By James Slater
Ahead of his crunch, must-win rematch with veteran southpaw Tony Thompson, Liverpool heavyweight hope David Price and his team are pulling out all the stops as far as quality sparring goes. Stopped inside a couple of rounds when he lost his unbeaten record to “The Tiger,” Price partially blames the defeat on a lack of sufficient sparring.
But, as his trainer Franny Smith has explained to The Liverpool Echo, Price will spar with fighters who helped heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko get ready for his most recent fight.
“Last time we only did two weeks of sparring,” Smith explained. “We’ve already done some with a top international southpaw, who is in the process of turning pro. He has fought Erislandy Savon and Tyson Fury as an amateur. We [also] did a little bit of sparring in Canada (where Price worked with all-time great Lennox Lewis). We’ve got four weeks of sparring starting today and we’ve got two world class heavyweights who have come from the Klitschko camp for his fight with [Francesco] Pianeta.
“Those two will be with us for a month and another two will join us halfway through. This is the amount of sparring I want and the amount Lennox says is required. Lennox would do between 60-100 rounds of sparring when he was fighting whereas David did 58-rounds for the Thompson fight.”
Smith stopped short of naming the fighters his charge will work with, but Team-Price sound confident that with thorough preparation the February upset the 29-year-old succumbed to will indeed be avenged.
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