News December 2017

Pricey returns with win & welcomes potential Tyson Fury match


By Michael J Jones

LIVERPOOL heavyweight David Price returned to winning ways last night with a shut-out victory over plucky journeyman Kamil Sokolowski in London. The former British and Commonwealth champion was having his first contest since a disappointing defeat to Christian Hammer in February.

The 6’8” Price towered over his Polish opponent, who stood just over six-foot tall, and made full use of his advantages in height and reach. Boxing in a controlled manner behind his long jab, the scouse puncher won each of the six rounds comfortably for a 60-54 victory.

The Devon-based loser had also gone the distance with current British heavyweight champion Sam Sexton (a former KO victim of Price), as well as Gary Cornish and Tom Little to show he’s no mug despite a poor record which now stands at 4-12-2 (1).

The winner boxed for the first time under his new team of Derry Mathews and Joe McNally as well as scouse boxing figure George Vaughan on the MTK London card.
Price, now 22-4 (18), admitted to using the fight to get back into things and said afterwards; “I got a good six rounds in the bank but the thing is I need ring time.

Before my last fight, I had four rounds in two years and now I’m looking to get another six or eight-round fight under my belt in February, then a 10-rounder and then we’ll see what comes.”

“It’s not really my style to start calling people out but I want to step up” continued Price. “We know that there are fighters out there in a similar position to myself who would probably fancy the job against me, but I just keep pushing on and if something comes then great.”

One long-mooted bout has recently had its interest rekindled and Price wasn’t shy for a comment on a match against former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. The long-absent Fury is currently in intense training for a 2018 comeback and the two men met recently and exchanged pleasantries.

“Tyson and I were together the other day and from what I was told he has a lot of big plans” the 34 year old Price commented of his rival. “I know that if Tyson Fury could give me the opportunity he would love to and I have a lot of respect for him. Let’s make no bones about it, I’m not on his level as a fighter, but a fight between us would still generate a lot of interest and we respect each other as men.”

Fury has entertained the bout on Twitter and the two have history with Price out-scoring Fury in their amateur days. Fury has called the defeat his “only genuine loss” but, as yet, nothing has been formerly arranged for the contest.

Price could well fancy a British title shot seeing as the reigning champion Sam Sexton was stopped by Price in four rounds in 2012. Sexton would surely also like the chance to avenge his defeat against a decent name.

Former Olympic Bronze medallist Price has had a rough ride as a pro since his first defeat to Tony Thompson four years ago. Spells of inactivity have been sandwiched between shocking losses. The talent, power and commitment has always been there and, especially in the heavyweight division, it sometimes only takes one or two good wins to get right back into the mix.

Theophane returns with much-needed win


By Michael J Jones

BRITISH ROAD warrior Ashley Theophane returned with a stoppage victory last night in Germany. Now 37 and competing in his 50th pro bout, Theophane had little trouble with Gori’s Paata Varduashvili and stopped his 36 year old opponent after seven mostly one-sided rounds.

Theophane, promoted by Mayweather Promotions and based in Las Vegas, takes his record to 41-8-1 (12) and needed this victory after dropping two of his last three contests. Varduashvili drops to 32-15-2 (25) with the defeat and has now been stopped in seven of his last thirteen contests.

The match took place in Hangelsberg and was for the vacant German International light middleweight title which is a tad confusing considering one man was British and based in the US while the other hails from Georgia.

The title may have meant little but “Treasure” was in good shape and all business. He took an early control he would never relinquish. The former British champion isn’t a noted puncher but hits harder than his record suggests and has mixed in far higher company than his opponent for last night.

Theophane dominated behind a sharp jab and as the fight progressed slotted in the power punches to jolt his foe repeatedly. It thus came as no surprise when the flagging Varduashvili wasn’t permitted to come out for the eighth round. The judges between them gave Paata just one session in the seven completed rounds.

Varduashvili’s last three victories have come against opponents with a combined record of just 4-39 but he gave it a go while it lasted.

The victor had suffered a defeat last year to boxing hellraiser Adrien Broner for the WBA junior welterweight title and also slipped to a decision defeat in August to Mexican-based Shoki Sakai.

While Broner had been largely expected to snap Theophane’s six-fight unbeaten run last April, Sakai caused an upset by out-working Theophane over eight hectic rounds in Las Vegas to lift a unanimous decision.

It will be interesting to see where Theophane goes from here. Many UK fighters have been calling him out but the battle-hardened warrior has made a career in taking the toughest fights out there which means he could be back in the US to take on a contender or champion in the New Year.

Theophane has now been a pro for fourteen years and only Broner has managed to stop him.

Immune Khan Breezes through first jungle vote amid ‘strawberrygate’ row


Livefight reviews Amir Khan’s second week on “I’m a Celebrity”

By Michael J Jones

LAST NIGHT boxing star Amir Khan survived the first public vote on ITV’s “I’m a Celebrity…Get me out of here!” In truth, the former world champion was never in any danger of being evicted after winning immunity earlier in the week alongside ‘partner in crime’ Iain Lee.

Khan, along with Lee, footballer Dennis Wise and reality starlet Georgia Toffolo, won a secret mission to be exempt from the first vote. Comedian Shappi Khorsandi lost the vote and had to leave camp immediately in a mild surprise.

Politician Kezia Dugdale appeared the shoe-in to leave after an under-whelming time on the show but the public instead opted for Khorsandi, who came across well during her time on the TV program. While Dugdale has cut a scowling figure in camp, Khorsandi has made pleasant viewing and appeared to embrace the experience throughout.

