When first saw Lauren Price I didn’t look at her gender, I saw the talent. Price was one of the standouts of the 2020 Olympics. An undersized middleweight fighting at a mere five-feet, five inches, she outclassed her opponents with fundamental boxing ability from a southpaw stance. Add a piston jab, and a powerful straight left that was hardly ever telegraphed–it was clear that to me Price wasn’t someone to watch for in women’s boxing – Price was THE fighter in women’s boxing to watch for.
As cited in a BBC Sport Wales article in 2021 (https://www.bbc.com/sport/
Before she hit her 30th birthday she achieved all of them.
By the age of 13, Price was having to compete against adults in kickboxing, but it was deemed unfair to put her in with people her age. Not unlike another boxing fable of a male boxer, “Iron” Mike Tyson. Price was intensely driven, in the same BBC article it stated she would train kickboxing for three to four hours a day at the ages of nine and ten years old. At this age, I was watching “Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego?” and hoping to get a few questions right.
The overarching theme of Price’s journey is simple. She always believed she was great, and she entered a male-dominated sport, such as kickboxing and boxing, and demanded her respect. Price is unapologetic, and that is what is so interesting in only her fourth pro fight she is already fighting in an eight-round bout. By the end of the year, Price should fight in either a title eliminator or for the belt itself, given the politics of the sanctioning bodies.
Her life journey as I depicted prior on NYFights.com reads like a Roald Dahl novel. A famed football player, a lifelong athlete, who seemingly was always the best at whatever she did, caught the boxing bug and never looked back, even becoming a taxi driver at one point.
“Your initial thoughts are ‘is she just awkward or is she good?',” the coach of Team GB, Rob McCracken, said of Lauren Price to the BBC. “That's your first thought because it's early days. Then you quickly realize she was really good. Loads of potential.”
Price would win, and win a bit more. COVID-19 would happen, and eventually, she would find herself in the Olympics representing Team Great Britain, yet it is the humanity she evinces that make her so much more interesting. Price continues to achieve great things, yet be as vulnerable as I have seen a professional athlete being groomed for stardom. These were my very thoughts when she spoke to Sky Sports.
“[Zemfira Magomedalieva] was proper banging the pads,” Price told Sky Sports. “She was looking at me and laughing and I was thinking, ‘Bloody hell, she can bang.’”
Magomedalieva was a member of the Russian Olympic Committee, a team formed in the wake of WADA banning Russia for four years from events on December 9th, 2019. So essentially, Russian athletes could compete, but couldn't raise the Russian flag, but some half-hearted Olympic flag hybrid banner, and had to be selected by the IOC.
Price would outbox Magomedalieva, who was a fierce but limited puncher en route to a gold medal at the Olympics, but then came to the wake. Not unlike the day after the Super Bowl in America, or after a major in golf – what do you do next after a major life achievement?
As Price and her partner, fellow team GB medalist, and world-renowned as one of the hardest punchers in women’s boxing, Karriss Artingstall, who won a bronze medal at the Olympics in 2020, seemingly were in limbo. They attended an event on a Matchroom card in Eddie Hearn’s backyard, and nothing came of that.
I firmly suspected Price would become a two-time gold medalist, but instead, she turned pro last June at 145 lbs. defeating a fighter with a record of 5-2, Valgerdur Gudstensdottir, in a scheduled six-round bout, on a card promoted by Sky Sports’ Boxxer.
Price’s second pro fight was on the all-women’s boxing card, which saw Claressa Shields defeat Savannah Marshall, and Alycia Baumgardner become a star against Mikaela Mayer. Price knocked out a developmental opponent. Now in her third pro fight, Price is looking to make a statement, as she is already in eight-round professional fights. She faces Naomi Mannes, who has a record of 6-1, with her lone defeat being to Kirstie Bavington, the woman Sandy Ryan defeated in her professional debut.
“I've always been known for my technical ability I suppose. I've got fast hands, fast feet, and stuff like that, but I suppose that's the difference with the pro game, it's about putting bums on seats and being a bit more exciting,” said Price to Sky Sports’ John Dennen in reference to her upcoming fight this Saturday in Paris.
Price is moving towards the world titles, the question now is what division, 147 or 140? She is right in the middle. I know that interesting fights await her as Chantelle Cameron, Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano, Mikaela Mayer, Sandy Ryan, and many others all lurk around her weight class. Price seems uninterested in taking a slow road to the top. It seems she’d rather be fast-tracked.
Fighting in Paris, France, as an undercard attraction to 2016 Olympic super heavyweight Tony Yoka (who fights Carlos Takam), Price is not just a potential world champion, she is a potential star. Here is an interesting public figure with a compelling life story who seems to always have success at the highest levels of anything she puts her mind to.
“I was proud to represent Great Britain all over the world in my amateur career and going to Paris, where I qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, for my third professional bout gives me a similar feeling, said Lauren Price, who now has MBE bestowed to her name. “I know that Naomi Mannes recently challenged for the European title so she’s definitely a step up in competition. I can’t wait to get over to France and show the world what I’ve been working on.”
“Lauren Price MBE is one of the most decorated amateur fighters in history from these shores,” stated BOXXER Founder and CEO Ben Shalom. “We were so delighted to sign her last year after her Olympic Gold, that was the culmination of one of the most impressive amateur wins in modern time.”
Price is someone to watch for as I have a strong suspicion that BOXXER and Sky Sports are gearing up to give her a huge push this year. That makes sense, as Lauren Price should be the women’s boxing prospect of 2023.