Last night in his native Germany, “suspended” heavyweight Erkan Teper returned to the ring for the first time in almost a year, since his European title winning fight with Britain’s David Price. As fans may recall, Teper failed a drugs test after the 2nd-round KO he scored last July, and was suspended for two years. Yet he was allowed, controversially so, to box yesterday because the ban was only directed towards EBU-sanctioned bouts. Last nights bout, against New York’s Derric Rossy, was sanctioned by the German Boxing Commission – (The BDB) who are, we read, supposed to be keeping strict checks on Teper.
The 34-year-old won yesterday, out-pointing Rossy over ten rounds to win by scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94. Now 16-0 (although some record books list Teper’s bout with Price as a no-decision) Teper has seemingly avoided anything other than a token punishment. Indeed, Price’s trainer Dave Coldwell is “fuming” at the way Teper has been allowed back in the ring so quickly.
“It’s an absolute joke,” Coldwell told Sky Sports. “I haven’t spoken to David about it and it is what it is. We’re just focused on Price’s career but we’re fuming that there’s no punishment. The BDB organisation has just proven what it’s worth. You’re not talking about him buying a minor product off the shelf that was recently banned. The test was one of the most potent failures they’ve ever had. They’ve let him get away with it and he’s back in business. It’s just wrong.”
It is of course impossible to disagree with Coldwell. But Teper is, as the trainer says, “back in business,” and he seems certain to fight again soon. But what if he tests positive for an illegal substance again? Teper should be thankful he has been allowed to box again and he should keep things clean from here on in; as of course every fighter should.
Price is obviously disgusted at this turn of events but as Coldwell says, they are focusing on his career. With regards to that, Price has said a number of times how he would like a shot at IBF champ Anthony Joshua.