Sexton: David Price has been looked after - I can beat him
The British heavyweight picture is anything but dull. Whilst Dereck Chisora and the supposedly retired David Haye make waves on the world stage for all the wrong reasons, the domestic scene continues to throw up its own intriguing storylines.
Tyson Furyís recent decision to relinquish his British title rather than defend against the talented David Price means that the man widely seen as Britainís brightest heavyweight hope must instead fight Sam Sexton for the vacant belt.
Sexton, 15-2 (6), is back in the domestic title shake up after a frustrating period away from the sport. His recent technical decision victory over Larry Olubamiwo saw him continue to shake off the ring rust which had built up since his defeat to Dereck Chisora in September 2010 and www.livefight.com found the 27 year old in confident mood ahead as he prepares for the highly anticipated fight. Mobile, technically solid and with quicker hands than any of his victims to date, Price would be wise not to underestimate the former Commonwealth champion.
LF: How's everything going Sam? After the fight with Larry Olubamiwo, was it a case of getting straight back in the gym and ticking over whilst you waited for the cut to heal [the fight went to a decision after five rounds after Sexton suffered a cut requiring 15 stitches]?
SS: It was a case of straight back in the gym again mate. I never have too much time off after a fight because I always want to be ready in case something comes up for example the Price fight.
LF: How frustrating was that night? I can imagine you were keen to get some rounds in and a more comprehensive victory?
SS: It was pretty frustrating because I would of liked to have stopped him to make more of a statement. I wanted to see how I felt as it was my first competitive fight back but I felt fine and was going to put it on him for the K.O in the sixth. Unfortunately, the cut happened and I didnít get the chance. Larry talks about unfinished business but to be honest - and no disrespect to him Ė heís not on the same page as me and a rematch would just be pointless.
LF: The David Price fight is a big domestic clash. Has it annoyed you that it is he getting the majority of the attention?
SS: The Price fight is a big fight and it will give me what I want and that is the British belt. Price is a very good fighter but this is a fight I am very confident of winning. Price has been well looked after and built up well so he will get the majority of the attention. Heís from a mainstream city too so he will have a lot of support. Norfolk may as well be its own country because nobody really gives us the recognition we deserve, itís a case of out of site out of mind I think. What the boxing community has got to remember is that Norwich has had English, British, Commonwealth, European and world champions and we have a very strong stable of fighters still.
LF: How are you preparing for Price? There aren't many talented 6ft 8in guys about. Can you say who's been helping you out?
SS: I canít really say who's been helping out but there is certainly no shortage of big tall heavyweights out there at the moment so we are having no problems on that front.
LF: You've not faced anybody with the sheer size or one punch power of Price yet (Chris Burton the tallest guy youíve faced so far). How did you cope with height and reach as an amateur?
SS: I certainly havenít fought anybody as tall as Price but power wise it could be questionable. Chris Burton was the tallest to date but I actually prefer fighting or sparring taller opponents, it gives me the chance to fight at a pace that I dictate. Taller fighters pretty much always have to fight at the shorter guys pace.
LF: Conversely, he has yet to face a heavyweight as well rounded as you yet. What makes you a particularly dangerous opponent for him?
SS: Price hasnít thought anybody who is a threat yet and he knows that I am. He knows Iím a tough fighter who is coming to win and not just be an opponent. Iíve trained for tough twelve rounders in the past so I have that experience on him. He also hasn't fought anybody with my speed and movement.
LF: I know you won't give away your game plan but Price has yet to be tested in a couple of areas. Do you see him being more vulnerable to hard early shots or being dragged him into the later rounds?
SS: I would probably say that Price would be more dangerous in the early rounds as heís never really boxed the distance in a long fight. I will just make sure Iím ready for the short or the long fight.
LF: It's going to be a very partisan atmosphere at Aintree. From being around him, does he seem the type of guy to be affected by home crowd pressure?
SS: I expect there to be a very lively atmosphere at Aintree, even more so him fighting in his own back yard. I understand that if heís successful he'll be the first British heavyweight champion from Liverpool so I would expect him to have a certain degree of pressure on him. I'm not sure if heís the type to fold under pressure but, if anything, the pressure is definitely on him to perform.
LF: What did you make of Tyson Fury's decision to give up the belt? Were you ever approached to fight him instead of Rogan?
SS: I wasn't surprised to hear Fury gave up the titles as there had been a rumour he was hanging his gloves up all together. I personally cannot see why he would give up two titles to fight for a lesser title and against a lesser opponent. I think him and his promotional team were perhaps worried about Price putting a stop to the Fury train.
LF: How much confidence have you taken from Dereck Chisora's performance against Vitali Klitschko? Your second fight with Chisora in particular was OF high quality.
SS: Seeing Chisora do so well against Klitschko has definitely given me a boost considering he is the only fighter I have lost to. Also considering I wasn't in the right frame of mind to fight at the time [ahead of the second fight].