GB Boxing announces plans to work with professional boxers

By 27th April 2022News

2020 Olympic medallists Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall to be trained and managed by GB Boxing in their professional career

GB Boxing has announced plans to continue to work with some its former boxers that have signed professional contracts.

It means the boxers will continue to train in the GB Boxing gym in Sheffield where they will be coached and managed by GB Boxing in return for a percentage of their earnings.

Olympic champion, Lauren Price, and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist, Karriss Artingstall, who both recently signed professional agreements with Boxxer and Sky Sports, will be part of the arrangement which will see them being cornered in their professional contests by coaches from GB Boxing’s World Class Programme (WCP).

The decision to work with professionals is supported by UK Sport, the funding body for elite sport in the UK.  For the Paris Olympic cycle, the number of professional boxers that GB Boxing will work with is capped at three.

The professional boxers will not be given any funding and under the terms of the agreement, GB Boxing will receive a percentage of the boxers’ earnings in return for coaching, management and use of the GB Boxing gym.

The professional activities will run alongside the WCP and operate under the brand name, Podium2Pro, which reflects the boxers’ transition from GB Boxing’s podium squad and the medal podium to the professional ranks.

Although GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken has previously coached professional boxers in a private capacity, this is the first time the organsation has worked with professionals and means that Price and Artingstall will continue to be coached by the senior GB Boxing coaches, Lee Pullen, Dave Alloway, Gary Hale and Graham Alderson as well as McCracken.

The decision to work with a small group of professionals is based on feedback from the boxers who wanted to remain in the GB Boxing environment despite signing a professional contract and reflects the success the WCP has previously had in accelerating the development of the boxers in its squad by allowing them to train with the professionals coached by Rob McCracken.  It is also indicative of the increasing closeness between the two codes, which allows professionals to compete at the Olympic Games and saw them win eight medals, including two golds, at Tokyo 2020.

Allowing a limited number of former boxers to train at GB Boxing while pursuing professional careers will enable the WCP to maintain close links with some of its most successful graduates and have the option of re-integrating them into the squad if the boxers decide they would like to try and qualify for another Olympic Games.

The Chair of GB Boxing, Jason Glover, said: “The board and I believe this decision is good for GB Boxing and good for the boxers.  Having some of our most successful recent Olympians continue to train in the GB Boxing gym will provide world class sparring for the current boxers in the squad and enable them to work and train with positive, inspirational role models that have achieved their dream of Olympic success.

“By negotiating a share of the professional boxers’ earnings, the relationship will generate revenue for GB Boxing which can be reinvested in the WCP.  It also has the potential to increase the talent pool available to us at future Games, if any of the professional boxers decide they would like to be considered for selection for the Olympic qualifying events.

“From the boxers’ point of view, staying with GB Boxing will enable them to pursue a new career path within an environment they are familiar with while continuing to work with coaches and people they trust and admire in an organisation they know will support them.”

Lauren Price said: “All of the coaches and staff at GB Boxing know me inside out and when I thought about it, I just could not see myself being anywhere else.  It means I get to work with brilliant coaches and get access to the best possible sparring with the boxers in the GB squad.  There are loads of benefits.

“When it comes to the management side, I know I can trust the people at GB Boxing and that they have my interests at heart.  I’ve worked with them for years and they genuinely care about me so I want them to be involved in helping me to progress through my professional career.”

Karriss Artingstall added: “The coaching and facilities at GB Boxing are second-to-none.  I’ll also be sparring the best boxers in the country and all of that will help me to be the best I can possibly be.  I trust everyone here and I know they will do their best to help me get where I want to be.”

A contractual arrangement has been put in place between the boxers and GB Boxing to manage the relationship and ensure a clear separation of funding between Podium2Pro and the WCP.

Under the terms of this contract:

  • GB Boxing will provide coaching and management to the professional boxers in return for a percentage of their earnings
  • Coaches from GB Boxing will corner the boxers during professional contests and are in the process of securing licences from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC)
  • A new profit and loss account will be created for Podium2Pro in GB Boxing’s annual accounts to ensure revenues and costs are kept separate from those involved in the delivery of the WCP
  • The boxers will have the opportunity to purchase sport science and medical services (such as physio, strength & conditioning and medical support) from employees that work for the WCP on a private basis
  • The boxers will be able to purchase medical insurance as part of the Athlete Medical Scheme provided by BUPA

The decision to work with professional boxers was made by the board of GB Boxing which includes representatives of the national governing bodies (NGBs) for boxing in England, Scotland and Wales.  All three NGBs are represented on GB Boxing’s board and backed the decision which is also supported by Great Britain’s funding body for elite sport, UK Sport.

Sally Munday, Chief Executive of UK Sport said: “After consultation with GB Boxing, we believe that there is a positive benefit to WCP boxers of training alongside hugely successful former WCP athletes, such as Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall. GB Boxing has delivered a huge amount of success at recent Olympic Games, and we look forward to British boxers continuing to unite and inspire the nation with many more dazzling performances in the future.”

GB Boxing’s Chief Executive, Matt Holt, explained: “While the decision to work with a limited number of professional boxers is a significant moment for GB Boxing, in practical terms we do not think it will have a major impact on day-to-day activities in the gym and are confident it can be comfortably resourced.

“Lauren and Karriss’s desire to continue to work with GB Boxing in their professional careers is a significant endorsement of the culture and environment of the organisation and I am sure it will be a good thing for both of them and for the WCP.”

GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken, added: “We have previous experience of professionals, such as Anthony Joshua and Carl Froch, being based in the GB Boxing gym and there is no doubt that the boxers in the Olympic squad have benefited from training and working in the same environment as people of such high stature within the sport.

“Not only do the professionals provide high quality sparring they are also inspiring and positive role models that are happy to pass on the benefits of their experience and help the younger boxers. They show our boxers what it takes to be successful and have a very positive impact on the quality of the training environment and the culture in our gym.”