Former Olympic bronze medallist David Price will have woken up this morning wondering whether things could get any worse after the likeable Liverpudlian put in probably the worst effort of his career in losing once again to Tony Thompson.
On his 30th birthday at the Echo Arena, Price was astonishingly blowing hard in just the second round and looked overtrained and bereft of ideas as Thompson took advantage of the home fighter’s obvious failings.
Drafting in former world champion Lennox Lewis, who was ringside screaming instructions to a bemused Price, is now being questioned in all quarters due to the one-time undisputed king’s lack of knowledge as a full-time trainer.
In the run-up to the clash, bookies had Price as much as a 1-4 on favourite to claim the ‘Redemption’ that was placed in the title of the show, leaving Thompson’s 3-1 against as the best boxing bet seen on UK soil in past few years.
How the experienced American was written off by the British oddsmakers after stopping Price in just two rounds last time out was flabbergasting, although as Thompson hit the deck in the second round they must have been rubbing their hands in glee.
The truth of the matter is that both heavyweights looked way out of shape for a twelve round battle and there was no way this fight was ever going to the distance, with the evidence clear from the first minute until the fifth round stoppage.
Price had nothing in the tank from the first round and even with Thompson taking a nine-count following a great shot in the second session, the 6ft 9ins bruiser had no energy to capitalise and once again succumbed to the knowledgeable former world title challenger.
Thompson, 41, affectively beat up Price from the third round as the ex-British title holder was restricted to desperate swings due his lack of stamina, with some, including promoter Frank Maloney blaming novice coach Lewis for his tactics and training regime in the fallout.
So to the question is; ‘Where does Price go from here?’ – well fights with Tyson Fury or David Haye are well and truly out of the window, with a summer 2014 clash against Dereck Chisora only possible if an interim win against a ranked UK challenger is forthcoming.
The harsh fact is that the money pot is now gone and the chances of Price becoming a future world champion have serious doubts raised against them after Thompson exposed his considerable floors once again, along with damaging the reputation of Lewis in the process.