Hopey Price looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a serious hand injury. 

The news will come as a major blow to the undefeated Price (12-0, 5 KO’s). The 23 year old featherweight is a talented fighter but has been waiting for the opportunity to break out. 

It seemed like that moment had arrived. Just last month, the British Boxing Board of Control announced that an agreement had been reached for Price to challenge British and Commonwealth champion, Nathaniel Collins, on a Frank Warren show.

As Price fights under the Matchroom banner, there had even been some unsubstantiated talk in boxing circles that the fight would be an easy, attractive fight to add to the much talked about Queensberry vs Matchroom ‘5 vs 5’ competition which will provide the undercard for the undisputed light heavyweight title fight between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol on June 1st. Those plans will now have to wait.

Price’s trainer, Dave Coldwell, told BoxingScene.com that his fighter suffered the hand injury in the third round of his thrilling come from behind victory over Conor Coghill last October. Price overcame a tricky start to dominate the second half of the British title final eliminator, dropping Coghill four times and stopping him in the final round. Coghill was hospitalized after suffering a bleed on the brain during his brave performance. Thankfully, he was released from hospital and should make a full recovery. 

Price and Coldwell were advised not to use the hand for ten weeks but - determined to give the injury the best possible chance of recovering without resorting to surgery - they waited twelve weeks before resuming punching. Unfortunately, Price suffered a reoccurrence of the injury and was left with no choice but to go under the knife. 

Price released the following statement on social media;

“To say that I’m devastated to have my progress delayed is an understatement. But many fighters before me have come back from major hand surgery and become champions, and so shall I. Recovery starts today.”

The news will also come as a disappointment to Collins (14-0, 7 KO’s) who enjoyed a successful 2023 and was hoping to ride that momentum into 2024. Last March he added the vacant British title to his Commonwealth strap by stopping James Beech Jnr in seven rounds. He then signed with Queensberry Promotions and made a spectacular debut for them, defending his title by knocking out Raza Hamza inside 30 seconds. He was back in the ring in November, engaging in an exciting twelve round battle with the previously unbeaten Zak Miller, earning a tight majority decision and emerging with his undefeated record intact.

Collins’ team will now need to plot a different route for him. Collins has previously stated that he would like to challenge for the European title. The current champion, Mauro Forte, won the vacant belt by stopping Francesco Grandelli inside a round last May but has yet to defend it.