Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali’s Final Loss in Olympic Trials in 1960
By: Ken Hissner
Ali in 1960 was the Golden Gloves National heavyweight champion and the AAU National light heavyweight runner-up. The last person to defeat him in the amateurs is a name few have ever heard of but this writer knew the name Staff Sgt. Percy Price.
Price served two tours in Viet-Nam. He entered the Marine’s in 1955 and retired in 1976. Price was from Salem, NJ, but retired and moved to Jacksonville, FL.
Price was a 3-time All Marine champion, two Interservice championships and one CISM championship. At the Olympic trials he defeated Hal Epsy to represent the USA in the 1960 Olympics at Rome in the heavyweight division. He won his first match knocking out Ronald Taylor of Australia in two rounds. In the quarter final he lost to Josef Nemic of CZ 4-1. Nemic appeared in three Olympics in 1956, 1960 winning a Bronze Medal and 1964.
In 1956 he was knocked out by USA’s Pete Rademacher in two rounds. The latter went on to win the Gold Medal in the Olympics and fought Floyd Patterson in his debut for the heavyweight title having the champion on the floor in the second round before being knocked down six times and for the last time in the sixth round.
Ali represented the USA in the light heavyweight division. Ali always had a problem with southpaws. He lost to Amos Johnson in the 1959 Pan Am Trials. He went onto get to the finals after defeating Yvon Becaus, of Belgium, RSC 2, Gennadi Schatkov, of USSR 5-0, Tony Madigan, of Australia, 5-0 and in the final Poland’s southpaw Zbigniew Pietrzykowski, 5-0.
If Ali would have represented the USA in the heavyweight division and he would have got to the semi-final he would have met another southpaw from Italy Franco de Piccoli who defeated the man Price lost to Nemec 4-1. Then he defeated Daan Bekker of South Africa for the Gold Medal.
As a professional de Piccoli won his first twenty-five fights, twenty by knockout before losing to American Wayne Bethea and then Jamaica’s Joe Bygraves by knockout in back to back losses. He would go onto win his next twelve fights before losing his last two bouts by knockout to American Everett Copeland, 3-7-3 and Peter Weiland, 8-2 in his final fight.
In closing out his career he was 37-4 (29) at age 28. Some of the boxers he defeated were Billy Daniels, 19-6-1, who gave Ali fits as a pro. Also, Americans Herb Siler, 20-9, who Ali defeated earlier, Floyd Joyner, 23-9-3, Howard King, 42-26-8, Tony Hughes, 26-2, Buddy Turman, 35-9-1 and German Uli Ritter, 21-9-6, breaking a bone in his left hand.
Ali’s amateur record was mentioned with six different totals like 100-5, 118-5, 127-5, 134-7, 137-7 and 99-8. He was a six-time Kentucky Golden Gloves champion.
More Boxing History
Interview with Dylan Price: “I Don’t Want To Be Ordinary”
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.”
What’s Next for Shannon Briggs?
What’s Next for Shannon Briggs?
By: Iftisaam Khan
Having suffered a number of setbacks in his career of late, Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Briggs will be certainly looking to put that all behind him as he aims to return to the ring next year. Reflecting on a year of bad luck, the American will be rather disappointed at his inactivity in the ring as he was overlooked on numerous occasions due to a number of reasons.
Looking for an opponent initially saw the 45-year-old focus his efforts on securing a bout with Heavyweight rival, David Haye which eventually came to no avail. Chasing the fight saw ‘The Cannon’ go around the country gate-crashing press conferences and media events to call out the Londoner but his efforts eventually turned futile. At times the prospect of thefight being made actually looked promising with Briggs featuring on the undercard of Haye’s fight, but it turned out that was the closest the American was going to get to Haye as he overlooked the American and weeks later announced his next fight against Tony Bellew in 2017.
If his luck couldn’t get any worse, his hopes of attaining a heavyweight title this year weredashed after his opposed fight with Australian, Lucas Browne was cancelled after his opponent was found to have had taken banned substance, Ostarine leaving the former world champion looking at the coming year for a change of luck.With the Heavyweight scene currently thriving there won’t be a shortage of options.
One potential opponent in the new year could be the ‘Body Snatcher’ who will be looking to take as much time off from the ring as possible given his superb performance against Derick Chisora in a fight being touted as fight of the year. The possibilities of seeing Briggs and Whyte share the ring next year are unlikely with Eddie Hearn hoping for a rematch instead between Whyte and Chisorainstead.
A more realistic possibility could see the ‘Cannon’ take on fellow compatriot and friend, Luis Ortiz who recently overcame a brave Dave Allen in Manchester; stopping him in the 7th round. A fight between the pair would make sense for both parties but time will tell.
A fighter who’s known for his willingness to share the ring with anybody, the ‘White Rhino’would be a great option as a step up of opposition for Briggs who will be looking to ease his way back in the heavyweight scene.
Looking to resurrect his career is Liverpudlian, David Price. The fighter will be looking to make everyone forget about his 3 defeats to Tony Thompson and ErkanTepen which came as a big shock to the boxing world as at the time Price was touted for special things in the division. Time is on his side to establish his career again but another slip up cannot be afforded.
A logical fight for both parties, Briggs would provide a stern test for the scouser who is aiming for a shot at World Champion, Anthony Joshuain the near future.