Thompson was Price’s first big test, only beaten 3 times in a 39 fight career going in; 2 were to Wladimir Klitschko for the world titles and the other a disputed 4 round unanimous decision loss in 2000 to Eric Kirkland; Thompson was not a man to be taken lightly, overlooked or under estimated, he is a stern test for any top 10 heavyweight contender.
It was felt before hand that Thompson at 41 was some kind of washed up journeyman who Price was going to walk through on his way to fighting the top men of the division, but in effect this was a fight that would determine rankings and Thompson still has big plans of his own and proved it.
Price, 29, was being hailed by most as the real deal, the man who everyone was avoiding and a sure bet to take over the reigns and dominance of the Klitschko brothers for the foreseeable future. But really Price is still learning his professional trade and with 15 fights to his name going in, he was introduced to the hard realities of world level heavyweight professional boxing and the fine line between winning and losing at the top.
Everything happens for a reason and whats happened could eventually turn out to be a positive thing in my career.”
He bravely got up off the canvas and beat the referee’s count but his legs had turned to jelly and resembled the walking action of a new born giraffe when the referee asked him to walk towards him and the fight was waved off.
The Echo arena audience not believing what they just witnessed fell into a silenced state and other than a few who were shouting and cursing at a vocally happy Thompson, the atmosphere could have been paired with that of terrible accident, stunned! Price’s fans couldn’t believe what they were watching.
But this is heavyweight boxing and one shot can end it all, when the big men start unloading anything goes and the very best have tasted defeat in this way. Price can comeback from this, many have including British hero Lennox Lewis; who suffered two KO defeats only to return a better fighter for them. But he will have to learn from it quick and improve rapidly, because he will never enter a fight again from here on in with that aura of invincibility he was beginning to muster due to his quick KO record, size and strength a perfect specimen in the genetic mold of the modern heavyweight type cast. But all future opponents will know now if they land clean Price is suspect! Some never recover fully and can become, as they say; gun shy.
It’s just one of those things Ive got to deal with I suppose. It’s disappointing but to be honest it’s not the end of the world, shit happens! I’ll come back stronger.”