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David Price returns Nov. 23, not ready to ‘cash out’

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The heavyweight veteran is hoping to go on an unexpected run.

O2 Arena Boxing Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

Following a minor upset of Dave Allen on July 20 in London, David Price is set to return to action in his hometown of Liverpool on Nov. 23, featuring on the Callum Smith-John Ryder card, which will air on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

Price (25-6, 20 KO) has had a wild pro career, going from can’t-miss prospect to afterthought really quickly. But now at 36, the 6’8” giant has won three straight (following back-to-back losses to Alexander Povetkin and Sergey Kuzmin), and says he’s feeling good about boxing once more.

“I am just enjoying the sport again, I think the Dave Allen fight was the first fight in years that I actually felt like I’d won,” Price said. “Even though I had won, I was analyzing after it saying it wasn’t good enough and maybe being a bit too hard on myself, but that one was a performance. I ticked a lot of boxes that fight, and I’ve never really used proving people wrong as a motivation, but that felt good and I was, like, ‘This is fucking great!’ I want people to keep doubting me.”

The good news for Price is that people probably will keep doubting him. It was a good story, but all in all it was just a win over Dave Allen, who came in with four losses already in his pro career.

But Price says he’s not ready to use that win and cash out just yet.

“Initially after the fight I thought I can get a big fight now and cash out, but after a week or so, I realized its not the time to cash out yet,” he said. “If I can play my cards right and continue to perform, I can go further and it adds to the story, which is already quite interesting.

“I’ve had ups and downs and interesting things happening to me and you could write a book about it. I am just so happy that I have got the opportunity again to fight on a Matchroom show on Sky. The people seem to be getting behind me again and I just want to build on it and move onwards and upwards.”

Price says that he feels his confidence has returned thanks to the July victory.

“It is only now, when my confidence is up that I can truly recognise it was down. Everything is just flowing and feeling easier because I’m enjoying it and my confidence is back up. When I think back to the Povetkin fight my confidence wasn’t there and I was more just hopeful of winning, now I will be getting in the ring and believing that I’m going to do a job.”

Price doesn’t have an opponent yet for his next fight. The veteran has been in this sort of position before — after his two losses to Tony Thompson back in 2013, which burned out his rising star in about four months’ time, Price won four straight fights in 2014-15, and his Apr. 2014 win over Ondrej Pala wasn’t terribly dissimilar to his win over Allen, other than Pala was a Czech fighter and not a likable British guy with a fan base and media paying attention to him.

Price went out his next fight and was knocked out in two by Erkan Teper. There was controversy — Teper failed a drug test — but the EBU let the result stand, even though the European title at stake was declared vacant again. Since then, Price’s career pattern is pretty clear. He won two straight over nobody, fought Christian Hammer, got stopped. Won a fight over nobody, got stopped by Povetkin and Sergey Kuzmin. Has now won fights over Tom Little and Kash Ali (nobodies, and the latter was a weird DQ where Price looked to be badly fading as he often has), and Allen, which again, was a good story and a solid win, but now what?

If Price fights anybody who can punch and has a gas tank, more likely than not it’s a huge risk. But who knows, maybe not. Maybe he’s finally found the secret and unlocked at least some amount of the potential he was once thought to have. He didn’t gas against Allen, going through 10 full rounds before Allen quit on his stool. He didn’t get knocked out. He was never in any danger at all, really.

Boxing is a sport of strange stories and unexpected events. So maybe, just maybe, David Price has this run in him. It’s hard not to root for him, at any rate.