American heavyweight contender Tony Thompson (38-3, 26 KOs) defeated UK prospect David Price (15-2, 13 KOs) in Liverpool by TKO in Round 5. The 41-year-old Thompson scored a TKO 2 over Price last February to hand the former Olympic medalist his first loss as a professional. He did it again on Saturday.
“David scares the hell out of me,” Thompson said afterwards. “Big, strong [and] athletic guy…Olympic pedigree….but it brought the [freaking] best out of me.”
Both fighters came out cautiously in the first. Price kept his hands high and pawed with his jab. He threw a few long right hands to try and let Thompson know things would be different this go-around, but none landed. Thompson worked behind his jab, up on his toes. He was smiling.
Price landed a big right hand to start the second but was sent back on the retreat when Thompson got the better of things inside. Emboldened by his opponents’ shakiness, Thompson tried to drag his larger opponent into a slugfest. Each man got his shots in, but Price hurt Thompson to the chin and sent him to the ropes. The two got tangled a bit later and Thompson fell to the floor after tripping. He rose to his feet but was soon sent back to the canvas at the end of the second by a thunderous overhand right from Price. Thompson made it to his feet and to the bell.
“It was a good knockdown but I was going back with the punch,” Thompson said. “I was clear-headed the whole time.”
Price opened the third hyper aggressive, landing another big right hand to open the set before gassing himself with punches while Thompson laid upon the ropes. Thompson used quick uppercuts and sharp hooks to even things up in the round then landed a hard shot at the end of it to let Price know he was still in the fight.
“Everybody wants to be technical until they get hit,” said Thompson.
Thompson used fluid punching and a walking-down approach to dominate the fourth. With the busy American always moving forward, Price had no answer for the constant barrage of punches Thompson sent up and down the larger man’s head and body. Instead of using his height and reach advantage, Price was content to stand in front of his smarter punching opponent way too often. Thompson hurt Price downstairs at the end of the round.
The fifth started out the same way the fourth had ended, and that spelled doom for David Price.
Price tried to establish his jab in the opening seconds, but Thompson paid it no mind at all. Again, Thompson was right in Price’s chest, throwing punches in bunches. Soon, Price was staggered again and corralled to the corner. Trapped there, Thompson let loose a furious barrage that Price could not answer. He covered up until Referee Marcus McDonnell had seen enough. He gave Price a standing count but halted things at 1:55 of Round 5 when he became aware Price was unable to continue.
Thompson said afterwards he wanted another title shot. If not, he said he’d love to take on Tyson Fury.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV