HIGH hopes have always been held for Horsforth’s Ellis Price on the boxing front; hope being the operative word.
The 15-year-old’s older brother Hope Price is currently competing at the World Youth Championships in Hungary with the Youth Olympics in Argentina next on the big brother’s agenda.
Both schooled at home and trained at the Hunslet Club, Ellis has grown up with his older sibling claiming titles left, right and centre and that, he admits, has a natural downside.
“It’s like he has done well so everybody automatically expects you to do well,” admits the Leeds-born 54kg boxer.
Twenty-five wins from 27 fights later, Ellis is justifying the expectation with the teen heading for the European Junior Championships in Russia en route he hopes to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
At just 15 years of age, national and Tri-Nations champion Ellis is preparing for a daunting trip and sporting assignment that even Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions fell short at.
Around three months on from England’s football World Cup bid falling short in Russia, Price will set off for the same destination seeking gold in the European Junior Championships in Anapa at the end of October with his brother’s exploits elsewhere meaning the teen will have to go it alone.
The boxer’s dad – who is also called Hope – had planned to travel with Ellis to his Europeans assignment yet a date at the Youth Olympics for his eldest son Hope will instead take the proud dad to Buenos Aires in Argentina.
While plans regarding flights are still fluid, Hope and his father look likely to be jetting back to England the day that Ellis sets out on his own mission to conquer the European Junior Championships, one year after he took bronze in the European Schoolboy Championships last summer. Rather like his older brother, from Schoolboys to Juniors to Youths to the Olympics – Ellis is intent on going all the way with the teen feeling blessed to be in a situation to follow his brother’s lead. Ellis told the YEP: “What Hope is doing is good because he gives me advice and experience, telling me stories about what happened. From that side it’s really good.
“The downside of it is a bit of pressure because everybody thinks you are his little brother and you have got to win!
“It’s like he has done well so everybody automatically expects you to do well.
“But I can cope with it. I have only been beaten twice so in a way I’ve handled it well.
“To be fair I haven’t been beaten in England for four years and my record is 27, lost two, won 25.
“I’m going for Paris 2024 and I think there’s a good chance of that because I will be the perfect age for it.
“I will be 21 when I go there so I think I will be at the peak – not too old and not too young.”
Further down the line, there is every chance of a third Price brother excelling in the boxing ring through nine-year-old Morales whom Ellis and Hope both have high hopes for.
Ellis, meanwhile, only turned 15 earlier this year and the teen will largely face opponents who are one year older than him at his forthcoming assignment at the Junior Europeans in October.
Boxers have two years at each of Schoolboys, Juniors and then Youth level with Ellis still in first year of the Juniors category meaning he will also be able to compete in the European Junior Championships in 2019.
“I think I am the only one in the squad who got picked a year younger,” said Ellis.
“But I think it’s a bit better for the younger ones like me because not many people are expecting you to go out there and do well because they think you are a year younger and not strong enough and that.
“But I think in a sense they are underestimating me.
“I am a year younger but I am going to prove them wrong.
“After the next two years I will then go up to Youth and when you get to Youth level you get the Youth Commonwealths, the Youth Worlds and the Youth Olympics.” By the end of the year, big brother Hope will have competed at all three of the biggest competitions that Youth boxing has to offer with Hope having competed in last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
His younger brother is now confident that his older sibling will ultimately board the plane to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. “I definitely think Hope has got a good chance of getting there,” said Ellis.
“I think if he comes back with a medal from these Worlds and the Youth Olympics then I think he will get to GB level and he might get fast tracked to Tokyo 2020 hopefully, fingers crossed. I definitely think he’s good enough.”
Four years on, Ellis is then hoping that the Paris Games will present his optimum opportunity to shine though the teen is already pondering later life as a professional and ultimately a bid to follow in the footsteps of Leeds’ new world champion.
Hope and Ellis were present alongside their dad to witness Josh Warrington become IBF featherweight champion of the world when defeating Lee Selby with Ellis already dreaming of what might be further down the line. “I didn’t expect him to win to be honest,” admitted Ellis. “I thought Lee Selby would go there and be the better boxer and beat him but he just had the better night and he deserved to win the fight.
“It was a really good atmosphere, a really good fight and I wish Josh all the best. It makes it better for us because he has now given us a pathway to doing that with the use of Leeds Arena and Elland Road.
“If they have done it once then they will do it again.”
Assessing his own longer terms aims and ambitions, Ellis admitted: “I want to go to the Olympics and I want to get a gold medal hopefully.
“Then I want to turn pro and I want to become a world champion but I don’t just want to be a normal world champion.
“I want to be the undisputed super champion.
“We are both home-schooled and I find it easier because I can train when I want to train because when you go to school you go to school and then you come home and you can only have a certain amount of time training.
“Now I can wake up, go for a run, do a bit of work and then carry on training.
“But it’s all about the boxing and that’s what I want to be when I am older. I train every day, train twice a day and everything is geared towards boxing really – it’s boxing, boxing, boxing.”