The rebuilding of David Price’s career has so far been gradual and cautious, but with the help of masterful trainer Dave Coldwell, 2017 could be the year that the powerful Liverpudlian is unleashed back on the heavyweight division.
After a relatively short spell of ring inactivity, Price’s attempts to truly reestablish himself as heavyweight contender recommence on February 4th, when he takes on the Tyson Fury’s former foe Christian Hammer. The contest takes place on the undercard of Chris Eubank Jr’s fight with Renold Quinlan at the London Olympia. Given that the fight will be broadcast live on ITV, it will provide Price with a real opportunity to gain some much needed exposure. An exciting victory for the hard hitting Liverpool man, will help him once again recreate the excitement that surrounded him when he first began his professional career.
It is no surprise that when Price turned professional in 2009, there was an incredible amount of expectation surrounding the potential of the heavyweight. Price excelled as an amateur boxer, achieving a Commonwealth games gold medal and a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics. However, his professional career has been extremely turbulent.
The furore surrounding the highly touted heavyweight only expanded, as he dismantled every opponent he faced in the professional ranks. After 15 consecutive victories, Price became the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion and it appeared inevitable that he would reach the pinnacle of the division.
That was until a disastrous February night in Liverpool, when Price ran into the determined veteran Tony Thompson. Price’s career suffered a major setback that night. However, nearly all of the momentum that Price had worked so hard to gather in the paid ranks was brought to a screeching halt five months later, when seeking revenge against Thompson; he suffered his second consecutive knockout defeat against the 41 year old.
Price rebounded from the second defeat of his career by gaining several routine wins all over Europe. Unsurprisingly though, his confidence still looked jaded, as if he had never truly shrugged of the demons of the devastating defeats against Thompson. This was evident when he failed to win the European title against Erkan Teper in Germany, the fight was marred with controversy as Teper failed a drugs test after the contest, eventually leading to the fight being declared a no contest, however it still remained clear that Price had never fully recovered from his past defeats.
The Scouser is now approaching his seventh year as a professional fighter and despite numerous obstacles and a great deal of despair, it appears he is attaining his confidence back. Undoubtedly, much of this has to be credited to his new trainer Coldwell under the tutelage of Coldwell, Price appears to be rejuvenated and has displayed visible improvements in his defence.
His new found confidence was never displayed so brashly until it became know that a vacancy needed to be filled in the opposite corner to Anthony Joshua last December, many heavyweight contenders chose to remain undetected when the search for Joshua’s next opponent became a national news story, not Price. The Liverpudlian opted to make everyone who would listen aware that he felt he could beat Joshua, Price even revealed that he had dropped Joshua during a sparring session in 2011.
The timing could potentially be perfect for Price to fulfil his potential, the unbelievable rise of Anthony Joshua and the enthralling British heavyweight scene means there is a massive opportunity for him to be involved in an unimaginable amount of career defining contests.
The glittering amatuer career of Price, acts as proof that he has the boxing ability to go far further than he has gone so far in his professional career. It has always been his vulnerability to take a shot that has held him back. However, with new coach Coldwell injecting a greater defensive prowess into his arsenal, means Price could finally mix it with the elite heavyweights in world boxing.
Given that Price turns 34 this year, it is hard not to feel like he is approaching his last chance to fulfil his potential and avoid being tarred with a similar legacy to that of the underachieving Audley Harrison. A victory over Christian Hammer on ITV can take him a step closer to a major fight. However, the newly discovered defensive skills of Price will be put to the test against his next opponent, who has shown himself to be a tough competitor throughout his career. We await to see what the future holds for the Big’En.