Compared to her media duties, her first professional ringwalk and finally boxing in front of a home crowd, Karriss Artingstall is more relaxed about the actual fighting on Saturday when the Olympic medallist will make her pro debut, live on Sky Sports.
Artingstall hasn’t boxed since her close-run Olympic semi-final last year at the Tokyo Games. She is now ready to make an impression as she turns pro.
“The nerves for me now are more to do with this; the media workouts, the ringwalks, all the little things like that,” Artingstall told Sky Sports News.
“Obviously day in day out I get in the ring, I box, I get punched, I punch people so I’m used to that. It’s all the little things outside of that. A big audience, I’ve never really fought in front of a massive audience, a home one anyway. So it’s all those little things I need to get used to now.”
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Her partner Lauren Price, who took the middleweight gold medal in Tokyo, made her professional debut earlier this month.
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“I was quite glad she went first actually. I said to her when we turned over, ‘I’d like you to go first.’ Just so I can have a little insight of how it all goes,” Artingstall said.
Karriss Artingstall and Lauren Price had to spar in their living room ahead of Olympic qualifier
“It’s the same sport but a different game. It’s the same sport but you don’t understand unless you’re a boxer yourself just how different it is.
“In the amateurs I was very good on my feet. I was in and out, straight shots down the pipe and I’ve got an engine on me to maintain a high pace.
“I’ve been working on my hand defence a bit more, my slips and slides and being inside the pocket so I can let more combinations off, being in range. So hopefully everything I’ve been doing in the gym gets to show on Saturday.”
Artingstall’s opponent this weekend is set to be Vaida Masiokaite, a Lithuanian who drew her last bout but is winless since 2019.
However, Masiokaite generally operates in higher weight divisions – lightweight and super-lightweight – and went the full six rounds with Artingstall’s Olympic team-mate Caroline Dubois on the latter’s pro debut.
“It’s a bit different. I understand in the amateurs you’re competing at top level, the Olympics, you know you’re up against a 50-50 [bout], no discredit to the opponent I’ve got ahead of me,” Artingstall added. “She’s obviously more experienced than me in the professional ranks.
Tokyo bronze medallist and formerly of the army, Karriss Artingstall will make her pro debut on Saturday at the Coventry Skydome Arena.
“I’m not going out there looking for any heavy shots or anything because I think it makes the fight look a bit messy if you try too hard. I want to try and be cool, calm and collected.
“If she walks into a big backhand you’ll see her head get snapped back anyway. So hopefully you see her walk into a big backhand!”
‘She has got something about her’
Promoter Ben Shalom on Karriss Artingstall:
“She has got something about her. She’s special. I think she’s going to light up the division.
“To be honest, I think she’s the one that’s really made for the professional sport. She is the dark horse of that GB Olympic team and she’s going to do something special.
“I think she will be knocking people out. You see Savannah Marshall do it but you don’t see it often. Karriss is definitely going to be doing it.”