Olympic heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua told Ringside David Price should get straight back to work
Last Updated: 01/03/13 10:23am
The shock knockout defeat to American Tony Thompson could eventually prove the making of British heavyweight hope David Price, says Olympic champion Anthony Joshua.
The towering Liverpudlian was halted by a clubbing blow from his unfancied 41-year-old opponent in only the second round at Liverpool's Echo Arena on Saturday night.
While Price's first career loss will surely delay his rise to the world stage, 23-year-old Joshua - potentially a future domestic rival - advised Price to move on as quickly as possible in rebuilding his defences.
Joshua told Ringside: "People talk about his vulnerability and equilibrium because the shot was round the back of the neck. Balance is so important. In the gym today, I've been working on balance because I've realised how important it is to be solid on your own two feet.
"If you look back through history I'm sure there are millions of fighters who've been hit with the same shot. Some people can take certain things and some people can't. It's tough to say whether it was equilibrium or that he can't take the shot. I don't know.
"It's back to the drawing board for him. They've found a weakness and he's just got to get back to it and start ironing it out. He's got to do his homework on Thompson and get the rematch.
"It's back to the drawing board for him. They've found a weakness and he's just got to get back to it and start ironing it out. He's got to do his homework on Tony Thompson and get the rematch."
"He's gone to throw his uppercut and I think his left hand was down. As he's fighting a southpaw, he got hit with a check hook that he might not have seen coming.
"His balance his gone. He's shown signs of getting up and trying to carry on but the referee has decided his in no fit state to carry on, so it's a big shock to people in Liverpool and boxing fans in general."
Joshua believes Price can return from his defeat an improved fighter, and took time to summarise his own remarkable story that saw him rocket from obscurity to become a hero of London 2012.
The Watford star, now an MBE, said: "When I started training, I was bored and I just started training, punching a bag and sparring, but my coach was like 'you're going in this championship' so back to back I was in championship after championship.
"Straight up until the Olympics it had been that way. The Worlds was more of a trial and error and I ended up qualifying for the Games, so now I can look at things from outside the box and going to Buckingham Palace, getting an MBE and coming on shows like this is great.
"It's relevant to me. Price is around the area I'm at now. I thought he was going to demolish Thompson and it shows anything can happen in this sport, so I'm going to run the extra mile, do the extra squat and do that extra bench.
"Elsewhere in the division, Tyson Fury has had some good tests and come out the other side but it's not about what you've done - you've got to keep going and keep going. When you've got that belt, you've got to unify it until you retire."
One of the all-time great heavyweights, Lennox Lewis, reiterated the possibility that defeat, while initially a bitter pill to swallow, can inadvertently lead to a more complete fulfilment of potential.
Lewis knows all about defeat and redemption - the London-born star lost to Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman in similar style only to emerge from rematches and retire with no unavenged defeats.
The 47-year-old said: "When I look back at my losses, I could say that if I'd never lost, I'd never have been as great as I am today. In my case, in the ring, you think you have your guard up but it gets through.
"Some fluke or some great shot catches you. You're unaware of it and it gives you a humbling feeling. It takes away the feeling that you're indestructible. He doesn't have to rush to a rematch. It's a learning curve."