Claressa Shields is the real deal but both Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall believe Savannah Marshall would still beat her.
Price and Artingstall both cannot wait for a fight between Shields and Marshall and have both just launched their own professional careers with BOXXER.
The rivalry between Shields and Marshall is intense and negotiations have nearly concluded for their undisputed world middleweight title fight. Price and Artingstall, professional boxing’s newest entrants, would be watching intently should they meet.
“It’s the biggest fight out there,” Price said on Sky Sports News.
“It’s exciting to have the rivalry,” Artingstall added. “It doesn’t just happen within the male ranks; it happens with the female as well. I can’t wait to see the fight now.
“In my opinion, it’s the biggest female fight out there because of that rivalry and the amateur background they’ve both had; Savannah is the only person to beat Claressa.”
Shields had a heated face-off with Marshall in the ring after the latter defended her WBO title through a dramatic knockout of Femke Hermans.
“As much punch power as she [Marshall] has, I’m sorry to tell you, if that’s what I got to look forward to, it’s going to be a wipe out,” Shields said confidently.
“She’s [Marshall] going to have trouble with me and she’s definitely not going to knock me out. It’s just not going to take her one big punch to deal with me inside the ring. It’s going to take a lot.”
Artingstall believes that Shields has the performance levels to support her words but alongside Price, thinks Marshall will win if their pair clash in the ring.
“She [Shields] can back it up, she’s not all talk,” Artingstall said. “Her accolades, belts, trophies and medals speak for themselves. It will be a really, really good fight. A really exciting one.
“I believe that Savannah – if she goes in 100 per cent and trains as hard as she needs to – she’s got what it takes to just get the win.
“I think she [Marshall] beats her, 100 per cent,” Price concluded.
Both Price and Artingstall are starting their professional careers at the same time, which continues them on the trajectory of developing professional and personally together.
The duo, who are a couple, find comfort in having all elements of their lives intertwined, though don’t spar regularly together!
“It’s great to be on the journey together,” Price said. “It’s something different and something new.”
Price aims to be multi-weight world champion
Price, who won gold at the Olympic Games in the women’s middleweight, has very clear ambitions for her future in the professional ranks.
“I ticked every box as an amateur and it was the right time to turn,” she said. “My aim to become world champion, a multi-weight world champion undisputed and achieve as much as I can in the professional ranks.
“It’s hard work but it’s nothing that myself and Karriss haven’t done before. We’re training Monday to Friday every week putting the graft in, when you work hard you can achieve everything.”
Price grew up with sport central to her life, playing football and taking part in kickboxing from the age of eight.
She has 52 caps for Wales, played football for Cardiff City and knew she wanted to perform at the Olympic Games from a young age.
“Kelly Holmes was the one who inspired me watching the Olympics when I was eight-years-old,”Price said. “I didn’t know what sport I was going to do, but I just knew I wanted to get to the Olympics.
“In 2012, women’s boxing was introduced so that was the route, really, to switch over from kickboxing. I went down to my local boxing gym, they sent me down to Wales for the following squad, training with the national team, and then I had the chance to go to the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
“I just grabbed that chance with both hands, and I thought if boxing doesn’t work out for me, I could go back to playing football. But it did, I got a medal, and I went from there.”
Artingstall’s route to going pro and ambitions
Artingstall also turned to sport at a fairly young age and did so following challenging times in the education system.
“I got into boxing by being a little bit of a terror when I was younger. I was expelled from four different schools and wasn’t being accepted into any other ones,” she said.
“I joined a non-mainstream school and every Friday they went down to a local boxing gym. The coaches said they saw potential, so I stuck with it and went then three times a week.
“I joined the army as well, so I found my path through that way too. I’ve always been the kind of person who needs to be hands on and active. I took two years out of boxing when I joined the army and then got back into boxing through it as well.”
Like Price, Artingstall came home from the Olympic Games in Tokyo with a medal. She won bronze in the highly competitive women’s featherweight division. Artingstall, like her partner, is now crystal clear about her goals as a professional.
“I want to dominate in the weight category I decide to eventually fall in and box in. I’m going to debut at featherweight and potentially go down to super-bantamweight, time will tell with that. I want to be dominant.
“I don’t want to float between weights, I want to pick a weight and dominate at that weight. I want people to look at me and say, ‘She’s the best in that weight category, she’s the girl to beat’.”