English heavyweight David Price has severed ties with long-time trainer Francis Smith after a nightmare 2013 and back-to-back KO losses to veteran American Tony Thompson.
Until those two crushing defeats, Price, from Liverpool, Merseyside, was considered a genuine standout contender among the division’s elite. Now, having taken stock as to where it all went wrong and where he needs to be going in order to revive his reputation and credentials, the 30-year-old Brit has ended his partnership with Smith.
Price (15-2, 13 knockouts) denies there is any animosity over the split. Indeed, he claims they both agree that is the logical step.
“Franny will always be more than just a trainer to me. I consider him a very close friend, so making this decision was extremely hard,” said Price. “He did a fantastic job making me the first Liverpudlian British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion.
“I have made up my mind that I have to start a new chapter in my career and I am sad that I will be starting this without Franny. But for me to achieve my goal to be heavyweight champion of the world, I feel that I need a change. Franny has always been a huge part of my career and, after discussion, we’ve agreed that this is the best way forward.”
Price, who is promoted by Frank Maloney and also worked with former heavyweight titleholder Lennox Lewis in the build up to the second of the Thompson defeats in July, is now searching for a new trainer.
Enzo Calzaghe, Adam Booth, who trained Price in his early professional days, and Jimmy Tibbs are understood to be among the possible candidates. However, Price will take his time to ensure he finds the right man.
“I am in no rush to appoint another trainer and I am open to discussions,” he said. “Whatever happens, I want to thank Franny for all his hard work and support and wish him all the success for the future.”
Photo / Scott Heavey