Leeds fight is ‘extra special’ for Hopey Price

HEADING into his sixth professional bout, Leeds’ unbeaten super bantamweight Hopey Price is no stranger to the big stage.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 8:23 am
Leeds boxer Hopey Price will take on Zahid Hussain at Emerald Headingley on Saturday. Picture: Leigh Dawney/Getty Images.

The 21-year-old is poised to take on fellow Leeds fighter Zahid Hussain on the undercard of Josh Warrington’s rematch with Mexican Mauricio Lara this weekend.

Price has fought in Manchester, Wembley Arena and in Saudi Arabia, on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s victory over heavyweight rival Andy Ruiz.

When Price makes the ring-walk at Headingley on Saturday night, it will be the first time he has boxed in his home city since he was a teenager.

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“It is the first time boxing in my hometown since I was 14, so I am looking forward to putting on a good performance,” he said. “My dream is to headline these shows one day but being on the undercard at this stage of my career is where I want to be.

“I like being on these big shows. I have been on a few already but this one is going to be extra special this weekend.”

Price is trained by former professional fighter and promoter Dave Coldwell in Rotherham and explained the influence the former flyweight has had on his career: “He has got all the experience in the world and I have come on so much as a fighter in the past two years under him.

“I believe it is a perfect match. We have got a very good relationship and I believe that together we can go right to the very top.”

Hopey Price celebrates beating Swedi Mohamed in Saudi Arabia on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s victory over heavyweight rival Andy Ruiz. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Price has not taken the easy road in the early stages of his pro career. He defeated the dangerous Jonny Phillips last year and just last month recorded a points victory over the previously-unbeaten Claudio Grande at Fight Camp.

“I was scheduled to be boxing on the Leeds show before Fight Camp. I was due to face Zahid Hussain on Fight Camp but because we are both from Leeds, it made more sense to do it in Leeds,” he explained.

“As a young fighter, I haven’t been able to box as much as I would like because of Covid.

“I want to keep busy, I am always in the gym and I am always ready so that is why I took both of these fights.”

Leeds boxer Zahid Hussain will take on Hopey Price at Emerald Headingley on Saturday. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Price feels Warrington has “opened the door” for young boxers in Leeds, with a number of homegrown talents set to feature on Saturday night’s card.

“He has brought attention to Leeds. It has been a massive part of my career,” he added.

“I want to go on and be a world champion just like him, he has opened the door for the younger fighters in Leeds.”

Price’s opponent, Zahid Hussain, who sits with a proud record of 16-1, is in agreement when it comes to the influence Warrington has had on boxing in his home city.

“If it wasn’t for Josh and the position he is in, we wouldn’t be fighting at Headingley,” said Hussain. The fight will be the biggest platform Hussain has had in his 17-fight career and he believes he has the quality to walk away with the victory.

“I have not really boxed at such a big venue, to be honest,” he said. “I thrive off a crowd, I would love to experience that. I have seen bits of Hopey, he is a good kid with good range but I believe I have got the skills to beat him.”