Golden boy Hope Price eyes Tokyo 2020 glory

HUNSLET CLUB teen Hope Price has the same dreams and aspirations as most emerging young boxers.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 1st November 2018, 9:44 am
Updated Thursday, 1st November 2018, 9:48 am
Leeds' newly-crowned Youth Olympics gold medallist boxer Hope Price at his Hunslet Club.
 PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds' newly-crowned Youth Olympics gold medallist boxer Hope Price at his Hunslet Club. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Win world titles as a professional. Before that, achieve the ultimate as an amateur with Olympic gold.

Yet no other boxer in British history can fuel that dream with a stronger record as a Youth boxer following the Horsforth fighter’s record-breaking triumph at the Youth Olympics Games.

After becoming his country’s first ever Youth Olympics boxing gold medallist, Price is now eyeing the same conclusion at Tokyo 2020 and only needs GB selectors to now quickly put him on the Elite team.

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Leeds' newly-crowned Youth Olympics gold medallist boxer Hope Price pictured with his youngest brother Morales. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Hunslet Club boxing star Price has enjoyed a week of downtime having made two pieces of history at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Beunos Aries, Argentina.

As well as winning Great Britain’s first gold at the 2018 Games, Price also became his country’s first ever Youth Olympics boxing gold medallist after his victory against Thailand’s Sarawut Sukthet in the men’s flyweight final.

An emphatic victory and stoppage after just 109 seconds not only saw Price make two bits of history but also sign off from the Youth boxing sphere in style with the teenager now faced with fighting open age.

But Price remains confident of achieving similar glories as an Elite boxer with the 18-year-old now hoping to be placed on the British senior team in Sheffield to have a tilt at Tokyo and admitting he will be disappointed if not given the chance.

Leeds' newly-crowned Youth Olympics gold medallist boxer Hope Price with his trainer Dennis Robbins. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“I have got some GB trials for the squad down at Sheffield so I am going to get myself ready for them,” Price told the YEP, assessing his next aims after Youth Olympics glory.

“I obviously want to get on the GB squad down there because that’s obviously the next step.

“I turn Elite and senior and I am not a Youth boxer any more after Christmas.

“I go into boxing any age, the head guards come off and hopefully I get on the GB team and move as fast as possible and get myself to Tokyo 2020 hopefully.

“There could be 10 boys on a team or a full GB squad and all of us could say we think we are ready for it.

“But I believe the best way to do it is that when you go out to the competitions, if you are bringing back the medals, let that do the talking.

“I have been to every major youth competition as an amateur boxer and I have medalled every time for the past four or five years whether that be European, Worlds and Olympics.

“I am probably the most successful youth amateur boxer from the men’s side that England has had so I couldn’t really do much more as a youth.

“Hopefully they give me a chance because I think I have proved that I am good enough to go on.

“If I didn’t get on the team it would be a bit strange and I would be thinking what else do I have to do?

“I believe that with another two years, with what I have got, then I will be ready to go.”

Price made steady progress through his bouts in the Youth Olympics before blowing away Thailand’s Sukthet in the final to add a Youth Olympics gold to the World Youth Championships silver medal and European gold bagged earlier this year.

The medals are stacking up for the Price family as a whole with 15-year-old Ellis remarkably competing at the Junior European Championships at the same time as Hope’s Youth Olympics exploits in Argentina and bagging bronze.

Nine-year-old youngest brother Morales will then be next into the ring with the winning mentality crystal clear.

“If I get on that plane and I qualify for Tokyo I would be going to Tokyo believing I can win the gold,” said Hope. “I have always been brought up like that, thinking it’s either gold or nothing.

Reflecting on the feeling of being Youth Olympics champion, Price beamed: “I am over the moon. There’s a lot of time that I have put into it and not just me, my dad, my mum, my brothers, everyone and all the people down at the club.

“They have all put a lot of time into me from when I was young and now I have won the pinnacle of what I could win in Youth amateur boxing.

“I have won the best thing that I could win and obviously being the first ever person from Great Britain to ever win it made it a little bit more special.

“I have made a bit of history and no-one can ever do that again.”