By Elliot Foster
David Price knows that one punch can change his life –– and he wants to land it this weekend.
The 35-year-old is back on the big stage on Saturday when he takes on an undefeated Russian on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s world title defence.
Joshua defends his WBA Super, IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight titles against former Price foe Alexander Povetkin.
And the man they’re now calling ‘The Grizzler’ has been handed another massive opportunity.
Last time, Price was taken out by Povetkin inside five rounds at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office.
This time, he faces the fearsome and fancied Sergey Kuzmin at Wembley Stadium on the same platform, but he’s hoping that while the experience stays the same, the result will be an altogether different matter against a man in Kuzmin who is best known for stopping Rio Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce in the European Amateur Championships in 2013 and has stopped nine of his 12 foes in the pro code to date.
“In defeat, I succeeded last time, my stock rose and I showed that I had heart and determination,” Price, who challenges for the WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title, said. “That was in question a little bit [in the build up to the last fight]. I’m the nearly man up to now but I’m hoping that’s going to change this weekend. I know I’m beginning to come into my peak as a man and as a fighter.”
Price, a 2008 Beijing Olympic bronze medallist who has knocked out Joshua in sparring, raced to 13-0 in the paid ranks before his progression came to a screeching halt back in February 2013 when he lost to Tony Thompson by stoppage at the ECHO Arena in his home city of Liverpool.
Four knockout defeats on, however, and the man who took out Audley Harrison inside a round and was a signed contract away from a fight with Dereck Chisora is determined to show that there is plenty more left in the tank.
“I’m ready to surpass anything I’ve already achieved over the next three years. I’m not saying I’m going to be a world beater or win world titles or anything, but I do believe I can fulfil the potential I’ve shown in the past,” he continued. “The pressure was always on me earlier on in my career and I wish I could go back and have the mindset that I’ve got now, to take the pressure off and to relax, but now I’m savouring every moment because I’m going to miss it when it’s gone.
“I’m revelling in this role that I’ve got. I’ve been lucky this year to get back-to-back big opportunities and they’re not going to keep presenting themselves unless I take them with both hands.
“I’ve got to go through this fella to change my life, to prove the doubters wrong, because the upside to winning this fight is that great that I’m not coming to make the numbers up.”