Middleweight preview: Wales' first female Olympic boxer backed to make even more history

Lauren Price is a clear favourite to sweep up in Tokyo and she can do it in style...

Top seed: Lauren Price

Price is possibly the most talented fighter in the Team GB squad.

A former kickboxing world champion and with more than 50 caps for the Welsh women's national soccer side, Price could have easily settled in either sport.

However, in 2014 she made a decision to invest her time in boxing. With little funding given to support her in Wales, Price worked on weekends as a taxi driver to contribute towards her dream of becoming a world class boxer.

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The 26-year-old is looking to add an Olympic gold to her World, European Games and Commonwealth titles.

"The Olympics mean the world to me and if I was to go and win a gold medal it would top everything in my career," Price told the Duke of Cambridge in an interview with BBC Sport.

"I remember being sat in the living room with my Nan and Grandad watching the Olympics and seeing Kelly Holmes win gold, and at the time I didn't know what sport I wanted to do, I just wanted to go to the Olympic Games."

Previous winner: Claressa Shields

Arguably the greatest female fighter of all-time. Shields won the middleweight category in 2012 and 2016 before turning over as a professional.

The American has continued to create history, becoming the quickest three-division world champion in the history of the sport.

It took her 10 fights to achieve the accomplishment, beating Vasilily Lomachenko's previous record of 12.

Shields is also the only fighter to hold four major world titles simultaneously in two divisions - middleweight and super middleweight.

The only defeat in her career was to Savannah Marshall in the amateurs, someone who Price beat in 2015.

Ones to watch: Zemfira Magomedalieva, Nouchka Fontijn

Russia's Magomedalieva is ranked number four in the world and has tasted just two losses from 20 amateur bouts.

Her most recent fight ended in a points defeat to Price, who won via unanimous decision in France.

Magomedalieva's standout achievement was winning the 2019 World Championships.

Fontijn of Netherlands is the current European champion and won silver medals at the Rio Olympics and 2016 World Championships, losing 3-0 to Shields in both.

She has a wealth of experience, racking up 120 wins as an amateur with 20 defeats.

Interestingly, she has fought Price four times, winning twice in 2015 and 2018 but was on the receiving end of their two most recent encounters in 2019.

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