The tall and athletically gifted Kelvin Price came to boxing late, as he first tried his hand at basketball. Competing all over the world, Price played professional basketball in Australia, the Philippines, Venezuela and other countries.
In fact, it was a chance meeting with another Pensacola resident and basketball aficionado—Roy Jones Jr.—that led to him lacing up the gloves. While both were in the NBA’s USBL development league, Jones saw Price’s physical attributes and encouraged him to take up boxing.
Because of his late start to the sweet science, Price had only one amateur fight prior to turning pro on July 14, 2007. He scored a TKO1 when opponent Johnny White did not answer the bell for round two.
Under the tutelage of trainer Roy Jones Sr., Price picked up another three knockout victories over the next seven months, being extended past the first round just once.
A year of inactivity followed before he returned to the ring on March 21, 2009, in his first fight outside of Mississippi. Scheduled to fight Kevin Howard in his first six-rounder, Price went the distance for the first time, winning a majority decision, at the Civic Center, in Pensacola, Florida.
On December 18, 2009, Price faced off against the experienced 28-bout veteran Julius Long. It was an unusual circumstance for the 6’7” Price as he was fighting someone even taller than him in the 7’1” Long. With scores of 59-55, and 58-56 twice, Price defeated Long via unanimous six-round decision.
In his seventh pro bout, Price challenged fellow undefeated prospect Tor Hamer, who entered the ring at 11-0. The bout took place in Hamer’s hometown of New York City, at Madison Square Garden, as part of the undercard to the junior welterweight championship between Amir Khan and Paulie Malignaggi, on May 15, 2010. Negating his adversary’s aggression with his jab and footwork, Price went on to outpoint Hamer by split decision over six frames. In round two, referee Benjy Esteves Jr. ruled a knockdown against Hamer when it appeared that the ropes held him up after getting hit by a Price barrage. Scorecards read 58-55 twice for Price, while the dissenting vote had Hamer skimming ahead by one point, 57-56.
Price concluded 2010 with two first-round knockout wins against Marvin Ray Jones (at 1:19) and Tony Foster (at 2:29), on July 3 and November 5, respectively, both in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
In 2011, Price earned three six-round unanimous decisions; against Ija Flappingeagle, on April 8, Joseph Rabotte, on August 20, and Duncan Dokiwari-conqueror Stacy Frazier, on October 14. Demonstrating his dominance, Price lost just two rounds in all three fights combined.
Price started off 2012 back in Mississippi, fighting at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, on April 20. Moving up to the 10-round limit, Price decisioned Arron Lyons, with scores of 99-91, and 98-92 twice.
On December 15, 2012, Price challenged 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder, 25-0 (25 KOs), at the Sports Arena, in Los Angeles, in a bout televised by SHOWTIME. After dominating Wilder with his awkward style for two rounds, Price was caught with his hands down and was tagged by an overhand right that dropped him for a full count.
Five of Price’s six knockouts have come in the first round. During the summer of 2011, Price gained valuable experience sparring with then WBA heavyweight champion David Haye in preparation for the Englishman’s July 2011 unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko.