Home Sport Heavyweight rival that beat Tyson Fury makes Oleksandr Usyk prediction

Heavyweight rival that beat Tyson Fury makes Oleksandr Usyk prediction


Price once beat Fury but is backing his old foe

David Price once beat Tyson Fury but is backing his old foe to prevail versus Oleksandr Usyk (Image: Getty)

Tyson Fury’s former rival David Price, who once beat the Gypsy King as an amateur, is backing his one-time heavyweight rival to weather the storm in his unified title bout versus Oleksandr Usyk and prevail. Price was effusive in his praise about his old foe as he predicted that the Brit will make history later this week. 

Immortality awaits the winner of the contest on May 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with only the second unified world heavyweight champion this century set to be crowned. Looking to follow in the footsteps of Lennox Lewis, who was the last fighter to earn the rare honour, the WBC, WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO all are on the line in one of the most anticipated match-ups in decades.

Previously scheduled for February 17, the spectacle at the Kingdom Arena was pushed back to May after Fury suffered a gash to his face during training before the original date. However, opportunity now knocks for the Manchester-born colossus to solidify his legacy among the sport’s greats. 

One unlikely backer ahead of his clash with Usyk comes in the form of former competitor, Price, who has tipped his old nemesis to dispatch of the Ukrainian. The Liverpudlian, who hung up his gloves in 2021, is uniquely placed to sized up Fury’s attributes, being a rare example of someone who has downed the 35-year-old.

Fury is preparing for a career-defining fight

Tyson Fury is preparing for arguably the defining fight of his glittering career (Image: Getty)

That came while the pair were both amateur prospects in 2006, with Price rallying back from being knocked down in the second round of that contest to defeat Fury via a judge’s points decision. During an exclusive interview with Express Sport (arranged by Grosvenor Sport), the former Olympian was convinced that his old opponent will want to prove a point versus Usyk this month.

The current WBC heavyweight belt holder suffered a scare versus ex-UFC star Francis Ngannou in October, as he controversially won via a split points call. Now, Price has predicted: “I think if his head is in the right place after the Ngannou fight because I do think it will have felt like a defeat on some level for Tyson Fury, deep down. He got put down, he didn’t perform and it looked like he just scraped the win.

“A lot of people thought he lost and that will have hurt his pride and it will have dented his confidence a little bit. It might have been a blessing in disguise that he got given more time to prepare for this, but it might have been better for him to get back in there. I don’t know, it all depends on the individual.

“I think both of them are on the wrong side of 35 now and they’ll probably start to slow down a little bit, so neither have got the advantage in that capacity,” he continued. “I just think Tyson Fury is an expert at being the big man and I think he’ll use his size, his weight, his reach. I think he’ll probably be behind in the fight, but he’ll eventually come back and find a way to win late on, that’s how I’m seeing it, but anything can happen in heavyweight boxing.” 

Casting his mind back 18 years to his bout with Fury, Price also detailed how he feels that his former contemporary has maximised his unconventional talents to establish himself as a bona fide generational fighter. He expalined: “He can do the textbook bit when he needs to, but what wins him fights is what can’t be taught and what’s in him instinctively. So, I’d never foreseen this.

“The biggest shock was when he beat Klitschko, after that, he’s just gone from strength to strength, it’s not a surprise now, because you’ve been at the top now for nearly ten years. It turns out that was one of his strengths to be honest, how unconventional he was, and how different he was, how loose he was and things like that. He’s not your typical boxer and over the years, it’s kind of like made me respect that style of fighter more, where they do things their way, he’s a bit unique.”

The pair now have put aside differences which characterised their relationship during the early years of their respective careers, building a respectful friendship outside of the ring. Price even recalled a couple of occasions since their meeting in 2006 where they have enjoyed each other’s company.

He continued: “Yeah I bumped into him at the airport, I was coming home from Denmark from a fight and I think he’d been on a family holiday, and we’ve seen him and at that time there was there was still a bitter needle, but not as much as there was. But we’d never crossed paths and no, I was never going to be confrontational at any point with Tyson Fury, not on the front foot anyway.

“He was with his family, and I just went over and talked to him as though it was the last time I’d seen him when we were amateurs. I just asked how are you and got a photo, and he got a photo as well and then that was it. I didn’t see him then until he phoned me to go for a coffee when he was having his comeback with Ben Davison.”

Price spoke fondly of his interactions with Fury

David Price spoke fondly of his interactions with former rival and now friend Tyson Fury (Image: Getty)

“He said we’re in Liverpool do you want to go for a coffee? And I was fighting two days later I think in just a little fight down in Brentwood, a comeback fight,” he recalled, before confirming that the duo enjoyed a conversation over their shared journeys as fighters. “I went to see him and had a good chat to him.”

As Fury prepares for the defining clash of his career versus Usyk, Price was clear that he has the utmost respect for his old foe as he even offered the hand of friendship in the form of a celebratory drink when ‘The Gypsy King’ eventually retires. He added: “There’s mutual respect there, he knows I know my boxing and he always would have loved to have fought me as well because that rivalry was there.

“So, we had the respect and admiration on my part, can’t speak for him. Probably you know, I tried to be a standard fellow, so you know you can only just expect respect back from the people who you respect. So yeah, there’s no phone calls or like that, though. But I’d like to have a pint with him when he manages to hang his gloves up and joins the ex-boxers association.”

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