder or Fury?
But boxing fans shouldn't worry about Price rumbling with elite fighters yet as its rare for a fighter with only 14 bouts under his belt to face a world class opponent or another undefeated, up-and-coming fighter. Should he defeat Harrison, expect Price to accept bouts with a few more mediocre fighters before stepping up.
Fans who think Price is playing it safe or plans to spend his career fighting for domestic level straps instead of going after the bigger belts don't understand the cultivation process and are ignorant of boxing history.
Below are the opponents and their records heading into bouts with future heavyweight champions (listed left) who, like Price, were 14-0 at the time.
- Wladimir Klitschko TKO 3 Ladislav Husarik 4-13-1
- Vitali Klitschko TKO 2 Alben Belinski 5-0
- Mike Tyson TKO 1 Mark Young 8-6
- George Foreman KO 5 Jack O'Halloran 18-5-2
- Muhammad Ali KO 5 Alejandro Lavorante 19-3
Not exactly heavyweight monsters were they?
And not unlike David Price, the Klitschko brothers, Tyson, Foreman and Ali were world class amateurs so one can't argue they lacked amateur pedigrees as a basis for choosing seemingly weak or non-threatening opponents.
Based on a comparison, Matt Skelton (28-6, 23 KO's) is a pretty tough man and, even at 45, far more dangerous than any of the opponents above.
For those who assert David Price is scared or plagued by a weak chin... Were the Klitschko brothers, Tyson, Foreman and Ali scared? Is that why their 15th opponents didn't have a big name or real future in boxing?
Matt Skelton Facts
- Height: 6′ 3″ / 191cm
- Is on a 5 fight win streak
- Lost a unanimous decision to Ruslan Chagaev in 2008
- Has defeated Danny Williams, Kevin McBride, Michael Sprott and Paolo Vidoz
- Former World Muay Thai Boxing Champion
- 10-7 record in K1 Kickboxing
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.