David Price And The Power Of Perseverance

How is it: I never want an easy life,” The Charlatans

British big man David Price could be sat at home now, safe, reasonably comfortable financially and in no further danger of being either beaten, beaten up, or embarrassed. Indeed, after all he’s been through during his now ten year pro career, the powerfully flawed giant from Liverpool perhaps should have called it quits.

A stoppage loss to experienced, seen it all vet Tony Thompson started “sure thing” Price’s downward spiral. Called by many a “fluke” of a defeat at the time; southpaw Thompson catching Price with an odd shot to the back of the head/behind the ear in February of 2013 – the blow sending Price down and out, his senses into smithereens. The massive upset, one that rejuvenated the career of the man from D.C, actually proved to be anything but.

The rematch came and Price was again beaten inside the distance. Exhausted, more from pre-fight nerves than anything else, Pricey still had Thompson on the floor, the old man barely scraping himself upright before the count of ten in round-three. But Thompson did get back up, and he then proceeded to take what was left out of Price’s fight, stopping him in the fifth (then amusing millions of TV viewers with a post-fight prediction: this one regarding what he was gonna do to his waiting wife’s hip).

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Price was written off by most, even though two defeats should not and do not end any career. But worse was to come.

After four consecutive confidence builders against so-so opponents, Price ran into – or was ran over by – Erkan Teper in Ludwigsburg. It was as nasty as it was apparently final. Price was sent crashing through the corner ropes in the second-round. How could he possibly come back from this? A layoff ensued, before Price returned to see off two guys that could reasonably be referred to as tiny compared to himself. Then disaster struck again, against Christian Hammer, barely a couple of years after the Teper car crash.

It didn’t really matter that by now it had emerged how both Teper and Thompson had failed drugs tests (maybe it should have mattered far more than it did) and their wins over Price were as a result maligned. Price had been KO’d again, in the eighth-round by Hammer. Now an open joke that too many armchair fans were willing to laugh at, Price nevertheless soldiered on yet again.

Why was Price still fighting, or trying to do so, the less than charitable critics demanded? Thrown a lifeline – or, if you looked it at that way, an execution – of a fight with Alexander Povetkin in March of last year, the ever-game Price took the opportunity. Showing the heart and enormous punching power those that know Price always knew he had, the former British champ cracked Poevtkin with a shot that sent the Russian reeling into the ropes. A knockdown was rightly called by the third man and Price seemed, for a second or two, to be on the verge of one astonishing comeback.

It was not to be, and Povetkin brutally dispatched a welcoming target in round-five, as Price, his hands down, his equilibrium elsewhere, was taken out in numbing fashion. Now this WAS the end, surely!

But no. Since then, Price has shown more character than many a heavyweight, many a fighter. A corner retirement loss to Sergey Kuzmin followed the Povetkin stoppage (this one a biceps injury), but Price has now won his last three – all by stoppage. Taking on fellow Brits Tom Little, (a too-hungry) Kash Ali and, this past Saturday, the fancied David Allen, Price has shown his boxing skills, his sheer determination to shove it to his many doubters, and his British stiff upper lip; his perseverance.

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We as a nation have had plenty of shit thrown our way over the years, over the decades – high taxes, low wages, untrustworthy political leaders, unaffordable holidays when your kids are at school, the poll tax, etc, etc – and we take heart from fighters like Price. Much like Frank Bruno before him (who operated at a higher level, eventually achieving his dream of becoming world champion; something Price may never do), Price is a beacon of hope.

One we Brits can fully understand. More power to him and may he keep on keeping on.