Both Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall believe they can be in contention for world titles within 18 months of the Olympic gold couple announcing they will turn professional with BOXXER and Sky Sports.
Price, who won middleweight gold in Tokyo where Artingstall won featherweight bronze, said they had a stack of offers, some of which were life-changing before picking BOXXER.
Price will make his debut in early May, while Artingstall will be performing in Manchester in June.
The couple, who are real couple, have not boxed since Tokyo and Artingstall said they originally considered staying amateur for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer. Price, however, who has won Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games gold as an amateur, said the decision was a “no-brainer”.
“It’s been a while since Tokyo but over the past four years and the cycle we’re in, we needed this break to get away from boxing, be in Sheffield full time and the added extra year with Covid “Price said. . “It was good to go to Tokyo and experience the limelight. We were at different events, the GQ Awards and all that, it was good to experience that and we went on vacation and had downtime.
But she said the two quickly grew weary of the celebrity lifestyle.
“After about three months we got a bit fed up, we wanted to get back into shape,” Price said. “We had gained some weight and just wanted to get back to the gym and get fit again.
“I’ve won gold in every major tournament, so for me that was a no-brainer. From the age of eight, my dream was to go to the Olympic Games. I realized that I needed a new lens.
Price has a win over Savannah Marshall on her record, but will box as a welterweight as a professional.
“I’m small for middleweight,” Price said. “Back when I started on the amateur scene, welterweight wasn’t there and I was ranked middleweight and then I won a few medals and became world No. 1, so it made sense to stay there. In the pros, I will move up to welterweight.
“I’ve been on the scene with Savannah and Clarissa (Shields) and what they did, putting it on the map, in 2012 and Rio and now the standard is getting better and better. The shows in Savannah headliners aren’t just great for women’s boxing, they’re great for women’s sports.
“Me and Sav get along really well and right now we’re in two different weight classes. It’s not something I thought about. I’m just going to focus on my lane.
“Even if we have an amateur past, being professional is something else. Obviously, we will go a little faster, but I just try to take a small step forward each time. 14-18 months is realistic.
Artingstall sees herself on the same timescale but says she needs to learn the ropes as a pro.
“I know it’s the same sport, but we have to become a professional fighter,” Artingstall said. “I want to step up every fight I have and that’s how much I step up. I think it will be relatively quick.
“I’m going to debut at featherweight, but I could move up to super bantamweight.
“I would say it’s a bit busier at super bantam than featherweight for me, so I’ll see where I fit in. I watch pretty much every boxing show that’s on the air, so I know pretty much every female fighter that’s around.
“In my head, I was always going to the Commonwealth Games, but I hadn’t realized how much women’s boxing is gaining momentum among professionals. I obviously won a medal and everyone kind of jumped on us, promoters, managers, people we hadn’t even heard of before just messaged us.
“That’s when we decided to sit down and have a real conversation, because we’re both 27 and I don’t want to be old and gray by staying in the sport. The offers that we were receiving, some of them were life changing, so we started to think about it properly.
Ron Lewis is an editor for BoxingScene. He was a boxing correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001 to 2019 – covering four Olympics and numerous world title fights around the world. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.