Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Prograis vs Taylor: David Haye and David Price were allies, now rivals, but were they nearly opponents?
"Price hit me with an uppercut that buckled my legs"
Last Updated: 23/10/19 1:02pm
David Haye has been David Price's promoter and sparring partner, and is now plotting his demise. Did they ever come close to fighting?
Price will face Derek Chisora, who is managed by Haye, on Saturday alongside Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor's world super-lightweight fight, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Price, fresh from winning Olympic bronze in 2004, was signed by Haye's promotional stable for his pro debut.
David Haye said: I signed him to Hayemaker Promotions when he came out of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. I did a show in Liverpool where he had a fight.
I always thought he would do something big in boxing.
If you told me, back then, that Price would not win a world title then I'd have been very surprised.
So do you believe that Price has underachieved?
David Haye said: He and George Groves were the guys I signed to be the next generation, but he just hasn't done it. The loss to Tony Thompson was when it [went wrong]. He's had bad luck, some of his losses should be null and void. That's unfair. His record should be better than it is.
It is the worst luck ever - I've always wanted him to have luck, but not now!
When did you first meet Price?
David Haye said: I've known him since he was an amateur in 2005. I was European cruiserweight champion and he was boxing for England when we did some sparring. This was way before I was a heavyweight, this was while my mission was to be world cruiserweight champion.
Price came to my training camps in Cyprus, we sparred before my fights with Wladimir Klitschko and Nikolai Valuev. He has helped me a lot over the years, even when he was promoted by other people.
He's a lovely man, a great guy. I signed him out of the amateurs and now here he is in the opposite corner to me, and it's a strange feeling because I've always wanted him to win.
He's always been the kid who I thought would make it one day.
Tony Bellew has claimed that he and Price hurt you in sparring, forcing you to withdraw from a scheduled fight with Mark Hobson in 2005…
David Haye said: I was European champion. I sparred Price and Bellew and didn't spar well at all - Price hit me with an uppercut that buckled my legs.
The reason I sparred them was because I'd pulled my hamstring and wasn't sure how I'd be [for the fight with Hobson]. I thought: 'Let me see, I'll spar a couple of kids'.
If I wasn't good enough to handle Bellew and Price then I wasn't good enough for a 12-round fight.
I sparred, and didn't do well. I didn't have my punch evasion. It was down to my torn hamstring. I had been fine hitting pads but, when I got in the ring, I couldn't move and I got hit with too many shots.
So OK, two weeks before a fight, the test failed. If I controlled Bellew and Price like I should have done then I would have taken the fight. But it wasn't worth the risk.
Did you and Price ever come close to fighting?
David Haye said: We didn't cross paths, there was never a time when he was ever considered.
He was mentioned because before he fought Thompson he was on a long string of victories. Frank Maloney was saying Price was the best heavyweight in the country.
Watch the WBSS final and Chisora vs Price on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 7pm. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Even if you aren't a Sky TV subscriber you can book and watch it here.