Heavyweight contender Tony Thompson (38-3, 26 KOs) reiterated his dominance of British champion David Price (15-2, 13 KOs) by stopping him in five rounds at The Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Thompson knocked out Price in the same arena last March.
This time it took three more rounds, but not before Price almost achieved his redemption by flooring Thompson in round two. The wily old-timer survived the onslaught to stagger Price a few minutes later.
Thompson, a southpaw, immediately went to work in the opening stanza. He let fly with jabs and hooks to the head.
Was he testing Price’s chin?
Price kept his left hand high and jabbed. His right would occasionally follow. Every punch he threw drew a roar his hometown fans.
In round two, Thompson bounced on his toes, but ate two strong right hands. He countered with an uppercut that jarred Price. The 41-year-old American continued to work behind his right jab.
Price came back with a left hook and right hand that hurt Thompson. Another big right near the two minute mark put Thompson down hard. The big man from Washington, D.C. barely beat the ten count. He survived the last minute by staying away and blocking the wild swings of Price.
Between rounds, Price’s corner implored him to box and stay patient. Price, 30, took the advice to heart. He came out jabbing in round three. Thompson still looked wobbly; a heavy hook confirmed that diagnosis.
The crafty warrior sagged, but didn’t fall. He backed off to gather himself. His experience was paying dividends. Thompson connected with a short hook that knocked Price back. Price came right back with thudding shots to the head and body.
The action settled down a touch in round four, but soon the brawl was back on.
A big uppercut hurt Price. The Liverpool hero unloaded a right that connected. Price tried to follow-up with game changing left hook, but Thompson sidestepped it. Price landed three right hands that knocked Thompson back two steps. Thompson unloaded a combination that stung Price. The big man stumbled. An audible groan reverberated through the arena.
In round five, Price went back to the basics. He jabbed and tried to stay away. Thompson kept working the body. The shots were having the desired effect. Price was tired and Thompson knew it. A combination of punches knocked Price into the ropes. He tried to cover-up, but Thompson wasn’t missing his punches. Referee Marcus McDonald jumped in between the fighters to administer a surprising standing eight count. After studying the unsteady Price, McDonald waved off the contest as the Echo Arena fell silent.
“I didn’t have butterflies. David scared the heck out of me,” said Thompson. “But, he brought out the best in me. I knew I would win.
“Everyone is technical until they get hit,” he added.
John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at: firstname.lastname@example.org