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David Price faces Tom Little tonight at O2 Arena in London

David Price

By Trevor McIntyre: David Price (22-6, 18 KOs) has his back against the wall tonight in his eight round fight against journeyman Tom Little (10-6, 3 KOs) on Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, England. It’s important that Price gets Little out of there as fast as possible on Saturday nigh. A loss for Price would be devastating. He can’t lose to his kind of opponent.

With Price’s shaky punch resistance and his stamina problems, he cannot leave Little out there for too long tonight.

Little isn’t a big puncher, but he’s got a little pop in his punches. Little hits at least as hard as Tony Thompson, who knocked out Price twice in 2013. Little believes that Price is suffering some deterioration from his recent knockout losses, which have taken something out of him.

Price, 35, has lost his last two fights, and three out of his last four contests, and he cannot take another loss right now. This fight is different for the 6’8″ Price than his recent matches against Sergey Kuzmin, Alexander Povetkin and Christian Hammer.

Price had a good excuse for losing to those talented fighters, as they’re top heavyweight contenders in the division. Price won’t have a similar excuse to give to his boxing fans if he gets stopped by the 31-year-old Little.

Price vs. Little will be taking place on the undercard of Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora 2 on Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

“It’s all well and good fighting on big shows but we’re in this sport to win and succeed. I’ve lost three of my last four and I want that winning feeling back,” Price said.

Price would like a rematch with Russian heavyweight Sergey Kuzmin (14-0, 11 KOs), who stopped him in the 4th round on September 22. Price suffered a torn right bicep and was forced to pull out in round four. Price has now done rehab on his injury, and he’s expected to be 100% tonight against Little.

Despite Price’s misfortunes in the last five years of hi career, he still hopes to be involved in big fights against the more talented fighters in the heavyweight division. It wasn’t long ago that Price was talking about wanting to challenge Anthony Joshua. Right now, a fight between Joshua and Price is unthinkable. Price’s career has flopped and gone downhill since his back to back losses to Tony Thompson in 2013.

“I’d love to fight Kuzmin again one day because I believe with proper preparation I could stand him on his head,” Price said.

Price can take his pick in selecting past opponents to avenge his many knockout loses. All six of Price’s defeats during his career have been knockout losses. Fighting Kuzmin again would be nice for Price. It’s doubtful Price could get rematches against Alexander Povetkin, Thompson or Hammer. Thompson is 47-years-old now, and hasn’t fought in two years since being stopped in the 6th round by Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz in 2016.

Little believes that Price lacks the mental strength to bounce back from defeats the way he has during his seven year pro career. Little has lost his last two fights against Filip Hrgovic and Daniel Dubois in early knockout defeats. In the past, Little did bounce back from losses to Dorian Darch, Brian Minto and Dominic Akinlade. However, the fighters that Little defeated after those losses were guys that Price would very likely demolish, even at this point in his career. Price has had a lot of misfortunes during his career, but he’s still capable of beating the lesser fighters that Little has padded his record with during his career.

“I think I’m mentally stronger than David, he’s going to let his last couple of defeats get to him whereas I’m just eager to put them behind me and move on,” Little said.

Price will be enjoying a huge seven inch height advantage over the 6’1″ Little, but that might not mean anything. Price gives away his height readily by letting his opponents crowd him, and fighting on the inside against them. It was thought earlier in Price’s career that he would learn to tie up his opposition on the inside the way that former heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko was known for doing. Price doesn’t do that though. He never learned to tie up his shorter opponents, and this makes it easy for them to land their big shots. If Price’s punch resistance was a little better, than he could get away with fighting on the inside, but unfortunately it’s not.

In some quarters, there’s as much interest in finding out what the results of the Price vs. Little fight as there is with the Whyte vs. Chisora II rematch in the main event. A lot of boxing fans are pulling for Price to win the fight, as they want to see him rejuvenate his career. Price is still young enough, big enough and powerful enough to steam ahead for another eight years before he needs to think about retirement from boxing. The problem is Price hasn’t shown the punch resistance and stamina lately that would suggest that he can come back from his losses. If anything, it seems to be getting worse for Price. In Price’s last victory a years ago against Kamil Sokolowski (4-14-2, 3 KOs) in December 2017, he was gasping for breath at the end of the fight in the 6th round. When Price was being interviewed after the contest, he was still out of breath after many minutes. Some boxing fans joked that Price looked like he needed to be put on oxygen. It was an easy fight for Price with him facing a journeyman without a talent.

Price should win tonight as long as he doesn’t get clipped by one of Little’s hard right hands. Little is obviously going to be swinging for the fences the entire fight, looking to take Price’s head off with every punch he throws. Price needs to keep his guard, use his jab and unload on Little with his powerful right hand.

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