Skip to content

Olympic medallists Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall to remain with GB Boxing after turning professional

Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall, who have signed long-term deals with BOXXER to fight on Sky Sports, both won medals at last year's Tokyo Olympics; the duo will continue to train under a team led by GB Boxing performance director Rob McCracken

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Olympic champion Lauren Price and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Karriss Artingstall are delighted to continue working with GB Boxing

Tokyo Olympic medallists Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall have become the first professional boxers to sign training and management contracts with GB Boxing, which runs the domestic sport's World Class Performance Programme.

Under the terms of the deal, the duo, who have already landed long-term promotional deals with BOXXER and will fight on Sky Sports, will continue to train under GB coaches in Sheffield, alongside the next generation of Olympic aspirants.

The new scheme, Podium2Pro, will see professional boxers not receive any funding, while they will pay a portion of their purses to GB Boxing in return for the coaching and facilities.

The team of coaches that Price and Artingstall will continue to train under is led by performance director Rob McCraken, who guided the professional careers of world champions Carl Froch and Anthony Joshua after they graduated from the GB set-up.

Price, who won middleweight gold in Tokyo, told Sky Sports News: "I'm just over the moon really. I don't really see myself training anywhere else.

Lauren Price, Karriss Artingstall
Image: Price (left) and Artingstall signed with BOXXER earlier this month

"Great facilities, you've got world-class coaches, a great man in Rob McCracken. I wouldn't really want my career in anyone else's hands.

"As we all know, the professional game is all new to us, so it's been a bit of a whirlwind, but I'm over the moon to stay up here and train. It's great to have the sparring as well, so it's a no-brainer really."

Also See:

Artingstall, who won featherweight bronze in Tokyo, told Sky Sports News: "It's amazing. There's everything here that you need to become a successful boxer. The proof's in the pudding. We've just had our most recent Olympics there with the best team we've had for 100 years.

"The coaches are second to none, the best coaches in the world in my opinion. It just feels like a family away from your own family. Away from the family this is your home.

Lauren Price MBE (PA Images)
Image: Lauren Price won middleweight gold at the Tokyo Olympics

"When we came back from the Olympics, I felt a bit lost until I walked back into these doors again. I felt back at home again, I felt comfortable. I wouldn't like to be anywhere else."

GB Boxing chiefs have determined an initial capacity for three professionals, all of whom, under current international boxing rules, have the possibility of continuing to represent Team GB at the Olympics as professionals.

However, GB Boxing chief executive Matt Holt stressed that the deal does not represent a move to optimise future Olympic options on behalf of the governing body, and that it has been made clear that the boxers on the programme will be favoured when it comes to selection issues.

Furthermore, a clause in the professional boxers' contracts makes clear that in the event of a clash between a professional bout and a significant event relating to the world-class programme, the latter must be prioritised.

"We had a great team at Tokyo 2020, but the vast majority of that team is transitioning into the professional ranks," Holt told Sky Sports News. "After the games we had a number of boxers that came to us and spoke to us about their plans and asked whether they'd be able to continue to train with us.

"We know the landscape is changing with pro boxers now eligible to compete at the Olympic Games, so we've been thinking about how to operate within that context for a while. So it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

"We've got a great culture here. We do whatever we can to make sure that the boxers feel comfortable, feel happy and have a great experience here. The fact that two Olympic medal-winning boxers want to remain with the programme is a great commendation for Rob McCracken and our whole coaching team, so we're obviously delighted.

"The fact that boxers of the quality of Lauren and Karriss will remain with the programme will help accelerate the development of those boxers already on the programme and targeting the next Olympic Games themselves, so that's a fantastic thing and it's a real priority for us."

McCracken's tutelage of Froch and Joshua was arranged in a private capacity, but the pair were able to mix with amateur boxers during previous Olympic cycles.

"We have previous experience of professionals, such as Anthony Joshua and Carl Froch, being based in the GB Boxing gym and there is no doubt that the boxers in the Olympic squad have benefited from training and working in the same environment as people of such high stature within the sport," McCracken said.

"Not only do the professionals provide high-quality sparring they are also inspiring and positive role models that are happy to pass on the benefits of their experience and help the younger boxers. They show our boxers what it takes to be successful and have a very positive impact on the quality of the training environment and the culture in our gym."

Around Sky