Kash Ali chomped his way to a disqualification defeat on Saturday against David Price, so Danny Flexen looks at what might be next for them both
It was the most bizarre ending to a fight in a UK ring for quite some time. Unbeaten Birmingham heavyweight Kash Ali had stepped into the lion’s den at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena to take on local hero David Price. He was, by general consensus, behind in their clash and had been warned by the referee, Mark Lyson, both for pulling his opponent’s head down and biting Price in an early round. That said, Ali was by no means out of the contest. His movement had given big Dave cause to think.
Towards the end of round five, Ali was rocked back by the first really clean right hand Price had landed and, in retaliation, first tackled the giant to the canvas then, in seeming desperation, bit him once again, on the chest. Lyson threw him out and Ali later said he’d lost his head in the heat of battle. So where do both men go from here?
Pre-fight Price was targeting the winner of the April 21 heavyweight showdown between Aussie Lucas Browne and Doncaster De la Hoya, Dave Allen. David looked good while the fight lasted, his jab more effective than in recent bouts. Whether he banked enough competitive rounds against Ali, and was sufficiently satisfied with the odd finish, to move on to a higher level is open to question. But, at 35, time is not the same luxury it once was and the victor in the O2 fight is a calculated risk. Price vs Allen is a pretty marketable fight, either as a smaller show main event or part of a stacked undercard on a major bill. Price vs Browne is slightly less attractive commercially but still eminently viable.
With his reported £20,000 purse having already been suspended, Ali will be called before the Central Area Council to explain these actions. I would not recommend he simply say he was hungry. He appears to be looking at a suspension of his boxing license for at least a year - given precedent set by other cases - and may struggle to convince the wider public he can ever be a serious contender. He talked a lot in the buildup - they both did - but rather than back it up, Ali folded under the pressure. The resultant notoriety should, however, guarantee him at least once chance to atone.