Leeds boxer Hopey Price vows to be Josh Warrington's heir ahead of bout on Dalton Smith vs Sam O'maison undercard

Leeds boxer Hopey Price may only be 22 but already has his sights set on being the future of boxing in his city.

By Tom Coates
Saturday, 6th August 2022, 9:24 am

Price is preparing to to take on Nicaraguan fighter Alexander Mejia this weekend on the undercard of the clash between Sheffield boxers Dalton Smith and Sam O’maison.

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He may have only signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing less than three years ago but he has confidence in abundance and is certainly not short of ambition.

Hopey Price will take on Alexander Mejia this weekend. Image: Steve Riding

"I'm looking to start bringing these big nights to Leeds,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post. "It's not going to be long that Josh Warrington's got left so I'm looking to take over.

“He's brought boxing back to Leeds. Leeds wasn't known as a pretty boxing city but he's brought some big nights back to Leeds and I've had the opportunity to box on a few of the undercards.

"It's good that he's brought it back but I'm going to be the one to keep it going.”

Utilita Arena Sheffield will be the venue for Price’s fight on Saturday but he is already dreaming of headlining cards at iconic Leeds venues, just as Warrington has.

"Looking into the near future, I think obviously it will start with the [First Direct] Arena,” he explained. “Then obviously as I get up to bigger and better fights, hopefully one day it will be Elland Road and Headingley Stadium.

"I'm still young but I'm on the big stage and the hard work has paid off.”

Confidence can lead to complacence but Price has insisted he is well aware of the calibre of opponent he is preparing to face.

"It'll be a very tough one, he's [Mejia] got a good record,” he said. “I don't underestimate any opponent but I believe you're going to see the best of me on Saturday night and I'm going to put on a very special performance.”

A back injury has kept Price out of action for a lengthy spell and Saturday’s bout will mark his return.

The possibility of ring rust, however, does not appear to be a concern for the man who honed his craft in his early days at The Hunslet Club.

"I'm feeling good, I feel like I've had a long time out due to the injury but I'm back now and I'm firing on all cylinders,” he said. "I'm in tip-top condition.

"I've just been working on little things. I believe what I always work on in the gym, you only see bits of that in fights. I believe as I keep stepping up and boxing better fighters, you'll see a better me.”

Having debuted as a professional in 2019 after being trained as an amateur by his dad, Price is still a relative newcomer on the boxing scene.

When asked to deliver a message to those who have not yet seen him in action, he had some simple advice.

“Don't blink,” he said. "I'll show the real art of the sport, to hit and not get hit.

“Make sure you tune in, it's going to be special."

The fight will be streamed on DAZN.