David Price: Is he on the decline?

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David Price's second fight against Tony Thompson was billed as redemption for Price following his shock loss earlier on in the year.

Price suffered a KO is the second round which many labelled as a freak shot. Price was determined to get an immediate rematch and put the record straight. 

Thompson on the other hand was hurt by suggestions that the win was a fluke and wanted to show that he is the better fighter.

The rematch was horrific viewing. Price came into the fight looking extremely nervous and tense. The first round was very cagey with neither fighter looking to attack. 

Both just hung the left arm out without really looking to snap the jab. Price then managed to knock down Thompson who managed to recover and began to dominate.  

Normally once Price hurts someone they are finished as he piles on the pressure and lands huge shots. This just didn't happen!

Price became fatigued as early as the third round and began to take some big shots in the fifth round before the ref gave a standing count and waved off the contest. 

This was hugely disappointing and shocking. Price seemed a shadow of his normal self. Price looked to be exhausted, many are speculating that it was nerves that had worn Price out. 

This seems the most logical explanation for a giant of a man seeming bewildered in there. I believe that the first loss was too present in Price's mind coming into this fight. He seemed so nervous that his ability to go about his work was severely hampered. 

I think that Price burned up so much nervous energy before the fight that he just didn't have anything left in him when he entered the ring. I believe that rather than Thompson beating Price - that Price beat himself. This was a mental issue rather than anything boxing related in my opinion.

I still believe that Price can go on to fight the elite of the sport and be a big success. It is going to take some very careful planning and perhaps longer than initially expected but he can come back from this. 

I would look to sort out the training issues between Franny Smith and Lennox Lewis and look to get a whole training camp with Lewis and Smith working together. 

Before this fight - Lewis had just three weeks to work with Price which isn't enough to make a real impact. Lewis has been there and done everything in sport so his experience and knowledge needs to be harnessed by Price.

I would also look to drop Price down a level to fight a European level fighter to regain some confidence and get the Thompson defeats out of his mind. 

Following what would hopefully be a successful victory I would look to give him an opponent that is going to give him some rounds but will not be too tough an opponent.

Whilst looking for such an opponent I tweeted to noted boxing historian Spencer Fearon on who he would match Price with. 

Fearon suggested that American fighter Kevin Johnson would be a good choice. Johnson is a former Tyson Fury opponent and an experienced fighter. 

Johnson is now past his best but would be difficult to knock-out. Such an opponent would allow Price to practice his skills and learn his trade in the ring. 

Price hasn't had many rounds in his professional career with him largely dispatching of opponents in next to no time. Price would really benefit from getting some rounds under his belt and regaining some confidence. 

If Price can beat a European level fighter and then come through a fight with someone like Kevin Johnson then his career would be back on track. 

This would be a more steady progression to the top which would make Price more battle-hardened and ready for the step up in class. 

It seems as though going from fighting someone like Matt Skelton - who no offence to the man is way past his best to fighting someone like Tony Thompson - was way to big a progression.

Thompson has been in there with the best of the sport and only lost to Wladimir Klitschko in recent years. Yes Thompson may be old but he is a wily old boxer. 

It was sad to see the effect the loss had on both Price and his promoter Frank Maloney. Maloney was close to tears when being interviewed and seemed a broken man. This was difficult to watch and I hope that the defeat doesn't hit him too hard.

I end this article with hope and belief that Price will put things right and come good. Price has real power, good technique and is a huge guy. 

He needs to develop a bit of nastiness about his work though to make him a more formidable and intimidating opponent.

Price can still achieve good things in the sport if he is willing to work hard and be patient.


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