2024 will be the year of Lauren Price.

It might have seemed like 2023 was the year, what with the 29-year-old Welsh star extending her professional boxing record to unbeaten in six fights, seizing the first-ever female British title and being dubbed the next Joe Calzaghe amid a burgeoning career that promises to erupt into its own sonic boom.

2022 isn’t a bad shout either, when Price was handed an MBE by King Charles for her efforts in women’s boxing and began her new life as a professional. And of course there’s 2021. The year Price claimed Olympic gold in Tokyo after defeating reigning champion Li Qian of China in the middleweight division–becoming the first Welsh female to ever compete in, and win, the competition.

But 2024. That’s it. That’s the year women’s boxing will be moulded in the shape of Lauren Price.

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“There comes a time when the next generation comes through. I feel like it’s my time,” Price says. "Winning an Olympic gold medal, that's the pinnacle as an amateur boxer. So to turn professional, there's so many expectations for you to perform, to create greatness. We've seen it with Katie Taylor, Claressa Shields. I want to follow in their footsteps.

“What Katie Taylor has done in Ireland, becoming this massive star, I want to do that for Wales. And I'm heading in the right direction. I said it the other day, there’s a new kid on the block. That’s what I intend on doing: upsetting the status quo, winning the big belts.”

Price is five days fresh from her victory over Silvia Bortot when we speak, but the British welterweight champion looks more like she’s just stepped off a New York Fashion Week runway. A pair of flowy black trousers sparkle in the brisk winter sunshine, a high ponytail bounces playfully over a black faux fur coat.

It’s a beguiling glamour that would, generally, look slightly absurd for a weekday afternoon coffee in a train station-adjacent Pret-a-Manger but inexplicably feels fittingly festive.

Because in a way, we’re celebrating: another year on the hot streak of preternatural success for the Welsh sportswoman. No one would have predicted anything less. Price is one of those brands of sportspeople who is bafflingly good at everything.

Kick-boxing? Four world titles before the age of 14. Taekwondo? Scouted out of a pool of 2,000. Football? 52 caps for Wales’ national teams and an FAW Club Player of the Year award after helping Cardiff City to the inaugural Welsh Premier Women’s League title in 2012 (they beat Wrexham Women 5-2 on the final day of the season).

Lauren Price (right) strikes Kirstie Bavington in the Inaugural British Female Welterweight Championship bout

Any potential gurgling irritation at Price’s all-around sporting prodigy is swiftly dashed by her personality.

Peeling back a chocolate croissant, Price drips with cool self-assurance that’s equally warm and boldly candid. A smile dashes here and there as we consider the current state of women’s boxing: how three-minute rounds run the risk of “killing” the current entertainment value on offer (“For the elite fighters, it suits, but I don't think that there's enough high-level women’s boxers out there at all levels at the minute,” she says. “Now, the pace is high, it’s exciting, people want to tune in but if it goes to three minutes, the pace could slow”); when/if financial parity with men’s boxing might be achieved (“I don’t think it’s that far away. Maybe not heavyweights like [Oleksandr] Usyk or [Tyson] Fury, though I think they get paid too much,” she quips); the prospect of fighting in Saudi Arabia.

The latter is complicated. Of the recent Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou fight, Price recalls (after lamenting the “Eurovision concert” that led up to the fight) seeing only a handful of female faces in the crowd.

Fighting in a country whose record on LGBTQ+ and women’s rights is still poor doesn’t sit right for Price, who has been open about her relationship with fellow boxer Karissa Artingstall. Yet, she concedes she’s never shied away from making history and forcing change.

Whatever the prospect, one can be sure that Price will “take it in my stride”. It’s a truism that Price employs throughout our chat, though it’s less of a verbal crutch and more of an apt summary of how she has conquered her whole life – and is continuing to do so.

Dropped off at her grandparents’ doorstep just three days old, Price has defied the odds of achieving her success. Her brother tragically passed away earlier this year at the age of 38. After being in and out of jail, he looked set to live with Price’s sister after turning his circumstances around but died a little more than a fortnight before he was due to leave.

The life was one that might have been Price’s. It was at her brother’s funeral that Price decided on the name now emblazoned on her boxing ensemble: the Lucky One.

