The British and Commonwealth Heavyweight champion David Price (15-2, 13KO’s) has parted company with his long time trainer Franny Smith.
The pair had worked together since 2009 when Price joined the paid ranks following his Olympic Bronze medal in Beijing in 2008.
Price said: “Franny will always be more than just a trainer to me, I consider him as a very close friend so making this decision was extremely hard, he did a fantastic job making me the first Liverpudlian British & Commonwealth heavyweight champion.
"I have made up my mind that I have to start a new chapter in my career and I am sad that I will be starting this without Franny, but for me to achieve my goal as heavyweight champion of the world, I feel that I need a change. Franny has always been a huge part of my career and after discussion we’ve agreed that this is the best way forward.”
The news hasn’t come as too much of a shock following Price’s two defeats to Tony Thompson earlier this year and the rumours are already circulating regarding who will take charge of Price’s corner from now on.
The Daily Mail claim that Joe Calzaghe’s father, Enzo, and Jimmy Tibbs, trainer of many great fighters including Nigel Benn, have expressed an interest in training the big man from Liverpool.
It is also believed that Adam Booth, trainer of David Haye and George Groves may also be interested in working with Price. Booth did a little work with Price when he first turned pro but Franny Smith was chosen to guide Price’s career at that point.
It may also be worth noting that Lennox Lewis was helping Price train for the second of his bouts with Thompson so maybe he could be interested in taking a more prominent role in guiding the Liverpudlian to his target of becoming heavyweight world champion.
Until this February everything seemed to be going well for Price; he had won his first 15 fights in a row and had not looked in any trouble until he ran into Thompson, who caught him with a nice hook that left Price unable to continue.
Going into the rematch most people expected Price to get revenge and put his career back on track. At the end of the second round it looked like that was going to be the case as Thompson was sent to the canvas and looked to be out for the count.
Thompson made it to his feet at the count of nine though and turned the fight around, stopping Price in the fifth and placing a solid question mark over where Price now goes.
If the boxer is to get himself back in the world title picture he must find someone who can help him defensively as there is no doubt that when he is on the attack he has the power to end any fight and he delivers a very good punch.
I personally always thought that Price would be a fighter that would benefit under the training methods of the great Emanuel Steward who guided Tommy Hearns’ career as well as reviving the careers of both Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko when they suffered shock K.O. defeats early on in their careers.
He was a master of teaching a tall man to use his height to his advantage and at 6ft 8in with great power I feel Price could have really benefited from the knowledge of Steward. Unfortunately Steward passed away last October, so Price will have to settle for another.
Whoever Price does choose to guide his career next, it must be a carefully mediated decision. Anymore upsets now and you have to feel that would be the end for Price after there had been such high hopes for him as recently as six months ago.
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