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Lauren Price: I want to be Wales’ version of Katie Taylor

09 May 2024 3 minute read
Former Olympic gold medallist Lauren Price. Photo Bradley Collyer/PA Wire.

Lauren Price wants to become Wales’ version of boxing great Katie Taylor.

Price is bidding to be Wales’ first female boxing world champion in just her seventh professional fight on Saturday, with the undefeated fighter stepping up in class against American Jessica McCaskill for WBA, IBO and Ring Magazine welterweight world titles.

Olympic gold

The 29-year-old, from Ystrad Mynach in the Rhymney Valley, emulated Taylor’s Olympic success at London 2012 by winning middleweight gold in Tokyo three years ago, and she believes upsetting McCaskill on home soil will launch her pro career along similar lines to Irish star Taylor.

“I believe this fight is the start of something special,” Price said ahead of a showdown that is expected to be a sell-out at Cardiff’s Utilita Arena.

“I want to go and achieve so much. To create a Welsh legacy, be in massive fights, and be an undisputed and multi-weight world champion.

“You’ve seen what Katie Taylor has done for Ireland and I want to do the same for Wales.

“She’s a legend all over the world, but in Ireland the fans come out to see her, they travel to Vegas and all over.

“To have my fan base like that, starting on Saturday and to keep going, would be special. We’re a small nation like Ireland and we support our own too.”

McCaskill – who lost a unanimous points decision to Taylor at lightweight in 2017 – unified the WBA and WBC super-lightweight titles before moving up to welterweight to end Cecilia Braekhus’ decade-long reign in the division.

But the 39-year-old, who fights out of Chicago, is coming off the back of a defeat to Chantelle Cameron in her bid to become a two-weight undisputed champion and a September draw with Sandy Ryan.

‘Big step up’

Price said: “This fight is a big step up against a legitimate champion and she is going to ask questions of me at times.

“I’ve had six fights as a pro and won every single round comfortably using my boxing skills.

“I know I’m going to have to fight at times in this one. I haven’t done that yet but, I can assure everyone, when I do have to bite down on my gumshield and have a war I can do that as well.

“I’ve had 75 kilo Russians running at me in the amateurs. I respect that the amateurs are completely different from the pros, but once you’ve been across different styles you’ve experienced everything really.

“Even winning on Saturday won’t beat that Olympic medal. I don’t think people understand when I say that.

“You hear (Vasiliy) Lomachenko and (Oleksandr) Usyk say their gold medals mean everything to them because just to qualify for an Olympic Games is so hard.”

Thursday’s pre-fight press conference was held in a suite high up at Cardiff City Stadium – and Price could not resist gazing down on the pitch once it was over.

It is exactly 10 years since Price gave up an impressive football career to focus on boxing.

“I’ve played Champions League on this pitch and international games for Wales,” said Price.

“To box here and sell out this stadium is a dream. It’s something I want to do.”

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