Olympic gold medallist Lauren Price steps up to the first eight-rounder of her professional career against Naomi Mannes tonight in Paris.
Price has had top-class preparation for the contest, with her partner, and fellow Olympic medallist, Karriss Artingstall providing the final spar.
“She never goes easy on me. She always tries to hit me with cheap shots!” Price laughed.
But she noted: “We know how to help one another. For her, she wouldn’t want me to go easy on her and vice versa. We just help each other. She’s fast as well so that’s good for my speed. It’s a good spar.”
Price will fight Mannes on the undercard of the Tony Yoka versus Carlos Takam heavyweight clash in Paris on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
Tokyo bronze medallist Artingstall isn’t the only elite sparring partner who has been whipping Price into shape for this fight. GB boxers Cindy Ngamba and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rosie Eccles have been giving her hard rounds.
“Two of the top, top girls in Britain. For me, I think Cindy, she’s right up there. She was sparring Savannah [Marshall] when she had the fight coming up with [Claressa] Shields. I think she’s going to be the next one coming through,” Price told Sky Sports.
“Obviously you’ve got Rose, she don’t stop. A hundred miles an hour, got a hell of a gas tank. I’ve been doing some good rounds with her. When I’m sparring her that’s when I know my fitness is there because she’s non-stop.”
In fact, Price knows for Mannes that, objectively, she is fitter, faster and stronger than ever.
“I’ve been hitting my numbers as well,” she said. “I like to go over my PBs, on my 1k and all my runs, whether I’m running eight-twos or doing a few miles. So what numbers I’m hitting, I’m hitting good numbers, I know I’m in a good place.
“When I know them numbers are there and that’s been ticked off, the mental side comes in there.
“I’ve obviously done all the hard work. It’s just a mental thing then, just going out and performing and putting on a show.”
Having more rounds to work with should give Price more opportunity to display the skills that made her the most successful amateur boxer in Welsh boxing history. She won Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth gold medals in her stunning GB career.
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“I feel like as the rounds go on I get better, pick my shots better and when you look at it, it’s only an extra four minutes from six rounds. Two minutes they fly by,” Price said ahead of her first eight-rounder.
“I can use my boxing and just see how the fight goes and go from there really. Eight rounds I’m looking forward to stepping up.
“She’s a step up as an opponent as well and obviously I feel like the better the opponent, the better I’ll perform as well.”
She is adapting to professional boxing and is expecting to face an opponent utterly determined to spring an upset.
“I know she’ll be coming full force and wanting to win. She’s got nothing to lose,” Price said. “She’s a bit of boxer.”
But she added: “I can box, I can have a tear up and when I’ve got to dig deep, I’ll dig deep.
“I’ve come across every style possible around the world,” Price concluded. “It’ll be nothing new to me, no matter what she brings.”
Watch Lauren Price on the Tony Yoka vs Carlos Takam bill live on Sky Sports from 7.30pm