English champion Tyson Fury has put former amateur rival David Price at the top of his heavyweight hit list. Fury and trainer and uncle Hughie were surprised the British Boxing Board of Control blocked his proposed fight with Frans Botha at Wembley Arena on Saturday, February 19. As Hughie points out, only world champions Michael Moorer, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko and Evander Holyfield have beaten Botha in his 56-fight career.
That eight-round loss to Holyfield in April, 2010 was Botha’s last fight and Hughie said: “Botha has boxed in world class and surely he’s a tougher opponent than John McDermott, who Tyson has boxed twice.
“We are surprised the Board have turned him down. There aren’t many heavyweights out there for Tyson to fight.”
Matt Skelton, the former British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion, has been mooted as a possible opponent, along with Kevin McBride.
McBride is best remembered for sending Mike Tyson into retirement and Fury said: “I would like to get revenge for Mike.
“But I don’t see that any of the opponents that have been suggested are better than Botha.”
The Furys reckon Botha is a tougher opponent than Osborne Machiman, who boxes David Price in a Commonwealth heavyweight title eliminator in Brentwood on Saturday, February 5.
Tyson, mandatory challenger for the British belt held by Dereck Chisora, says he’s ready to step in if the South African pulls out.
He boxed Price in the North West final of the ABA championship in November, 2006 and was beaten on points.
Fury said: “I was 17 years old and had 12 amateur fights. He was Commonwealth Games gold medallist. A lot has changed since then.”
Fury wanted a box off with Price to decide who would go to the qualifiers for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
But he never got the chance to avenge that loss and added: “I’m willing to fight him again.”