The Opening Round: Jessica McCaskill v Lauren Price

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Former undisputed queen Jessica McCaskill has understandably been installed as the strong favourite for the vast majority of her professional fights to date.

But in Lauren Price, the American pound-for-pound star will be coming up against a truly generational talent, and somebody who will be hell bent on justifying her 1/5 odds.

The Welsh wonder has made a mockery of any doubters who questioned whether she could make a seamless transition onto the professional scene a couple of years ago.

Regarded as one of Britain’s most esteemed amateur fighters, Price has been there and seen it all, and conquered pretty much everything in her path, culminating in that stunning Gold medal success at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Those who worked with her at such close quarters during her medal-laden amateur career had bore witness to the birth, and nurturing, of a future World Champion.

This weekend, on her Cardiff homecoming, Price has the opportunity to fulfil her lifelong dream.

But don’t be fooled by McCaskill’s somewhat outlandish 7/2 pre-fight hopes because she has proven to be one of the most formidable fighters within the female boxing code.

A two-weight world champion, the Missouri native has unparalleled longevity in the sport and boasts invaluable experience, having shared the ring with the likes of Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron – two British greats that Price is determined to emulate.

McCaskill will step inside the ropes this weekend as the defending WBA, IBO and Ring Magazine welterweight champion, and her intent to head back Stateside with her prized possessions still intact is clear.

However, Price’s lofty ambitions have, to date, been backed up with faultless performances across her six professional bouts to date.

The clear expectancy – given her short odds – is that the 29-year-old will serve-up the goods once more on Saturday night when she steps up in levels to tackle the gritty, determined and durable McCaskill.

But will the fight pan out as many expect?

“This is a fight that I favour Lauren Price prevailing in – I just feel that she will be too technically gifted on the night,” bet365’s resident boxing expert Rob Tebbutt told their Sports & betting News site in the build-up to fight night.

“We saw Sandy Ryan very unfortunate not to beat McCaskill last time out, having to settle for a draw, and I feel there are comparisons in style between her and Price.

“Price, as we all know, is the seasoned Olympian, who, as a southpaw, can box extremely well on the outside, flick her jab and move her feet exceptionally well against an opponent in McCaskill, who boasts a very agricultural style.

“I am expecting Price to not only outbox McCaskill this weekend on the outside, but to also stand and hold her own on the inside as well.

“Do I expect her to stop McCaskill inside the distance? No I don’t, so the play for me is to back the Welsh sensation to capture her first ever world title ‘By Decision or Technical Decision’ at 2/7.

“If you fancy a little bit more bang for your buck however, then the 8/15 on offer for Price to win via a ‘Unanimous Decision’ also looks a solid shout given she has yet to lose a solitary round across her six pro fights to date.”

McCaskill v Price tops the bill in Cardiff this weekend on a night that will also see the return of heavyweight contender Hughie Fury, with the former World Title challenger marking his comeback against Patrick Korte.

Fury, the cousin of heavyweight great Tyson Fury – who is gearing up for next weekend’s colossal Undisputed showdown with Oleksandr Usyk – will be eager to push himself back into the title picture having endured a challenging couple of injury-hit years.

However, he will be after a statement success upon his in-ring return, with the BOOSTED price of 13/8 for a stoppage victory inside the opening two rounds carrying plenty of appeal with bet365 punters.

Elsewhere on the stacked BOXXER card, the unbeaten Welshman Rhys Edwards will square off with Thomas Ward in an enthralling pick em’ bout with the WBA ‘intercontinental’ featherweight title on the line.

Edwards is the 8/15 favourite to extend his winning record to 16-0 against 6/4 shot Ward, who has previously held the British featherweight title, and won 34 of his 36 professional fights.

bet365 are also offering Bet Boosts across all of Saturday night’s BOXXER action, meaning you can take advantage of even BIGGER prices on the headline bout and the full undercard, including BOOSTED Bet Builders on the aforementioned fights.

The bet365 Sports & Betting News site houses plenty of pre-fight content, including a comprehensive All You Need To Know guide for the main event, as well as a detailed Tale of the Tape article which houses all of the vital statistics of both McCaskill and Price.

View the latest Bet Boosts and odds for the full BOXXER card and all other upcoming boxing at bet365

Bet Boosts and odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time. 

By Mark Mothershaw

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