Heavyweight David Price talks to Danny Flexen about his fight with Kash Ali on Saturday and its bizarre ending
Hometown heavyweight David Price was surprisingly magnanimous after being repeatedly bitten by heavyweight opponent Kash Ali on Saturday night at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. The last of up to four bites - this one above David’s rib cage - saw Birmingham’s Ali finally disqualified in round five of a contest Price was clearly winning, and perhaps the Olympic bronze medallist’s philosophical attitude can be explained by the fact he has been here before.
"In the European Championships in Pula [Croatia] in 2004, I fought a Turk who bit me on the chest coz he was having no joy, but I’d forgot about that," Price tells me, wryly. "Against Ali, in the third round, when he bit me on the ropes I thought he might be trying to find a way out of the fight. It was his facial expressions and body language throughout as well. I busted his nose in the second or third with a left hook, and his head went then. He had a little go in round five when I lost me shape a little bit, but I fired back and that was it then; the writing was on the wall.
"He’ll get suspended, I don’t care how long for coz he’s nothing to do with me now. He might get another shot coz he’s made a bit of a name for himself, a bit of notoriety. We all make mistakes and he has made a mistake. I don’t think he bit me to hurt me, he could have taken a chunk out of my chest, even with the gumshield on, but he did it just hard enough to get himself thrown out."
Ali’s infractions aside the fight itself was rather tame given the war of words the pair engaged in at the press conference a few days previously. The public were pleased to see a new, fiery side to Price’s character, video evidence of which has amassed over half a million views so far on our YouTube channel. Price laughed off this apparent image makeover but said he felt comfortable in the buildup and throughout the fight itself.
"In interviews he’d done, the headlines I’d seen said ‘Price is a quitter’, ‘Price is this and that’, so I went to the press conference with the intention of saying something to him, but when he said he was coming for me, I got going and it all sort of rolled out. He’d had 15 fights and done nothing, he’d just about got past lower-level fighters. If he’d achieved something maybe I’d have reacted differently but I thought, ‘You cheeky bastard’. He was trying to intimidate me a little bit and, as I said, I won’t take kindly to people confusing me being a nice fella with being a soft touch. It backfired on him.
"When I got home and watched the fight I was pleased with my performance. I controlled throughout, boxed to instructions. I was nice and calm going into the fight and during the fight."
Price had said before the Ali bout that, if he won, he quite fancied the winner of the April 20 clash between Dave Allen and Lucas Browne at London’s O2. I wondered if, having banked a good showing marred by an unsatisfactory ending, he still felt ready to jump straight up a level next time out.
"I’m definitely interested in that but something else might pop up," he clarified. "It’s got to be a winnable fight for me, it’s playing the numbers game and working out which fights would be in my favour, but if I am the underdog I have to be getting paid good. If I’d beaten Ali in a more conventional way no one would have looked twice, but it’s made headlines everywhere, so it’s kinda worked in my favour in a way."