Tokyo Olympics: Lauren Price to fight for gold after beating Nouchka Fontijn

Tokyo Olympics: GB’s Lauren Price stages ‘terrific’ comeback to book place in middleweight final
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Great Britain boxer Lauren Price will fight for a gold medal on the final day of Tokyo 2020 after winning her women’s middleweight semi-final on Friday.

Price, 27, won her bout with Dutch opponent Nouchka Fontijn on a split decision to go into the gold-medal bout on Sunday.

The Welsh boxer was docked a point for excessive holding in the second round.

But against an opponent she has faced in several major finals, Price fought back in the last round to edge victory.

It was an uncertain start for Price as the taller Fontijn used her reach to keep her rival at distance early on.

When the GB boxer then had a point deducted in round two it was clear she needed a significant final three minutes to stand any hope of winning.

“I had the scores in the second, I was 3-2 up, so it was all on the last round,” said 2019 world amateur champion Price.

“I needed a big last round. For me, it was no silly mistakes and sticking to my boxing.”

Tokyo Olympics: Lauren Price ‘over the moon’ to reach gold-medal fight

Her bouncy, on-the-toes style helped her find the shots needed to secure victory by the narrowest of margins.

Price will now face China’s 2018 world champion Li Qian in the fight for gold.

“It’s mad to be honest,” said Caerphilly-born Price, who could not hide her joy at progressing to the final.

“I knew I was up against it today. We’ve fought each other a number of times and know one another inside out.

“I am over the moon – [Fontijn] is world class. Each fight it gets harder but it doesn’t get harder than that.

“It’s everyone’s dream to get to the final and I’m going to do the utmost to bring back that gold.”

‘Price a heavy favourite for gold’

Former world super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall said Fontijn paid the price for not working hard enough in round three, while BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Steve Bunce said Price showed “pure guts and pure heart” to edge through.

“I would make a case for Fontijn being one of the best female boxers of the last 25 years, but she’s been beaten,” said Bunce.

“Price will be going into this final as a heavy favourite. She puts every part of her body into it – it’s such a victory for her. She has beaten these two women that are in the other semi-final very comfortably.”

Price is guaranteed to take home Great Britain’s sixth boxing medal of the Games.

Galal Yafai, who won his thrilling semi-final on Thursday, will compete for gold in the men’s flyweight final on Saturday.

Olympic bronze medals have been secured by GB’s Kariss Artingstall and Frazer Clarke, while Pat McCormack and Ben Whittaker won silver.

Also on Friday, Cuba’s Julio La Cruz added to his light-heavyweight gold from Rio 2016 by winning gold a division higher – at heavyweight – with a masterful victory over Russian Muslim Gadzhimagomedov.

The Duke of Cambridge meets Team GB boxer Lauren Price

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