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'This matches my Olympic gold' - Lauren Price becomes Wales' first female world champion

'This matches my Olympic gold' - Price becomes Wales' first female world champion
© Reuters
Lauren Price becomes Wales' first female boxing world champion after outclassing Jessica McCaskill before the WBA welterweight champion was stopped due to a swollen eye.

Lauren Price has recorded a stoppage victory over Jessica McCaskill to become the WBA, IBO and Ring Magazine welterweight champion.

Despite competing in just her seventh professional fight, Price was fancied to dethrone the experienced title holder in Cardiff.

That is how it proved, the 29-year-old winning every round on the judges' scorecards before McCaskill's heavily-swollen eye forced the fight to be stopped at the end of the eighth round.

In overcoming the American, Price becomes Wales' first-ever women's world champion and Wales' 14th in total, setting up the prospect of some monster fights in the division.

How did the fight pan out?

There was an argument that McCaskill could have nicked at least one of the opening two rounds, both of them of a scrappy nature.

However, once the bout advanced into the third round and beyond, it was all Price, who was sharp and elusive in equal measure with McCaskill choosing to try to smother her work.

An accidental head clash in the fifth round caused the swelling around McCaskill's eye, yet the 39-year-old was already well on the way to a third professional defeat.

At the back end of the fight, McCaskill was reliant on wild punches in order to change the course of the contest, but Price never looked like losing her concentration given what was at stake.

When the ringside medics decided that McCaskill should be pulled out, it saved her from inevitable further punishment, allowing Price to celebrate reaching the top of her sport in less than two years after her professional debut.

What did Price have to say?

The natural comparisons were made to the gold medal that Price won at the Tokyo Olympics, with the new belt holder admitting that it at least matched that achievement.

Speaking after the fight, Price said: "This has got to be up there with winning a gold medal. Jessica McCaskill is a credit to the sport, but this was my night.

"I want to create a legacy and I honestly believe this is just the start. It took me a couple of rounds to find my rhythm, it was a tough fight, but I enjoyed myself in there tonight.

"I am only going to get better. I am still learning."

Elsewhere on the card, Welsh featherweight Rhys Edwards moved to 16-0 with a points win over Thomas Patrick Ward, while Hughie Fury marked his long-awaited return with a second-round stoppage of Patrick Korte.

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