By the time the first bell had chimed at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, Price had retrieved his discipline and Ali, unable to deliver on his brash promises, instead bit the local man to instigate his instant disqualification.
It wasn’t the most satisfying of victories for Price, just like his December stoppage of Tom Little, who complained angrily about the referee’s intervention, but the former British champion was adding to his tally in the win section.
A domestic clash with Allen would prove a more thorough examination of Price’s credentials as a resurgent contender, with the in-form Doncaster man being tipped by many to triumph at The O2.
Price decided to grin and bear it while all the hullabaloo, hype and humour centred around the affable Allen. Like a poker player with a superior hand, Price patiently waited for a moment to flip his cards and give a knowing smile.
Those solid, fundamental skills of a firm jab and a ramrod right hand were used to grind down Allen’s resistance, giving a bruising reminder of Price’s enduring capabilities.
The next step is always precarious in the top division, with heavy-handed contenders and faded former champions queuing up for a pay day, and Price might still appear an inviting proposition.
But there were no signs of vulnerability against Allen, only the appearance of a 6’8″ tall man in total command.
Price is one notable win away from being mentioned as a world title challenger, although he must retrace a path where he stumbled before while mixing with fringe-level fighters.