Gerwyn Price is box office but scrapping his boxing bout was the only option
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Gerwyn Price's decision to scrap his proposed charity boxing match next month was not just the right call – it was the ONLY logical option.
For the 'Iceman' to fulfil his potential as a dominant force on the Professional Darts Corporation circuit, there is little scope for misadventure. The former world champion was due to make his debut appearance in the ring against former professional fighter Rhys Evans in Fleur-de-Lis, and the bout had already been postponed after he injured his right hand.
In truth, it should never have been sanctioned in the first place. Hitting a target the size of a fingernail from 7ft 9in is hard enough without a hairline fracture in your throwing hand.
To sustain a 17-week Cazoo Premier League campaign, and mount a credible challenge for the £250,000 winner's jackpot, with such a physical impairment is almost impossible.
Price, who insists his injury was NOT caused by training for the fight, pulled the plug on his debut following Queensberry Rules after doctors warned him the risks outweighed the rewards.
Fair play to former world No.1 – he was only doing it to raise money for cancer charities, and nobody wants him to curtail his philanthropic instincts.
But how often do you see ballet dancers offering to raise money by kicking brick walls when they spend all day at work on tiptoes? How often do you see footballers go skiing on their midwinter break?
And how often do you see Olympic swimmers train in the River Nile when the local crocodiles are a bit peckish? Never, never and never – because the risks are too great, and the insurance premiums would be too steep.
Was Gerwyn Price's decision to begin boxing training a bad idea? Let us know in the comments section below.
Whether he's your prime-time favourite or your pantomime villain, Price is box office with his peacock celebrations, Popeye biceps and pinpoint accuracy.
None of the partisan poltroons who boo him on stage can match his feat of reinventing himself as a sportsman – from an accomplished rugby hooker at Cross Keys to a world champion at Alexandra Palace.
But his hand injury was a masterpiece of bad timing because he had just recaptured his best form, decorating the Premier League night in Belfast with twin nine-darters two months ago.
Gezzy didn't get the credit he deserved for that feat. When Phil Taylor hit two perfect legs (in the same match) against James Wade at Wembley in 2010, we were doing cartwheels and guest Sky Sports commentator Stephen Fry was chortling about being a “pig in chardonnay.”
Now, when Price's hand has fully healed, he faces a battle to qualify for the play-offs – 12 months after he missed the whole tournament, squeezed into seven weeks like an accordion because of Covid restrictions, by testing positive hours before the opening night behind closed doors.
Price says the circumstances of his hand injury is a “long story.” We look forward to hearing it one day.
In the meantime, he has pledged to commit himself fully to chasing success on the dartboard – a good decision, because there should be more world titles where that first one came from at Ally Pally 16 months ago.
Price told Online Darts TV: “I didn’t do it [the injury] in boxing, despite what people think, but I’ve pulled out of boxing now.
“On medical advice, I’ve been advised not to do it. Probably that was in the back of my mind, when I was training for boxing as well as doing darts.
“I thought I could do it – I thought I could mix both, and that probably hindered my [darts] game a little bit. Boxing’s behind me now, it’s darts from now on in.”
Price's reluctant withdrawal from his maiden bout has not, however, diminished his enthusiasm for boxing completely.
He was spotted at Tyson Fury's world heavyweight title defence against Dillian Whyte at Wembley last weekend – a safe distance from the ring.
Good luck to the Iceman. Major PDC tournaments need their brightest stars, and they will generate more interest when Price is on the oche – not with his throwing hand cased in plaster.
- Gerwyn Price
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