Boxing star who ditched international football can be the ‘next Katie Taylor’ – EXCLUSIVE | Boxing | Sport

Boxing star who ditched international football can be the 'next Katie Taylor' - EXCLUSIVE | Boxing | Sport

Ben Shalom believes Lauren Price can reach the same levels of stardom enjoyed by Katie Taylor as she prepares to challenge for her first world title next month. Price, an Olympic gold medallist who gave up an international football career to focus on boxing, will take on Jessica McCaskill for the WBA, IBO and Ring Magazine welterweight titles.

Price has won all six of her professional fights to date and will be desperate to claim a seventh victory against McCaskill in Cardiff next month. Her route into boxing was an unusual one, with the 29-year-old excelling at several sports in her formative years including taekwondo, kickboxing and football.

She was a kickboxing world champion at the age of 12 and played football for several years with Cardiff City, while she also represented Wales at international level. Price captained her nation’s under-19 side before making her senior debut in 2012, but gave up on football two years later to devote herself to boxing.

Now firmly established as one of Britain’s most exciting female fighters, promoter Shalom believes she is destined to become a national hero in Wales just as Taylor has done in Ireland.

Discussing her upcoming title fight against McCaskill, which will be shown live on BBC Wales, Shalom told Express Sport: “It’s another big fight that someone has taken very early in their career. You never know how a fighter will deal with pressure.

“We know what Jessica McCaskill is like. She’s going to stick it on Lauren and she is going to be aggressive and Lauren is going to have to deal with that. But she wants to break records, she’s always broken records. She’s the most decorated amateur this country has even seen [and] a gold medallist.

“There’s a lot of pressure on her shoulders and the option of going to Cardiff with the pressure on, she’s fighting a multi-weight world champion who is still a world champion, it’s a great grudge match where we might see the creation of a new star.

“We’ve seen what Katie Taylor has done in Ireland, we’ve also seen Savannah Marshall has done in Newcastle and Natasha Jonas in Liverpool. Lauren Price can have the same effect [in Wales] with the right environment. That’s what starts on May 11.”

Price will face her toughest test to date against McCaskill, a current two-weight world champion who is among the best pound-for-pound female boxers on the planet. However, she will be confident of pulling off an impressive victory in front of her adoring Welsh fans at the Utilita Arena.

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