Boxing: Prices are right for a tilt at Youth Olympics

GB, Tri Nations and England boxing champion Hope Price. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
GB, Tri Nations and England boxing champion Hope Price. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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WITH A European Championships silver and bronze medal between them, 2017 has been quite the year for Leeds boxing brothers Hope and Ellis Price.

The duo now hope 2018 will be even better with 17-year-old Hope targeting a place at the Buenos Aries Youth Olympics in October.

Hope Price.PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Hope Price.PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

En route to the actual Olympics at Tokyo 2020 that is, with 14-year Ellis dreaming of Paris 2024.

Yet the duo insist eight-year-old little brother Morales could be even better than both of them with a venue not even chosen for the Games the youngest sibling could target in 2032.

Hunslet Club duo Hope and Ellis are continuing to take boxing by storm with 52kg star Hope having taken a silver medal in October’s European Youth Championships in Hungary.

Hope’s success came just three months after 50kg ace Ellis secured a bronze at the European Schoolboys Championships in Romania in July.

Ellis and Hope Price, both of whom have won notable titles this year. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Ellis and Hope Price, both of whom have won notable titles this year. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Ellis will now step to Junior level next year with the fighter hoping to emulate his brother by winning a European Junior Championships gold.

The 14-year-old ultimately has his eyes on competing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, by which time he will be 21 years of age.

Hope, meanwhile, will be just 20 by the time his big aim comes knocking – the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Both could feasibly wait for the next cycle but the Price brothers are young boxers in a hurry and Hope sees no reason why both cannot fulfill their goals.

Hope told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I could do the 2024 Olympics but it’s all about timing and you’ve got to see what happens.

“And regards competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, I don’t see any reason why not.

“Next year is my last year in the Youths and then I turn senior so I will have already been a senior for a full year before the Olympics and I don’t see why not.

“You see the best in the world who do so well in the senior Olympics, the Cubans and all the other ones, and most of them are pretty young.

“Some of the older ones go a bit stale and it’s the younger and fresher ones who do well. It’s almost like you have not nothing to lose as well.”

For Hope, 2018 will now be key to fulfilling his dreams of boarding the plane to Tokyo 2020. After the national championships in January, the Leeds ace will look to go one place better than this year’s silver medal attempt at next year’s European Youth Championships in April.

The World Youth Championships will then take place in August but the 17-year-old’s main aim for the year will present itself in October and for that April’s Europeans are key.

“The main aim is to qualify for the Youth Olympics,” Hope explained.

“That’s the main goal that I have and I obviously want the gold medal.

“And if you win gold at the Europeans then you automatically qualify for the Youth Olympics or if not you have got a chance in the World Championships in August.

“I think you have got to get to the last eight in those to qualify.

“This year I got a silver medal in the Europeans against boys a year above my age but I am always hard on myself and next year against my own age I reckon I can go back for the gold medal.

“Then I’d know that I’d qualified for the Youth Olympics and I could go to the World Championships without any pressure.

“Winning the Europeans next year would be like a two in one really, you’d be European champion again and you’d automatically qualify for the Youth Olympics. And getting there would be a very big stepping stone for me to go on and do the 2020 Olympics.”

Assessing his even longer term plan, Ellis admitted: “I want to go for 2024 Olympics because I’ll be 21 so that’s what I am trying to aim at.

“There’s a lot of years to come before that so I have just got to take it one step at a time.

“Hopey helps me out a lot and it’s hard training with him because he is very intense.

“He wants to see you do well so he pushes you to the limit so that’s why I think I am doing so well.”

But better still, both brothers amazingly agree that the youngest brother of the three could be even better than both of them.

Morales is still very young in his development but Ellis laughed: “I’ll say I am better than Hopey but Hopey will say he is better than me but Morales is probably the best. He’ll probably try for 2032 or something like that!

“He’s just natural talent and his name says it all – Morales – named after a Mexican boxer.

“He’s got to be good. He’s got big shoes to fill.”

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