David Price has recalled his infamous sparring session with a young Anthony Joshua.
Despite the two British heavyweights never meeting in the ring officially, they did in the gym and things went Price’s way.
He told iD Boxing that he was early in his professional career whilst Joshua was much greener – the sparring taking place around two years before he went to the Olympics to win Gold.
The levels in experience were shown when Price dropped and hurt the future unified champion.
“That was years ago. I think I’d had about six pro fights and he was double ABA champion I think. I went up to Sheffield because I was on my first ten round fight, and I’d always struggle for sparring.”
“You could see Joshua had something about him … Anyway, I just caught him with a big right hand and down he went. He had to get helped up, type of thing, and ushered out the ring. It was no big deal to me at the time, and there was no shame in that happening to you if I hit you.”
There’s a certain code around sparring stories and whether or not fighters should allow what goes on inside the four walls of a boxing gym out for public consumption. After all, sparring is sparring, as they say.
Price revealed his reasoning behind telling the tale.
“I never ever mentioned it until I started getting mentioned as a potential opponent for him in 2016 … I was calling for the fight and people were laughing at the thought of me fighting him, and that’s when I thought I’ll spill the beans then and let the people know that he isn’t indestructible.
Because at that time people thought AJ was the terminator and that he would never be hurt.”
Finally, on whether or not these sessions should be made public, the former British champion believes there’s a time for them.
“I’ve read more recently that he had spent the night in jail the night before, so it’s a good story there. It’s a good story about sparring stories.
People do want to hear these. It’s like an unwritten code in boxing that sparring stays in the gym, but the fans like to hear what happens behind the scenes and you can let it out later on – maybe not during the training camp.”
Whilst the Liverpool legend enjoys retirement, Joshua faces the toughest period of his career as he begins a charge to reach the top once more.