Sam Sexton to fight David Price for British and Commonwealth heavyweight crowns
Norwich heavyweight Sam Sexton is back on the big stage after boxing's governing body awarded him a shot at the vacant British and Commonwealth titles.
Sexton will fight the unbeaten David Price for the two crowns controversially vacated by Tyson Fury – who could even end up inside the local man's training camp.
Trainer Graham Everett has already been scouring the country for sparring partners to prepare Sexton for the challenge of facing an opponent who is six inches taller, at 6ft 8ins.
Fury – who turned his back on a showdown with Price to pursue his own world title ambitions, at 6ft 9in, certainly fits the bill.
'Why not?' said Everett. 'We have had plenty of sparring with Dereck Chisora and there's always a chance we could face him in the ring again, so it wouldn't be that unusual.
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'I've been on the phone ringing around looking for suitable sparring partners and I've had some good feedback already.'
Sexton is already the underdog against against Olympic bronze-medallist Price, 28, who has a perfect 12-win record, including 10 knockouts – and that suits Everett down to the ground.
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'I absolutely love that,' he said. 'David Price is the favourite – he is unbeaten and he has destroyed everybody who has been put in front of him. It's a tall order, you might say, but I don't think Sam will be put off by that at all.
'He wasn't put off by being called the underdog when he went to Belfast to fight Martin Rogan – twice – and beat him both times. I think he thrives on this sort of situation.
'It is good to do your training as the challenger, it gives you that extra bite, that extra drive.'
Sexton – ranked third in the UK behind Fury and Chisora – should know the date and venue for his second attempt at winning the British title some time next week, as two big hitters in the promoters' ranks, Frank Warren and Frank Maloney, battle for staging rights.
While Sexton goes into training camp with no distractions, Price is still disappointed that his fight with Fury never materialised.
'I'm disappointed he didn't step up to the plate because it was the fight the public wanted to see,' he said.
'I was talking to my trainer and I think Sam Sexton is going to prove more difficult to beat than Fury because he moves his feet better and has quicker hands.
'Tyson Fury's been struggling and if you are talking about moving up in class then he's going to get found out. Had I fought Fury it would have been an early night's work for me because he leaves himself wide open.'
Frank Maloney, Price's promoter, said: 'I believe he'll win; he's the most exciting British fighter since Lennox Lewis.
'Fury has let himself, his fans, his travelling community and most of all the boxing world down.
'This is why people are turning against the sport I love and again politics have ruled what a boxer does.'
British Boxing Board of Control secretary Robert Smith said: 'I am extremely disappointed because I believe championships should be won and lost in the ring. However, we have got a fight happening between two young British heavyweights that the sport wanted to see.'
Simon Block, the Commonwealth Boxing Council's honorary secretary, said: 'Sam Sexton is a named challenger on the list of contenders issued by the CBC on 8 December and this match, subject to compliance with CBC regulations, will also be recognised as being for our title.'