By: Sean Crose
On the night of April 22nd 2017, a fight card was held at the Claridge Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. During the earlier portion of the six bout event, a young super flyweight from Sicklerville, New Jersey entered the ring to face the 1-3 Christopher Nelson of Kentucky. The young Jersey native appeared to be taken by surprise at first, as the taller Nelson employed footwork energetically and effectively kept his distance. Yet Dylan Price appeared calm and focused through it all.
“I was a little bit frustrated,” Price admits almost a full year later. “My dad just told me to stay calm.” And stay calm Price did, landing his fast, solid shots when possible and gassing his opponent out. By the third round, Nelson was drained and ready to go down. Price made sure he didn’t make it to the bell. Price left the ring that night 2-0. He also left that ring with his first victory since signing up with Floyd Mayweather’s Mayweather Promotions.
Price’s rise has been steady since then. Three more victories, all by knockout, one being on the undercard of the Shawn Porter – Adrian Granados fight, another being on the undercard of this past winter’s Errol Spence – Lamont Peterson bout, have made the fighter from Sicklerville one to keep an eye on. Price’s next fight will be against the 2-2-0 Edson Eduardo Neri this Saturday night on the undercard of the Adrien Broner – Jessie Vargas match at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center.
“I feel great,” Price says about this weekend’s bout. “I’m ready to go…he (Neri) is a tough, rugged guy. I know I’m going to be way too much for him.” And if Price wins yet again, as expected? “I’m just taking it one fight at a time,” he says. As for winning by knockout for the sixth time in a row (which would make for a 100% knockout ratio) Price isn’t overly concerned. “It’s a good thing,” he says in regards to getting a knockout. Still: “Every time I go into the ring, I ‘think this guy’s going the distance’.”
Boxing is a family affair for Price. His father, David, boxed himself, as does a younger brother. “My dad was a professional fighter,” Price says. “He was 1-0.” The elder Price eventually moved on to focus on his studies. The family’s ring background, however, stuck with Dylan. “That’s also how I got into it,” he states. “I always wanted to do it.” There’s clearly a close bond between David and his prodigy son. “I’m super excited,” says David of Dylan’s success. “I always felt that I had something special.”
Not that the two men always agree. Like all father-son teams, differences of opinion are bound to come up. As David says: “I’m not just a dad. I’m a trainer.” One such issue arose when Dylan, who was too young to qualify for the 2016 US Olympic Team, decided he wanted to go pro. “Tough for my Dad,” Price remembers. “He wanted me to stay amateur.” Ultimately, however, the elder Price relented. “He let me turn professional because that’s what I wanted,” Price says.
The two men remain a team to this day. Yet Price is also part of another team right now – the Mayweather Promotions team. “It feels great,” Price says about being part of the elite Mayweather lineup. “They definitely treat me great. I’m definitely thankful.” Price has even had the chance to speak to Floyd Mayweather himself on occasion.
“He gave me a few pointers,” he says of the all time great. “He’s motivated me to keep striving and working.” Being the source of great expectations comes with a price, however. Price is not a young man who spends large amounts of time lounging about. “I enjoy going to the movies,” Price says, “hanging out with my friends…I don’t really party at all.” What Price does do is train religiously, for he wishes to fight “three to four times a year.” Unlike some modern fighters, Price clearly aims to stay active.
Having been boxing since the age of nine, Price is well aware of the discipline required of his craft. “The only difference (between amateur and pro training),” he says, “is more rounds sparring and on the bag.” And roadwork?“I do three to four miles (daily),” he says. To Price, focus and drive are extremely important. Ask him what his top priorities are and he’ll respond: “My Heavenly Father and my family.”
“My family means the world to me,” he states. “My family will always be there for me.” In response, Price wants to always be there for his family. He speaks admiringly of seeing Floyd Mayweather in camp for last summer’s Conor McGregor fight, how the iconic fighter had clearly taken care of his own family financially. “My main goals,” says Price “are – one – become a world champion. Two – become a millionaire.” And yes, there’s a third. “I don’t,” he claims, “want to be ordinary.”
Still, it’s the thought of taking care of those closest to him that drives Price the most. “I want that probably even more than being a world champion,” he says. Giving himself and those around him “a stress free life” is the dream of this nineteen year from New Jersey. “That’s really my goal,” he says. “That’s what I admire about Floyd.”
Reminiscing about his upbringing, Price states that “everything I needed, I had…I didn’t come from nothing. I came from something. I just want to take it to the next level.” Continuing to win will certainly help Price achieve his goals, as will the guidance of David and Mayweather Promotions. Still, this is a young man who happens to be less than twenty years old. Surely Price must feel the stress of being a rising star. “Honestly no” he says. “I love what I’m becoming.”
“I didn’t think that I would be in this position,” he adds. “I’ve still got so much farther to go.”