Photos by Gautham Nagesh for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
Local contender Tony Thompson confirmed to Stiff Jab on Saturday night that he’s likely to face rising British heavyweight David Price in his next fight, perhaps as soon as February.
Most intriguing, Thompson said the Scouser is interested in bringing the fight to the States rather than holding it in his native Liverpool. One wonders whether Price would be willing to make like his countryman Amir Khan and bring the fight to Thompson’s backyard in the nation’s capital. Washington certainly proved itself capable of hosting a big fight, and one would think a towering heavyweight like Price isn’t too concerned about potential scorecard shenanigans. Only two of his opponents have lasted the distance, both early in his career, and outside judges are easy to add into the contract.
Thompson’s last fight was a stoppage loss to Wladimir Klitschko in July, but he remains one of the few viable contenders with an American passport. A 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Price is considered perhaps the best young heavyweight in the sport, but he has never been in the ring with anyone with close to as much experience or ability as Thompson. The bout would be an excellent indication of whether the Liverpudlian is for real, and would likely be a great scrap regardless of impact on the heavyweight division. But make no mistake: if Price can’t beat Thompson, he will never have a chance against a Klitschko.
Seth Mitchell Wants Rematch With Johnathon Banks: Speaking of local heavyweights, word is Maryland heavyweight Seth Mitchell will exercise his rematch clause against Detroit’s Johnathon Banks, who handed Mitchell his first loss last month. The fight is reportedly being eyed as a co-feature to Adrien Broner’s Feb. 16th date on HBO. You can’t knock Mitchell’s heart or courage, but diving right back into the ring with his conqueor after being stopped for the first time as a professional might not be the best course.
Clearly Mitchell’s team wants to prove the loss to Banks was a fluke, but I’m not sure it was. Banks isn’t going to get much slower or less slick in two months, and Mitchell isn’t about to morph into Anselmo Moreno either. I would much rather see Seth in there against another big, slow heavyweight like Robert Helenius, where he could use his natural power and athleticism. Banks has already shown he has the blueprint to beat Seth, and every loss at heavyweight takes a great toll. But a win by Seth would likely put him back on the fast-track to the big-time, albeit with a few more questions to answer along the way. Regardless, if the fight happens, you know we’ll be there.
Broner In Talks With HBO: The ESPN link above also notes that Broner is in talks for a multi-fight deal with HBO independent from his Feb. 16th date. The folks behind Game of Thrones know a blockbuster when they see it, and Broner has Pay Per View superstar written all over his platinum-crusted grill. There’s also talk of local featherweight phenom Gary Russell Jr. against Jhonny Gonzalez and Keith Thurman vs. Marcos Maidana. The prospect of either fight, let alone both on the same April bell, has us positively giddy.