By Johnny Walker
In a surprise announcement, a rematch between British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price and American veteran Tony Thompson has been signed and will take place once again in Price’s hometown of Liverpool, at the Echo Arena on July 6.
The 6-foot-8 inch Price (15-1, 13 KOs) had been rolling along until he met Thompson on February 23. Price spent much of the lead-up to the fight talking about his anticipated challenge to the world champion Klitschko brothers, and perhaps overlooked the American, whose only two recent losses came to co-world champ Wladimir.
Thompson (37-3, 25 KOs) didn’t come into the ring against Price in the best of shape, and looked to be a prime candidate for another Price knockout. But the veteran fighter was incensed when Liverpool fans booed the American national anthem before the fight, and later claimed this spurred him on to give a great performance.
Questions about Price’s ability to take a punch intensified when Thompson stopped him with what appeared to be a clip on the ear rather than a full power shot.
“There was a rematch clause in the original contract, but it was still far from easy to make it happen,” said Price’s promoter Frank Maloney.
“Because it was such a big win for Thompson there was a lot of interest in him from rival promoters, but we got there and he has signed.
“There were other options for David also, but he and his trainer Franny Smith were adamant they wanted Thompson again.
“There have been a lot of nasty things said about David since the first Thompson bout, but this proves his fighting heart.
“Not many fighters have begged me to jump straight back in with someone who has beaten them.”
The rematch will be aired on Frank Warren’s BoxNation network in the UK.
UPDATE: Late this evening, Tony Thompson told the Sylvanaboxing website that he was perplexed by the press release issued by Frank Maloney and that he has seen no contract nor agreed to a rematch.
“Where is everyone hearing this at?” asked Thompson. “There is NO truth in this rumor at all!
“Nope not at all, like I say, I haven’t seen a contract … Tell them you heard it from me, I haven’t signed a thing, yes, nothing has been signed by me.”