Will Lauren Price Follow Taylor and Shields To Become The Future Of Women’s Boxing?

April 25, 2024
4 weeks
Jessica McCaskill and Lauren Price during the fight announcement

Women’s boxing is the strongest it’s ever been. Never before have female fights headlined this many sold-out shows at major arenas around the world while earning its fighters unprecedented lucrative paydays.

The path has been paved by the trailblazers of the past. The likes of Barbara Buttrick in the 1940s and 50s, Jackie Tonawanda and Marian Trimiar in the 1970s and 80s, Christy Martin (active 1989-2012) and many others shattered perceptions and campaigned to give women’s boxing a platform.

Laila Ali – the granddaughter of legend Muhammad Ali – and Lucia Rijker (alongside Buttrick and Martin, the first woman inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame) then carried the torch through the turn of the century and elevated the female fight game to new levels.

Standing on the shoulders of these giants is the current generation, who have taken the mantel and carried women’s boxing to stratospheric levels. Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields hold similar superstar status as the biggest male boxers, while Amanda Serrano, Alycia Baumgardner, and Savannah Marshall are household names.

Taylor and Serrano made history in 2022 as the first women to headline an event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, while also becoming the first female fighters to pocket $1 million purses.

Price A British Sports Hero

With women’s boxing in such rude health, it’s an opportunity to look to the future to see who could carry the sport into the next generation.

One fighter who looks poised to play a major role in the sport’s future is Lauren Price.

The 29-year-old Welshwoman is a British sporting hero following her gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and she has leveraged her fame by building a rapidly expanding fanbase in the UK.

So much so that Price will headline at the Cardiff International Arena next month on May 11 in just her seventh professional bout. It helps that the WBA welterweight world title is on the line against champion Jessica McCaskill, but make no mistake, the fans are turning out to support Price.

More than talent and skill, it is the fanbase that transforms great fighters into superstars. Price has the support to rival many of the top male fighters – and with the backing of major promoters Boxxer and exposure on Sky Sports, it’s only going to keep expanding.

Price Bringing ‘Big-Time Boxing Back To Wales

With that comes an expectation to keep winning, but elite fighters thrive under such pressure, and Price appears to have that mindset.

“It’s great to bring big-time boxing to Wales,” Price told BBC Wales. “There’s a buzz around it, and I’m hoping it stays in Wales. I win this fight, and in the future, there’s even more big nights ahead with maybe bigger stadiums and bigger cards.

“I suppose there’s a different element to it because of the size of the fight, but it’s more exciting than anything else because this is what I wanted since I turned pro – with three titles on the line and boxing in front of my fans.”

Even next month’s opponent is backing Price to make a significant impact on the future of women’s boxing.

McCaskill has been the undisputed welterweight world champion since August 2020 and has made four successful defenses of her titles. The American has shared a ring with the best, suffering her only career defeats to Taylor and former undisputed super-lightweight world champion Chantelle Cameron, so her views on Price hold significant value.

McCaskill Predicts Bright Future

“I just see a young fighter that’s hungry and that seems to have a good team around her,” said McCaskill. “She seems to be very smart, and her team seem very connected, so I feel like I see a lot of things that I really like about her; her demeanor and the way that she speaks to her team and the way that she seems very comfortable and protected, because that’s really hard to find.

“You see these younger fighters and they’re coming up and they’re talking about money. They’re all blinged out or they’re talking about fashion or they’re distracted with multiple other things that they’re trying to do.

“And it’s like, you should probably just be training and fighting because you don’t play boxing. So, I see that in her, and I love it. I think it’s great. And after this fight, I hope the best for her.”

Victory over an established world champion like McAskill will inevitably and immediately transform Price into women’s boxing’s next big star. Defeat, meanwhile, will be far from fatal given the infancy of her career.

Regardless of the result, one thing appears certain: Lauren Price is in prime position to play a major part in the phenomenal progress of women’s boxing.