Dynamite Brit stops super-heavyweight favourite
Wednesday 13 August 2008
His team-mates call him Dynamite Dave and the British boxing team captain certainly lit the fuse of great expectations with an inspirational victory, unquestionably the most significant and dramatic of his career, a second round stoppage of the Olympic super-heavyweight Russian Islam Titmurziev - the gold medal favourite.
On his Olympic debut the giant Liverpudlian twice floored the European champion with chopping right hand punches, the second of which brought a swift intervention from the Chinese referee. "When I hit him, I could feel bone on bone," said Price.
It was a critical contest not only for Price, but the British team, whom as captain he knew he needed to lift after the Gavin fiasco and the early defeat of bantamweight Joe Murray. It also places him in the quarter finals, one fight away from a medal.
At 6ft 8in Price is the elder statesman of the British team and he entered the ring at the Workers' Gymnasium with much resting in his wide shoulders, not least the fact that a 10-strong part of family and friends are not flying in from Merseyside until the weekend.
"They always planned to get here for my second fight," he said. "Obviously they weren't expecting me to get such a tough draw for starters and had I lost they probably wouldn't have come. Now they've really got something to come out for."
Price had a big height advantage, as he usually does, over the Russian six-footer, also 25, himself a heavy-hitting powerhouse who stalks forward throwing punches.
Timurziev led by a single point at the end of a tentative first round, forcing Price on the back foot. But Price then unloaded his bombs, stunning the Russian who shook his head but protested only mildly as the fight was stopped after 31s second of the round.
"I couldn't believe the way it happened," said Price. "I was lucky the ref stopped so quickly it but one more punch would have done it anyway.
"I'm made up because the lads were gutted after little Joe (Murray) and this will have given them a lift. I also proved that these Russians are not unbeatable."
Coach Terry Edwards said he felt a happy sense of deja vu. "Audley Harrison fought a Russian in his first fight in Sydney, which proved to be his toughest test, and went on to win the gold. Maybe it is an omen.The thing about Dave is that his punching power is improving all the time. Now he's the real deal"
Price's next fight on Monday is against a Lithuanian, Jaraslav Jaksto, with whom he has an old score to settle.
"He's no mug. He beat me when I was just a kid so I owe him one."
After that it is the world champion, Roberto Cammarelle, the Italian policeman, who is most likely to be standing between him and the final. But in this explosive mood Dynamite Dave could be set to blow holes through the best of reputations.
There will be no Cuban successor to great name like Teofilo Stevenson or Felix Savon with the exit last night of their new heavyweight hope, Robert Alfonso, who was outpointed by world silver medalist Vyacheslav Glazgov of Ukraine
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Michel Platini will consider pulling England and other Uefa members out of the World Cup if Sepp Blatter wins Fifa president election
Manchester United season player ratings: Grading Louis van Gaal's entire squad
Psychic penguins have made their pick for Arsenal vs Aston Villa in the FA Cup final...
How to boycott Fifa - a football fan's guide
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'