If we had a time machine and rewind 12 months ago one British heavyweight seemed destined to move on to the world scene. David Price (then 15-0, 13) was a man destroying all in front of him, often inside a round or two. Since then though his career has crashed down in front of him with back to back stoppage losses to American veteran Tony Thompson. The destructive giant from Liverpool went from future champion to yesterday’s chip paper all in the space of a year.
Now in 2014 we’re all looking to see what is left of Price as he continues his career and looks to bounce back in Germany. Price, fighting for the first time since his losses to Thompson, returns to action as a big betting favourite with William Hill (1/14) as he takes on the big hitting but limited journeyman Konstantin Airich (19-7-2, 15). Despite being a journeyman however Airich will feel that he can upset the odds (13/2) and become the second man to defeat Price and effectively end Price’s dreams of ever being a world class heavyweight.
For many David Price is a fighter they know. They’ve seen his career transition from Olympic Bronze medal to professional fights on Sky Sports and Boxnation as well as appearances on various televisions shows including BBC News and Ringside. The affable giant is one of boxing’s nice guys though he’s also a fighter who has his shares of real strengths and clear weaknesses.
At his best Price is a monster. Stood at 6’8” with an 82” reach it goes with out saying that he has an excellent jab and a thunderous right hand. As well as the size Price’s sheer power is impressive and he’s stopped the likes of Audley Harrison, John McDermott, Matt Skelton and Raphael Butler in eye catching fashion.
Whilst the power and size of Price is impressive he’s got some major question marks. The key one is his durability which appears to be a real frailty and has seen him stopped in both the pros and the amateurs. As well as the durability issues there is also a problem with his stamina, as shown in the second Thompson fight where he was running on fumes after 4 rounds. The problem with being 6’8” and 250lbs is that you’ve got to carry that size around the ring and it takes it’s toll on your gas tank.
Although Price is well known, especially by British fans, Airich is more infamous than famous. The Kazakhstan born German is best by many as being “the other man” in the controversial Danny Williams bout that saw promoter Ahmet Öner ring the bell midway through a round. That was Airich’s first loss and saw him going from Airich’s Golden Boy to a man who has never lived up to the very early expectation of him.
Airich is very much a hot and cold fighter. In his best performances he’s stopped Ondrej Pala, avenging a previous loss in the process, and out pointed Lucien Bot, who was then unbeaten. Unfortunately for Airich he has been blowing cold recently an has lost his last 3 with decision losses to Odlanier Solis and Vyacheslav Glazkov whilst most recently he was stopped inside a round by Manuel Charr.
The performance against Charr was genuinely pitiful. Charr attacked from the opening bell and within 30 seconds it was obvious that Airich wasn’t going to win. Thankfully that bout lasted just 44 seconds.
Stood at just 6’1” Airich is a short, rotund heavyweight who has power but not really the delivery mechanism to land it against a solid level of foe like Price who should be too big, too rangy and too strong for Airich’s clumsy looking clubbing blows. It’d not be a surprise at all if Price used his jab to start the fight before landing a booming right that finished the show inside 3 rounds.
Whilst this is a clear confidence builder for Price it could well be a case of sticking a band aid over what is a gaping wound. Price doesn’t need any more blow out wins, he needs to be in there durable journeymen to test his stamina. Thankfully I’ll let Price have this easy one as he’s linked up with a new team and will be making his German debut, though we can’t let him have too many like this.
David Price vs. Konstantin Airich is live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch 546) this Saturday at 6pm. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.