Many viewers were out-raged that Khan was immune after the infamous “Strawberrygate” incident earlier in the week. Pledged to carry out the daily ‘Dingo dollar challenge’ alongside TV presenter Iain Lee, Khan had to dress up as a cat to carry out the task under the guidance of Lee.

After successfully completing the challenge and getting the ‘Kiosk Keith’ question correct, the duo were rewarded with a pack of strawberries and cream to present to their fellow camp-mates on their return.

The devious pair instead demolished the whole lot while giggling like school-children as viewers, often over-sensitive to these matters, looked on shocked. Doing themselves no favours, Khan and Lee then lied when returning to camp, stating the camp members received no reward as they had gotten the question wrong following the task.

The sneaky pair looked to have gotten away with their ‘crime’ but for a moment of stupid honesty from Lee, who promptly confessed all to the bewildered and angry contestants, many who have lived almost solely on rice and beans since their entry to the Australian jungle thirteen days ago.

Khan later appeared to suggest it was Iain as the instigator to their crime later that night to the shock of viewers. Lee is a bit of a Marmite character but even his haters called for the truth to be revealed after Khan’s back-heel. Some even suggested Khan be removed entirely from the show for committing the serious crime of eating a few strawberries (Charley Bronson better watch his back with this new criminal powerhouse on the loose).

Iain Lee later confided to Shappi that it was Khan who instigated the consumption of the camp’s strawberries and word quickly spread around the contestants though, by that time, none of the camp mates seemed to care.

The show producers had to issue a comment to tell viewers the incident wasn’t one the show had rigged up and occurred naturally. The comments were issued after a friend of Amir’s stepped forward to say it was totally out of character for his buddy to act so selfishly.

However, there was no fooling the public who forced Khan to pay for his betrayal by voting him to carry out the next task with ‘Made in Chelsea’ star Georgia Toffolo.
The two had to down disgusting milkshakes/cocktails made of delightful contents such as blended vomit fruit, sheep’s brain and pig’s anus. Eventually, the pair bagged ten out of a possibly eleven meals for camp.

Bizarrely, Khan thought it would be a great idea to blow his foul breath into Georgia’s face after each gross drink he downed to make the reality star wretch repeatedly.

Khan, who has been a world champion in two weight divisions), then had the chance to carry out a secret mission with “Toff” where they would be in a separate camp for the chance to win immunity. Eventually, four members, including the 30 year old Amir, won the immunity meaning the fighter would survive the first public vote.

Also in the week, Khan clashed with Kezia Dugdale over the camp-fire in another “it wasn’t that dramatic” moment the producers seem to love. Khan spotted the politician putting too much logs on the fire. Dugdale argued it would be fine to have that amount of wood on the fire. Argument over.

Maybe Khan was still a little bit embarrassed after his recent comments regarding politics. The former Olympic Silver medallist stunned camp-mates mid-week when asking “have we ever had a female prime minister?” during a jungle chat. Worryingly, he didn’t appear to be joking.

Before the eviction last night, we were treated to a three-man challenge featuring Khan, Jamie Lomas and “Toff”. The task was simple enough; the three were in a row of isolated cubicals and had to work together to slide a key down a long chain through various obstacles and ‘jungle critters’.

Viewers were thus treated to another round of the Amir Khan shrieks and screams. Nothing overly bothered his other two team-mates, but every stroke of a crab or brush against a bug brought comical noises from the boxing star who appears more panicky when he can’t see what the peril may be.

It is occasionally difficult to remind ourselves that this was the warrior who went toe-to-toe with boxing greats such as Marco Antonio Barrera and Marcus Maidana in his 35 bout boxing career.

There is now only nine days left for camp members and it’s Georgia Toffolo who is still the bookies favourite to become Queen of the jungle. Khan is still around 10/1 and about the fourth favourite behind Toffolo, soap star Jamie Lomas and 77 year old Stanley Johnson.

Politician and author Johnson, the father of Boris, has, by usual expectations, been given an easy ride in his time on the show. He has completed just one task and one mini-task after being ruled out for the vast majority of the trials on ‘medical reasons’.

Overall, Khan is still doing a good job in the jungle. He makes the odd gaff here and there but at least seems reasonably genuine and down-to-earth. He’s definitely provided the majority of the laughs so far in this year’s show.

The winner of the show is usually the one who comes across as nice, but willing to get stuck into the jungle life and trials. For me, I think actor Jamie Lomas fits that bill and is the actual favourite to win the show.

There’s always the odd surprise vote here and there but I’d be quite surprised if Khan isn’t at least in the final three when the show concludes next weekend.

Livefight will update on the boxing star’s turn in the jungle in a few days; providing he stays in that long!

Khan Quotes

“To be honest I’ve never watched the show before.”

"Get me out! I'm a celebrity get me out of here!"

“I thought you’d all go easy on me as it was my first trial and you know I don’t like snakes and spiders.”

“I remember (after Athens 2004) a guy coming up to me for my autograph. I was like ‘why does he want my autograph?’ I realised then I was pretty well known.”

“Tell me what’s in there! I’m not putting my hand in I don’t know what’s in there!”

“Man don’t like spiders!”

“I think the public probably vote for me (to do the trials), as they like hearing me shriek and scream and the sounds I make.”

“Stanley, how do you think a woman would get on as the prime minister….have we ever had a female prime minister?”

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