Jimmer Hailston @Jimmer10Jimme
The common theme on matchroom boxing’s promotion at the M & S Bank arena in Liverpool on March 30th is fights involving a hometown fighter against a fellow Brit in what is being deemed as a decent domestic match up.
This trend continues in the heavyweight contest on the card, with David Price vs Kash Ali. Liverpudlian Price will start the contest as favourite however undefeated Ali from Birmingham will see this as his golden ticket to go from an unknown relatively novice pro to British title contender overnight.
Price, 35 years of age and 6’8” in height always seems only one heavy knockout away from a potential retirement call. However past defeats have came against fighters either at world level or bordering it, meaning some people see a step down in level as what’s needed rather than retirement.
He did this last time out and got a slightly premature looking 4th round stoppage over Tom Little (now 10-7). He’ll be confident he can gain another victory here but were he to suffer his 7th stoppage loss to the 27 year old Ali no doubt the retirement calls would become louder than ever.
Ali has been fighting on small hall shows building up a 15-0 (7kos) record albeit against much weaker opposition than that of who Price has shared a ring with. Only 2 of his 15 wins though have came against men with a winning record and one of them was 1-0. He has been pro since 2011 so hasn’t been massively active but all these fights would of gained him valuable experience on the way to a big fight like this.
Price meanwhile is 23-6 (19kos) and has previously held British and commonwealth titles as well as challenging for the European title earlier in his career. Stylistically its a very interesting fight. Whilst Price is very tall, very comfortable at long range and carries mammoth power in his big right hand which he sets up off the jab, Ali is a shorter stockier type of fighter who’s best work comes much closer to his opponents chest.
I actually see a few similarities in Ali’s style to that of Erken Teper who off course knocked David Price out back in 2015. His aim will be to move forward behind a high guard looking for ways past Price’s jab to then unload power shots from short to mid range.
With the contrast in styles it will be Price therefore that will have to ensure his jab, well schooled from his successful amateur career in which he won Olympic bronze, is sharp, accurate and that he returns his lead hand to his chin quickly rather than dropping it too low on its way back up. Particularly as Ali’s favourite shot, especially when it comes to gathering power, is the overhand right. Ali needs this fight to either be fought at close quarters where Price can be vulnerable to taking heavy shots and he can protect himself from the Scouser’s own straight shots or he needs to take it too the later rounds and hope Price gasses out like he did against Christian hammer.
Price needs to be patient, assert the jab as soon as possible and land a shot or two which will gain Ali’s respect which in turn will have him second guessing his own attacks at the worry of being caught. Interestingly they have sparred each other in the past which indicates they both fancy their chances. Overall it’s a decent match. A powerful yet vulnerable former champion looking to keep himself in the mix against an undefeated fighter looking for his first big scalp.
If Price is to keep his slightly dimming hopes of capturing a big fight alive he has to win and a loss would surely leave retirement staring him in the face. For Ali a win would catapult him into domestic title contention whilst at 27 years old a loss wouldn’t be disastrous and he could learn from it moving forward.
Either way it should be intriguing whilst it lasts and one where the phrase ‘don’t blink!’ comes to mind.