Franny Smith talks Price foe Skelton


Liverpool’s Hilton Hotel was the scheduled venue today for the press conference between British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion David Price and former World title challenger Matt Skelton.

All was calm and both fighters seemed in good spirits ahead of the upcoming bout with both predicting a victory coming their way. I managed to catch up with David Price’s Head trainer Franny Smith to talk Skelton and how he feels the fight will turn out.

GM: Hi Franny, how has David’s training gone with such little space in between fights?

FS: Well obviously David was already fit. So it wasn’t a matter of going into the training camp and trying to gain fitness. So we had to alter things; we had to maintain the levels of fitness he had achieved for the Audley [Harrison] fight. So we changed things around, we did some swimming, he did some running and we kept him simmering for a few weeks. Then we went over to Portugal and we were able to put our foot back on the gas then because it was important not to do that too early so as not to overtrain. All I can say is, he’s hit all the targets again and he’s ready to go!

GM: What sort of techniques have you worked on for an opponent like Matt Skelton in comparison to a fighter like Audley Harrison?

FS: Technically it was a lot different because Audley was a tall south-paw, so their were patterns and movement we worked on towards the Audley fight that were going to be different when fighting Skelton. We expect Matt to come forward but our plan is not to go back, but to go forward and apply pressure and take Matt out of his comfort zone at long range not short range. So to summise; pressure fighting, using the jab and then dealing with everything as it comes from there.

GM: What sort of sparring have you had in preperation for this fight?

FS: We used John McDermott. He was initally on the bill and was supposed to fight Dillian Whyte, so it was both mutually beneficial for both us and John. We used John for the ruggedness and that come-forward style, throwing a lot of hook shots trying to get on your chest. It was good sparring for both, but David was able to deal with John’s style as I will anticipate he will be able to deal with Matt’s style.

GM: Is David in better shape for this fight in comparison to his fight with Audley do you feel?

FS: I feel he’s in similar condition because he was in fantastic condition for Audley. Obviously we’ve worked on different things, so I feel he’s slightly fresher again. You don’t just work on the same thing all the time. The training has been fresh in a way because the opponents are so different. Matt comes forward – it isn’t a game of chess. It will be a fight.

GM: How do you predict the fight turning out?

FS: Price within six rounds by knockout or by stoppage!

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