British fan favorite David Price will step in on short notice to fight countryman Dereck Chisora, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Tuesday.
The heavyweights will meet on Oct. 26 (DAZN) in the co-feature of the World Boxing Super Series final — the junior welterweight world title unification fight between Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor — at the O2 Arena in London.
“I’m delighted to get this fight over the line. It’s a huge all-British heavyweight fight on what will be one of the biggest boxing nights of the year,” Hearn said. “It was frustrating to lose the Parker fight, but I feel we now have a fight with even more curiosity and danger on Oct. 26. The careers of both men are on the line. They will be giving it everything. It’s going to be a dramatic fight and dramatic night.”
Chisora (31-9, 22 KOs), 35, was due to face former heavyweight world titlist Joseph Parker, but he withdrew from the bout last week due to illness apparently caused by a spider bite that left Parker unable to train properly.
After going through various possible opponents, including Michael Hunter, Oscar Rivas and Manuel Charr, Price (25-6, 20 KOs), 36, accepted the fight.
“It didn’t matter who got in the ring with me on Oct. 26th. I’m ready for war,” Chisora said. “… It’s like he thinks he is Peter Parker, not Joseph Parker, with his Spider-Man excuses. It’s cool, let him do his thing.
“David Price has stepped up and I’m ready for whatever he brings. If he thinks I’m just going to stand there and be a punch bag like Dave Allen, he is in for a shock. Get ready to scream timber!”
Former world title challenger Chisora has won two fights in a row, a 10-round decision over Senad Gashi in April and a second-round knockout of former title challenger Artur Szpilka in July, since suffering an 11th-round knockout to top contender Dillian Whyte in December.
“Dereck is a fighter who was obviously willing to jump in the ring with anyone,” said manager David Haye, a former heavyweight and cruiserweight world titlist. “Parker being forced out of the bout due to illness was naturally a huge blow, but Dereck has remained focused and in the gym.
“I’m well aware Price on his day can cause any heavyweight nightmares. Dereck thrives on challenge and wants to be in the biggest fights to get fans excited. It’s a must-win fight for both men.”
Price was a 2008 British Olympic bronze medalist and the 2012 ESPN prospect of the year, but he has never quite lived up the hype, getting knocked out — sometimes brutally — in his six defeats. But his big heart and endearing personality have made him a fan favorite in England. He has also won three fights in a row, including a 10th-round knockout of Allen on July 20.
Price has been in training, as he was scheduled to appear against an opponent to be determined on Hearn’s Nov. 23 card in Liverpool, England, Price’s hometown.
“I’m very excited for this fight,” Price said. “Dereck is a great competitor and I’m sure he’ll bring the best out of me. I kept in the gym all summer because I had a feeling I had to be ready for a call like this, and ready I am.”