Sports

Bellew Blasts Sanctioning Bodies Over David Price Treatment

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By Elliot Foster

Tony Bellew has taken to social media to speak out against the British Boxing Board of Control and the sport’s multitude of sanctioning bodies for not protecting David Price.

The 34-year-old Beijing Olympics bronze medallist, fights top five-ranked Alexander Povetkin on the undercard of the world heavyweight title unification clash between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker this weekend.

Price, a former British and Commonwealth champion, challenges the Russian for his WBO International and WBA Inter-Continental belts as well as the number one contender position with the latter body.

A win for Price would see him jump into pole position for a shot at the aforementioned Joshua.

And Bellew has voiced his opinion ahead of his pal’s acid test at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office.

“He’s a brilliant fighter and on his day he is capable of cleaning out anyone!” Bellew wrote on Twitter.

“He’s been wronged by the game [in my opinion]!

“I’m hoping Saturday night he can change all that! It would be bittersweet if he was to KO Povetkin!”

Povetkin, 38, twice failed drug tests in 2016. The first dirty test was ahead of his scheduled mandatory title challenge against current WBC champion Deontay Wilder of the United States. The substance was meldonium and the fight was halted in its tracks.

The WBC then mandated a match-up between Povetkin and former titleholder Bermane Stiverne on December 17, 2017, as a final eliminator for Wilder’s title.

But this time Povetkin tested positive for ostarine, a banned anabolic steroid.

The fight with Stiverne fell through, but Povektin still fought on the date, stopping late replacement foe Johann Duhaupas inside six rounds at the Expo in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

It has also been revealed that six-foot eight-inch Price has not been tested ahead of this fight.

“We are all fighters and you win some, you lose some, but to be beaten by a man and then he fails a post-fight drugs test is disgusting,” Bellew continued.

“[Those] defeats should be overturned but they haven’t [been]! Other fighters in same situation have had [theirs] overturned.

“I’m a limited fighter who has made the very best of what I had; an unreal amount of dedication & determination has got me here.

“As for David he’s not been looked after like he should have been by the Board or the sanctioning bodies. They took his [money] though.

“He’s a good man who deserves some luck to go his way. If he turns up on Saturday night and is focused, he will iron Povetkin out.”

Sky Sports Box Office will exclusively show the Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker unification fight for the WBA Super, IBO and IBF belts, as well as the WBO strap, plus the undercard, on March 31 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Available to buy now at www.skysports.com/joshua.

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