A new queen will be crowned as an astonishing 114-year wait finally comes to an end on Saturday, May 6th when Lauren Price MBE and Kirstie Bavington become the first female professional boxers in history to compete for the inaugural British Women’s Championship and a coveted Lonsdale Belt.
Introduced in 1909 and named in honour of Lord Lonsdale, the great patron of British boxing, the British championship belt was created as a prize to be awarded to the domestic champions across the various weight classes.
When the British Board of Boxing Control was formed in 1929 it took over governance of the British championship and Lonsdale belt, which remained available only to male boxers – until now.
Equality for women’s sport will rightfully shine through in what is a huge, landmark moment in just three weeks time when Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medallist Lauren Price MBE (3-0, 1 KO) meets former EBU European Welterweight champion Kirstie Bavington (7-3-2, 2 KOs), live and exclusively on Sky Sports in the UK & Republic of Ireland.
The newest addition to the Lonsdale Belt pantheon will keep the same traditional format – including the iconic portrait of Lord Lonsdale – but will have a different ribbon colour.
Price will be keen to get her hands on it first. The Welsh wonder was the first sportswoman to receive her MBE honour from King Charles III following his accession to the throne last November and she is arguably the most decorated amateur to hail from these shores.
Since turning professional in 2022, the former Wales international footballer has been victorious in three contests, including February’s impressive victory in Paris, France, over Naomi Mannes – who Bavington defeated for the European title in November 2022.
Price made history last October too at the momentous all-female BOXXER card in London when she stopped Timea Belik in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,000 fans at The O2 and a live television audience of over two million viewers – a record audience for a live women’s sporting event on Sky Sports.
Fittingly, her historic bout with Bavington will take place in Birmingham, England on the day King Charles III is officially crowned – the first British championship belts were made in the Birmingham workshops of 250-year-old jeweller Mapin & Webb, which is also responsible for the Crown Jewels that will be used in King Charles III’s coronation ceremony.
BOXXER Founder and CEO, Ben Shalom, said: “We are incredibly proud to be history makers once again for women’s boxing with Lauren Price fighting for the first-ever British women’s title against Kirstie Bavington. We are hugely grateful to the British Boxing Board of Control for their phenomenal support and help in the progression for women’s boxing.”
Lauren Price MBE said: “It’s a complete honour. It’s another thing to add to my list to go and make history. I can’t believe it really. It’s a very proud moment for me. I was looking forward to boxing on May 6 anyway. But this is the icing on the cake. To fight in my fourth professional fight for such a prestigious title is the direction I want to go in. It’s absolute honour.”
Robert Smith, General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control said: “We are very pleased to approve the first female British Championship, contested by two very good challengers, an Olympic Gold medalist and a former European champion. Women’s boxing has come on tremendously and now we have a British Championship. The winner will indeed be a worthy champion of this historic bout.”
Helen Falkus, Director of Multi Sports at Sky Sports, added: “We’re proud that we are able to say that we will be part of history being made on this momentous night of boxing. The fact that a women’s title fight has been sanctioned for the first time shows the immense growth that women’s boxing is continuing to experience. After historic nights like Shields v Marshall, we look forward to showcasing more of the best fighters in the world.”
BOXXER: Birmingham at the Resorts World Arena, Birmingham is headlined by the newly-signed Joshua Buatsi, himself a former British champion, who kicks off his world title campaign in a clash with undefeated Polish powerhouse Pawel Stepien.
Team GB hero and light-heavyweight sensation Ben Whittaker returns to action on home soil in his beloved Midlands for his third professional bout when he takes on Jordan Grant. Plus, English middleweight champion Tyler Denny faces Manchester’s Macaulay McGowan and Kaisee Benjamin collides with Sean McComb.
To see the full card for May 6 and for the latest ticket news, head to BOXXER.com
This event will be presented in association with official partners Everlast, WOW HYDRATE and Village Hotels.