'Generational talent' Price ready to seize 'superstar' moment

Jessica McCaskill and Lauren Price pose at press conference
Follow live text commentary and radio from 22:00 BST on 11 May on BBC Sport website & app, and watch the fight live on BBC Wales from 21:00 BST [Getty Images]

Promoter Ben Shalom says “once in a generation sporting star” Lauren Price will become a “superstar” when she faces Jessica McCaskill on Saturday.

Olympic champion Price, 29, will fight for the WBA, IBO and Ring Magazine welterweight titles at Cardiff's Utilita Arena.

Price's bid to claim her first professional world title will be shown live and free-to-air on BBC Wales in a simulcast with Sky Sports.

The Welsh boxer is challenging for a world title in only her seventh professional bout, but Shalom says he is happy to take the risk of matching her with McCaskill, 39, a former undisputed world champion who has not lost at welterweight.

“It’s a risk but Lauren has not lost a round since turning professional,” Shalom told BBC Sport Wales.

“We are going to see a superstar born on Saturday night.”

Shalom said he believes Price can do for Wales what Katie Taylor has done for Ireland as she bids to become Wales’ first female world champion and 14th in all.

“Lauren is fighting a pioneer of women’s boxing, but she is an athlete who breaks records,” Shalom said.

“This is one of the biggest tests we could give Lauren. I think she is just so important for Wales. It’s a huge moment in Welsh sporting history.”

Price, who was awarded an MBE in 2021, says she views the fight as merely the next step in her professional career.

“I want to build a legacy,” she said.

“I want to be a multiple weight world champion and I fully believe I can achieve that.”

Price, who will be boxing in front of her own fans for the first time, says she has been “overwhelmed” with the amount of support she has received.

“I can’t thank the Welsh fans and public enough,” she said.

“I can’t wait to put on a show for them.

“I will try and soak it all in and enjoy myself. But when we get to the ring it is game on.”

McCaskill says she will “break hearts” and silence the home fans when she faces Price, who she says is the hardest opponent she could have faced.

“The excitement is coming here to Wales and defending my titles,” McCaskill said.

“I haven’t come here to lose my titles. I have come to impress and build my fanbase. I don’t expect to lose and I don’t anticipate the fight going the distance.

“I have taken the hardest fight possible because I want to fight the best.”

Analysis, BBC Sport Wales boxing writer Michael Pearlman

Boxxer opted for a ‘pay for the venue you want to fill in the future’ approach for their pre-fight press conference, opting to book the Cardiff City Stadium.

Promoter Shalom has promised he will continue to try to build up Price in her own country, with big nights of boxing in Wales featuring Welsh fighters few and far between since the retirement of Joe Calzaghe 16 years ago.

Shalom added that Price has sold more tickets at this stage of her career than any of the men he currently promotes who are now competing in stadium fights.

We might not be at a stage yet where Price is able to fill her home stadium, but there is little doubt among Welsh boxing fans that Price is on her way to fighting at that level.

With former undisputed light-welterweight champion Chantelle Cameron and WBO welterweight champion Sandy Ryan both expected to be interested ringside observers on Saturday night, Price’s future - should she come through the McCaskill test - could be clear sooner rather than later.