Liverpool heavyweight David Price believe a new relaxed approach to his profession can help him to scale boxing’s heights.
Price (18 wins, two losses, 15 knockouts) tipped the scales at a shade over 18 stone for his meeting with dangerous Brazilian Irineu Beato Costa Junior (16-2, 14 KOs) in Berlin on Saturday night.
The slot on the undercard of Arthur Abraham and Paul Smith’s WBO super-middleweight title rematch is Price’s first fight in eight months after injury problems curtailed the final half of his 2014.
His previous three outings have been on German soil under the Sauerland promotional banner – part of a rebuilding process following consecutive 2013 defeats to seasoned American southpaw Tony Thompson – losses that dumped Price out of the world title picture but which he believes will benefit his career in the long run.
“It’s helped me develop a lot,” he said in an exclusive interview with World Boxing News.
“I think initially it was big thing and I was devastated – it was a big fall from grace for me. I had to look deep inside myself and find out a lot about myself, which I feel I have.
“The pressure is off now for me and it’s about enjoying the sport again. There was a period of time, even after the Tony Thompson fights, when I was back in training and it was becoming a bit of a chore because I was still putting myself under the same amount of pressure that I had been before.
“But now I’ve changed my outlook a little bit and I’m enjoying my training more. All I can do is give 100 per cent in and out of the ring and then what will be will be.
“If my ability is anything to go by, I shouldn’t do too bad at all. That new outlook has taken pressure off me a bit and I’m enjoying my job again.”
In part, Price attributes his malaise to a relatively modern boxing phenomenon – the obsession with ‘the 0’.
A high profile Liverpool homecoming planned for the spring if Costa Junior can be successfully negotiated and Price now knows that defeats can simply be bumps in the road as opposed to career catastrophes.
“I was guilty of that – my whole life revolved around not getting beat,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want to get beat again, but it’s not the end of the world if you lose a fight. I know that now – it’s happened to me twice and it isn’t the end of the world.
“It’s just a sport at the end of the day and, although you put your heart and soul into it, as long as you get out of that ring healthy and you’ve still got your faculties intact… a defeat isn’t the end of the world.
“There’s always a way back, especially for a heavyweight. Look at myself, I’ve had three fights last year and there was talk of being involved in big domestic fights this year and everything else. It doesn’t take long to get yourself back in the picture.
“Aside from the personal side of things and the mental side of things, I feel like I’ve developed a hell of a lot as a fighter. That’s why I’m pleased I’ve got an opponent who’s going to be a danger and someone who’s going to be there to win. I see it bringing the best out of me.”