“I believe I was lucky,” she says. “I was taken in by two amazing people. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have achieved what I have. As a child, they supported me financially, picked me up from playing football in the Valleys, all those nights driving me. In every single way they taught me to believe in my dreams.”

The result is a faithful humility grounding Price’s unwavering self-confidence. There's also an element of loyalty Price prizes above all else.

"When I came back from the Olympics, the amount of people I had sliding into my DMs trying to sell me this dream was insane," she says. "I didn't really understand but soon I realised 'oh they want 25% of this and that'. Whereas, I've got people who I can trust, who have been there for me throughout my career and want the best for me. That's the best thing going throughout my career. I know I have people in my corner."

Price admits playfully she might be too good at filtering her support system ("I don't say yes to anyone," she laughs), but if there is one thing Price makes perfectly clear from the start: despite her flowering confidence and burgeoning career, her corner is nothing without her grandparents.

Price’s grandfather passed away just before the Olympics, and while Price’s grandmother doesn’t attend her fights in person (“she doesn’t like watching, so I call her afterwards with the result”), the Welsh boxer honours both by carrying with her cards they’ve sent before each fight.

“I don’t mean short, ‘good luck’ cards. These are long, with verses in them,” Price says.

“Every fight week, I bring them with me. I get a new one each time from my Nan. They’re adding up now. I haven’t got much space left but I bring them and put them next to my bed.”

Price’s grandmother has also gotten her a ‘Worry Angel’ to join the collection. “It looks after me,” Price explains.

It was while sitting on their living room floor watching Kelly Holmes win gold at the 2004 Olympics that Price’s dream of reaching the same stage was hatched.

“My Nan used to say to me, reach for the moon because if you fall short, you’ll land among the stars. That’s always stuck by me,” she says.

“I didn't know what I was going to do [at the Olympics], I just wanted to get there.

“So I wrote three things down in school: to play football for Wales, become a world kickboxing champion and to go to the Olympics. I ticked all three.”

Lauren Price during a press conference earlier this month

Price doesn’t write lists anymore, albeit she has a perennial To-Do list in her mind. A home fight in Cardiff is a must. A live Tom Jones walk-on at Cardiff Castle would be dreamy (“I saw him there a few months back, that’d get the crowd going.”).

While eligible for the Paris Olympics, Price shuts down the possibility of Chapter Two. Winning gold was an incomparable achievement, a matter of fact Price is at pains to emphasise even in the face of the slew of accolades she's since relished.

Instead, Price's eyes are fixed on a first world title and as many “big fights” as possible, starting with the victor of Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer in January.

Though a Jonas victory is enticing for the all-British bout it promises, Price doesn’t have a preference in which boxing legend prevails.

“I’ll beat both of them no matter who I fight,” she says without missing a beat.

It was precisely this style of comment that recently lumped Price with the description as “outspoken”. And while Price has learned the value in calling out her opponents and “letting her mouth go” in a sport in which one’s marketability is as much currency as one’s ability to land and dodge punches, there’s no savvy cheek here.

The message I’ll box anyone has become Price’s personalised mantra. Plenty of boxers posture that their metaphorical ring is open to any range of opponent, but Price has more than walked her talk.

Two weeks' notice was how long Price had to prepare herself before facing Lolita Muzeya, the former world title middleweight challenger boasting an 18-1 record and 10 knockouts, in September under the Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr bill in Manchester.

“That’s probably been my toughest yet,” Price says of a fight in which she firmly outclassed her opponent to much fanfare.

“Because of her record and her size, she's coming down in weight. I found out in Fight Week who I was fighting.

“But I see it as people who’ve won world titles, the level of the opponent hasn’t always been great. I know a lot of those girls wouldn’t box against [Muzeya]. I'm taking on good opponents. In each fight I've had a step up.”

Price has also stepped up her game in each fight, meticulously honing her craft so that the boxer from three years ago feels, almost, a lifetime ago.

“I look at it as I’m 6-0 now, I’ve had a runout, I won the big fights,” Price says. “I'm 30 next year. I'm in my prime. I'm fit, young, strong. I’m hungry. I've got that fire in my belly, I'm ready to put on big nights, especially for Wales.”