John McDermott shapes up for a right royal tussle

JOHN McDermott is shaping up for his heavyweight clash with the unbeaten David Price by working on the sculptures at Buckingham Palace, in order to have them in perfect condition for tomorrow’s Royal Wedding.

Former St Pancras amateur star McDermott, who is a sculptor by trade, burst back into the big time when he stopped the highly regarded Larry Olubamiwo to win the Southern Area heavyweight title in February.

The manner of his victory earned McDermott, an ex-English heavyweight champion, another shot at the big time and he is now set for a crunch clash with Price in an eliminator for the British Heavyweight title in June.

McDermott has fought three times for the British belt, once against Matt Skelton and twice against Danny Williams.

He has lost all three, but was considered unfortunate to have lost his first bout against Williams.

He has been back in training for five weeks and his trainer CJ Hussein has revealed that he is benefitting from the hard physical work.

“He is back in training and fitting it in around his job working on the sculptures, which is keeping him busy,” Hussein told Ham&High Sport.

Most Read

“He has been brushing up on the statues around Buckingham Palace in the gardens ahead of the Royal Wedding and garden party. It is hard work and he has been busy tidying it all up.”

“I think it is going to be a good fight [against Price], but I think it will be an easier fight than Larry Olubamiwo. Price has only had 10 fights but he hasn’t really beaten anyone and if you are just beating guys like that you are not learning anything.

“I know what David Price will bring to the table and I know what John is capable of and I think John will knock him out.

“I don’t see the fight going more than three rounds.”

McDermott’s manager Johnny Branch agrees.

“I think he [Price] is a very good opponent but I think John will beat him. I think he will stop him. He hasn’t been fighting any of the top rank who are coming to him to fight.

“I think most of the people Price has been fighting have been there to build up his experience. When you get near the top 10, the people you are going up against are ones who can really fight. He will not have fought anyone like John before.”

Price, an Olympic bronze medallist, is unbeaten in nine professional bouts. But despite his pedigree Branch is looking ahead.

“We are just concentrating on the British title but there is a good chance we will get a chance at the European,” he continued.

“John is in very good shape. He has been in training for the past five weeks. He has been doing lots of road work, strengthening and endurance work and is being busy with his work on the sculptures.

“He has started sparring and we will step up the level of opponents as we get closer to the fight.

? CJ Hussein said he expects to be back and the new St Pancras gym in November, following news that the building is set to be demolished to create a new gym and flats.

“We moved out of the gym last Wednesday and the demolition starts next week,” Hussein said.

“They will be building a completely new gym with seven flats above it. We will be moving back there in November to a brand spanking new gym.”