MAIDEN ‘FOZZY ON FRIDAY’ COLUMN

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Elliot Foster

They say it’s the season to be jolly –– and David Price’s Christmas has just been handed a massive boost.

The Liverpool heavyweight, who raced to 13-0 after turning professional following the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, has had one fight on his record, which formerly stood at 19-3, turned into a no-contest.

Price’s rise to the world heavyweight title was derailed back in 2013 when he was stopped at the hands of American veteran Tony Thompson, back-to-back, at the ECHO Arena.

He then had four wins, getting his confidence back and adding to his record, before coming up against Erkan Teper of Germany for the vacant European title in July.

Yes, we know Tony Thompson failed a drugs test in the aftermath of their second showdown, testing positive for hydrochlorothiazide, which is classed as a diuretic and masking agent.

But that was sort of brushed under the carpet and forgotten about.

In recent days, however, there has been further accusations to come to light, regarding the other opponent of Price’s mentioned already: Erkan Teper.

German news outlet Bayerischer Rundfunk broke the story earlier this week that the 33-year-old was under investigation on suspicion of unlawful possession of doping substances such as clenbuterol, testosterone, growth hormone and methandrostenolone.

And it has since been proven that the former European ruler, who had his home and car raided by police –– who found illegal substances –– in April, was under the influence of drugs during the fight with Price, at the MHP Arena in Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Teper has now been handed a two-year ban by the EBU, which was coupled with a one-year suspension handed down by the German Boxing Federation (BDB).

Although the latter incident has now been dealt with, albeit –– in my humble opinion –– leniently, there is still that issue of the drug test failure by ‘Tiger’ Thompson, who is a former world title challenger and was 41 at the time of the victory over the Liverpudlian.

I can’t help but feel for David Price, who is expected to return to the ring in the New Year and could potentially face his new promotional stablemate Dereck Chisora in an all-heavyweight clash at some point in the future, because his career was taken into disarray by a pair of cheats.

That’s what they are: cheats. And I think each fighter should have had far lengthier punishments. Especially Teper, for whom it was a second offence.

Anyway, with one blemish on his record now amended, Price has yet to reveal the date for his first action of 2016.

But I’m sure he’ll now be able to refocus and kick-on, knowing that one of the couple of wrong results on his ledger is as it should be.

Aside from big Pricey, I’d like to say welcome to my new weekly InstantBoxing column ‘Fozzy On Friday’.

As it suggests, I’ll be here every Friday, giving you my views on the week’s events and updates on anything that I hear.

Back next week.

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