Punchlines: Heavyweight foes David Price and Tyson Fury head down separate paths
By Nick Parkinson. Last Updated: 18/12/12 1:57pm
British heavyweight hope David Price is not waiting for Tyson Fury and on February 23 will take on American Tony Thompson in his home city of Liverpool.
The British Boxing Board of Control has called for purse bids for Price to defend the domestic title against his unbeaten rival Fury by the end of March.
Fury, 24, gave up the British belt last year when purse bids were last called for the pair to meet and Price's promoter Frank Maloney has made alternative plans for the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist.
"Pricey will fight the IBF's No 10 contender Tony Thompson next and I'm not worrying about what Tyson Fury is going to do," Maloney told Punchlines.
"I've not heard anything from Fury's promoter [Mick Hennessy] and they are going a different route to us.
"At this moment in time they don't seem to want to take the fight. They want to go a different route and I don't blame because they know they are going to get beat. David Price is the most improved heavyweight fight out there right now."
Price, 29, has stopped his last seven opponents in four rounds and victory over Thompson would move him closer to a crack next year at Wladimir Klitschko, the world No 1 and owner of three of the world title belts.
Thompson, 41, was stopped in six rounds by Klitschko in July, four years after the Ukrainian did the job in 11 rounds.
"We are looking at March for Tyson's next fight against a world-class contender like Banks or Adamek."
Fury's promoter Mick Hennessy says the unbeaten Morecambe giant will box again in March and is hoping it will be against either Johnathon Banks or Tomasz Adamek.
"We are looking at March for Tyson's next fight against a world-class contender like Banks or Adamek," Hennessy told Punchlines.
"A fight against either of the Klitschkos are stadium fights for next summer and if Vitali retires Tyson is in a good position to face the winner of an eliminator between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne. Tyson is on course for a world title fight."
Meanwhile, Price's former sparring partner David Haye is clinging to the hope that Wladimir's big brother Vitali decides to extend his career by one more fight rather than going into politics full time.
WBC world heavyweight champion Vitali, 41, is expected to make an announcement on his future next month and Londoner Haye admits the Ukrainian's decision will determine whether he himself fights on.
But former world heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion Haye, 32, insists he is not feeling stressed by being forced to wait on Vitali's decision and hopes to beat Fury to a crack at Dr Ironfist.
"I'm not stressed about it," Haye told Punchlines. "I'm going to enjoy my Christmas and see what he says in January and February about his future. I will be ready if it comes up.
"There's been no contact with them and I don't expect t have any comment from Vitali or his manager Bernd Boente.
"These guys will let me know if they want it. If he wants the fight in the summer that will suit me.
"I'm not worried about it and if it's not meant to be I will be disappointed as a lot of Vitali's fans will be who want to see him knock me out and he's not had a super fight since Lennox Lewis.
"I'm not worried about his political career. I'm sure his people would love to see him knock me out and I'm willing to give him the opportunity to do that."
Haye is ranked at No 5 in the latest WBC rankings, one place below unbeaten Fury.