Former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Lennox Lewis believes that David Price can come again despite another excruciating showing by the Liverpudlian in front of his adoring fans at the Echo Arena.
The 47 year-old, who claimed the sports biggest prize three times in a stellar career, took part in a three-week training camp with Price in the run-up to his rematch with veteran Tony Thompson – only to watch Price lose for the second time to the American, this time on his 30th birthday.
In the fallout, and there has been plenty of it, Price’s promoter Frank Maloney, who once used to handle Lewis in his career, has portioned some of the blame for the fifth round defeat to the retired fighter after Price struggled through the bout with obvious fatigue.
Lewis has admitted that Price has lots to work on to get back into contention in the top division, although was perplexed that Maloney had deflected some of the heat onto him for his part-time role in the 6ft 8ins boxer’s preparation.
“Maloney is blame me for the loss? Incredible,” said a stunned Lewis. “I asked for an eight week camp and he gave me three!”
“David is a great guy and he can rebound from this, but there are sacrifices that have to be made to take your game to the next level.
“Price took a lot of hard punches but never left his feet. I think he was just gassed and couldn’t take him out when he had the chance. He had the fight in his grasp and that’s the most disappointing part of this loss, but he can learn from this and improve.
“Boxing is also as much mental as physical. You gotta be in shape in both or it’s a chain reaction,” he added.
Price is now in now mans land as far as his career is concerned and may find it hard to nail down an opponent worthy enough to push him back up the rankings in the immediate future.
It could take more than a year to elevate Price to the cusp of a world title once again, although after the manner of his two defeats to Thompson, it is hard to see how the former Olympian could ever be the same again.