David Price ready for Tony Thompson

Blue-chip heavyweight prospect David Price, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist for Great Britain, is poised to take the biggest step up in competition of his pro career by facing two-time world title challenger Tony Thompson.

Frank Maloney, Price's promoter, announced that the scheduled 12-round bout will take place Feb. 23 (WealthTV) at the 8,000-seat Echo Arena in Price's hometown of Liverpool.

"This is the right fight at the right time for David and one where a win will propel him even higher," Maloney said. "Thompson still has ambition and I am certain that he will come to win and (try to) score a major upset."

Although Maloney announced the fight, Thompson, 41, of Washington, D.C., said the deal is not finalized, but that he wants the fight.

"I definitely want the fight. It's a great fight for Price and a great fight for Tony Thompson," he told ESPN.com. "For Price, he can show that he's at that next level if he beats me and for me, when I beat him, I can show that I am not done. But (Maloney's) matchmakers are undercutting my money."

Thompson, a promotional free agent, said he has not spoken directly with Maloney, only his staff, and been offered $40,000 for the fight.

"I know the fight is worth more than that, so I'm still trying to negotiate," he said. "I want to take the fight, but I have other offers that are just as viable. But I want to fight Price. I think he's one of the future stars of boxing. I think he can be heavyweight champ of the world, so when I beat him, it puts me back in the picture and will help me get back to Wladimir (Klitschko)."

Thompson (36-3, 24 KOs), a 6-foot-5, 245-pound southpaw, has been stopped twice by Klitschko in world heavyweight championship fights, in the 11th round in 2008 and in the sixth round July 7 in his most recent fight.

The 29-year-old Price (15-0, 13 KOs), who is 6-8 and 250 pounds, is one of boxing's fastest-rising heavyweights. He went 4-0 in 2012, winning each bout by knockout inside four rounds while claiming the British and Commonwealth titles.

In his two most recent bouts, he knocked out 2000 British Olympic gold medalist and former world title challenger Audley Harrison in the first round in October, and followed with a second-round knockout of former world title challenger Matt Skelton on Nov. 30.