Almost 48 hours after disastrous defeat in his own Merseyside backyard, the bigger picture was beginning to look a little less grim and bleak for fallen English heavyweight David Price.
Yes, memories of his worst night in the ring as a professional, when unceremoniously dumped on the canvas for the first time in his career, were still painfully vivid and raw.
But if Tony Thompson’s shock second-round KO of the British and Commonwealth titleholder at the Liverpool Echo Arena is a huge blow to his plans for 2013, Price, buoyed by goodwill messages from the likes of Amir Khan, David Haye and Lennon Lewis, is adamant that it will not be fatal in the long run.
Having had a meeting with his promoter Frank Maloney, whose own dramatic collapse moments after the post-fight press conference on Saturday was, thankfully, down to dehydration, the 29-year-old Liverpudlian delivered a considered, defiant and relatively optimistic message regards the future.
And Price (15-1, 13 knockouts), rather than worry or beat himself up about what might have been had he overcome Thompson as everybody expected, is realistic enough to recognise that if he can lose to the 41-year-old American, he is nowhere near ready to challenge, let alone dethrone, the Klitschkos.
“This shows that after 15 fights people were getting ahead of themselves, talking about me and world title fights,” said the 6-foot-7 Price on Monday. “Maybe what happened on Saturday night will work in my favour and give me a bit of a break. It could be a blessing in disguise.
“I have had a good chat with Frank and, as he said, this could set me back about six months. As long as I get back, win my next fight and keep on improving, I will be okay. It doesn’t have to change anything too much.
“It was a bitter pill to swallow and I’m still coming to terms with it. Slowly but surely, though, I’ll start feeling better and get back to myself. I will be back, for sure, probably in June.
“It is our response to this that is going to make or break me. I think I will respond positively and maybe one day I can say this has defined me as a fighter.”
Price’s massive army of supporters in the UK will be relieved. A rematch with two-time title challenger Thompson (37-3, 25 KOs) is one possibility and the Brit would be willing to head to the States to secure the opportunity.
“If it meant me taking a little bit less money to get the chance to avenge it then it is something we could look at,” said Price. “Going to America to fight would all be part of the learning experience.
“We have a rematch clause in the contract and I’d love to be able to put it right. With a bit of luck, he will agree and that will put it to bed for me.”
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