Leeds boxer Hope Price set for global exposure on Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr undercard
Hope Price will join an exclusive band of fearless Britons abroad when he has his second professional bout on the undercard of the world heavyweight title rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr in Riyadh.
The Leeds teenager will be one of the home fighters to box on the Saudi Arabia card, along with Joshua, Dillian Whyte and Tom Little, who faces one of Joshua’s amateur conquerors Magomedrasul Medzhidov.
Price, whose own amateur career peaked with Youth Olympics gold in Buenos Aires last year, believes his extensive experience of fighting abroad will make him well equipped to cope with his unusual surroundings.
“I’ve already fought all around the world and competed in big fights with gold medals at stake,” said Hunslet Club fighter Price. “These are the opportunities I always dreamed of.
“It will be a part of boxing history like the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manila, and I will always be able to look back and tell people that I boxed on this show.”
Price will fight Swedi Mohamed across four, three-minute rounds of a super-bantamweight contest tomorrow night.
“I want to thank Matchroom for this opportunity of fighting on a stage like this in only my second professional fight,” said the 19-year-old.
“When I got the phone call it was like Christmas come early and I am looking to shine and put on a show in front of the world.
“I am just trying to take it all in now and it doesn’t seem so long ago that Anthony Joshua was sat on the bottom table when Carl Froch fought George Groves.
“I hope that in a couple of years I will be sat up there in some big fights.”
Price will come quickly back down to earth as he dreams of major bouts of his own in the future.
He is already pencilled in for his third professional bout in Bethnal Green, London, on Thursday, December 19.
Saudi Arabia’s bid to project itself as a venue for big fights has already seen Amir Khan beat Billy Dib in Jeddah in July, and the world super-middleweight title bout between Callum Smith and George Groves.
They followed a tradition of British boxers fighting in unconventional venues abroad, most noteably Chris Eubank’s self-proclaimed ‘world tour’ which took him to Cairo and the United Arab Emirates.
Rendered relatively unsaleable after a string of passive performances, WBO cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson took his career on the road and fought in Thailand and Brazil, where he was almost robbed of his fight purse by bandits.
Hull journeyman Tony Booth accepted a bout against Mohammed Guenif in Algeria at the height of the country’s civil war, where fans made throat-slitting gestures as he made his way to the ring.
Booth, who later also fought in Lagos, said: “To be honest I think I could have won the fight but I don’t think that would have been a very good thing to do.”