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David Price tensed up against Hammer says Coldwell

David Price

By Scott Gilfoid: Contrary to the opinions of boxing fans and the media that British heavyweight David Price (21-4, 18 KOs) was out of shape for his fight against #6 WBO contender Christian Hammer (21-4, 12 KOs) last Saturday night, his trainer David Coldwell says that he was in good condition.

Price came into the fight at 275 pounds, which was 30 pounds more than what he usually weighed during his best years of his career. Coldwell says that Price was in shape, but he tensed up during the fight as the rounds went by. Hammer ended up stopping a very tired looking Price in round 7.

Even when Price was dominating Hammer in rounds 4 and 5, he looked like he was fading badly. In round 5, Price knocked Hammer down with a right uppercut to the head. But the way that Price threw the punch, he looked like he was a spent fighter. Of course, Hammer went down from the shot because it was a perfectly landed punch with a lot of power behind it.

Coldwell isn’t saying anything about whether the 33-year-old Price will be retiring from the sport. I think that’s the question that most boxing fans want to know about the 6’8” heavyweight. The excuses that Coldwell has to try and explain away the loss for Price are fine, but this isn’t the first time that Price has been knocked out. He had excuses for his previous knockout losses to Tony Thompson and Erkan Teper.

“David just tensed right up, and when you are not mentally relaxed, you burn out,” said Coldwell to “Some people don’t realize that and think you just haven’t trained. No, he sparred 12 rounds for the fight and in the gym he was faster, sharper. He had sparred with some big men, 6ft 6in, 18 and a half stone fighters who are quick.”

That’s nice to know that Price tensed up in his loss to Hammer on February 4, but that doesn’t change anything. If Price is going to tense up each time he faces a halfway decent heavyweight, then he’s not going to be able to have much of a career, is he? I mean, there is a heck of a lot better heavyweights in the division than the 29-year-old Hammer.

I wouldn’t call Hammer a mediocre heavyweight, but I sure wouldn’t call him a good one. I could see even Hughie Fury easily beating a fighter like Hammer. If Price had just stayed relaxed in the ring, he would have obliterated Hammer within three rounds tops. What I want to do know is why did Price get all anxious about fighting someone like Hammer?

You could see that the German fighter wasn’t very talented from the 1st round. This should have been a walk in the park for Price. Instead, he totally gassed out by the 6th round and had nothing left when he came out for the 7th. What big tip off that Price had nothing left in the tank was in the 6th round when he turned his back to Hammer and leaned over the ropes to catch a breather. I’ve seen a fighter do that before in a fight.

Price looked like he was treating the fight like a sparring session rather than an actual fight. Once Price turned his back on Hammer, the German fighter took advantage of the situation by clouting him with an uppercut. If Hammer had any power to speak of, he would have knocked Price out with that shot.

It was lucky for Price that Hammer wasn’t a puncher, because he would been knocked out. Price didn’t see the punch but he still took it. I don’t know why Price got anxious about this fight. Hammer isn’ a great fighter. Why would Price get worked up over this fight?

“People are also talking about his weight, but he felt so much stronger, fitter and was taking shots better at around 19st 7lbs,” said Coldwell. “David was sturdier on his legs in all the sparring sessions he’s had over the last 10 months we’ve worked together.”

I don’t agree with Coldwell at all about Price being stronger at 275. He looked slow, lethargic and not strong even in the 1st round. Price didn’t look like a better fighter at 275 than he was at 245 to me. He looked far worse. The thing is, Price at 245 likely would have destroyed Hammer in two or three rounds.

Even if his chin was more vulnerable at that weight, he was facing a non-puncher who he likely would have destroyed quickly. There was no need for Price to come into the fight at 275. I don’t buy for a second that Price was better in training at 275. I bet he was slow as molasses and not the fighter that he is when he’s in shape.

I’m just surprised that Coldwell couldn’t see that himself. He’s a trainer and he should have known during training camp that Price was too heavy for him to be effective against Hammer. Unless Price insisted on being 275, I would have told him that he needed to drop some of that tonnage. I wouldn’t have let him come into the fight at 275.

If I was Price’s trainer, I’d have walked out of camp if he refused to drop his weight to 245, because I would have known that he would gas out and get stopped. If you’re the trainer, you’ve got to give your fighter the best chance at winning by having them come into the fight in reasonably good shape.

As heavy as Price has become, I think it would have taken a 16-week training camp to take off the 30 pounds that he’s put on. I don’t think Price could take off 30 pounds of fat during an 8-week camp. That’s too much weight. Some of the weight was muscle, but it was the kind of muscle that slows you down rather than helps you. Price is better when he’s lighter.

Price needs to get his weight down and find someone that can talk to him to help him relax more during his fights. He can’t be stressing out when he’s facing fringe contenders like Hammer and Tony Thompson. He can’t be getting nervous when he’s fighting guys like Erkan Teper. These are fighters that on paper weren’t supposed to beat Price, and yet they did because he tightened up.

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