Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Adams Takes on the World but Won't Be Found Wanting

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Adams Takes on the World but Won't Be Found Wanting

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Jones

[bar] ICOLA ADAMS, Great Britain's first female Olympic boxing gold medallist, is in more than one sense a wanted woman. She is wanted for questioning by nosey writers like me. Wanted for pummelling by opponents who would like to remove her as swiftly as possible from her new position as the world's best female flyweight.

Wanted also by the promoters of professional boxing, who would love to see whether it is possible, after such a successful Olympics, to make proper money out of fighting women.

On the last point, Adams is determined to resist. Defending her Olympic title is her long-term aim. "I want to stay [an amateur] for Rio 2016," she says.

Surely there must be some tempting offers coming in to fight for cash as well as glory? "Well, I'm sure there definitely will be," she says. But as she approaches her 30th birthday Adams sees the rest of her challenges in the amateur game.

This is a game, of course, in which she is now the leading player. As well as holding the Olympic title she won 12 days ago by thrashing the world champion, China's Ren Cancan, at the ExCeL, Adams is also the European champion at 51kg. Why step aside? Her plans, she says, are straightforward.

"I'm going to have a rest, celebrate and go on a little holiday but then it's back to training and next year to defend my title at the European Championships.

And I will have to train twice as hard, because after beating Ren Cancan, I'm the No1 now. Everyone's coming to beat me. They'll all be watching videos on how to beat Nicola Adams."

Daunting? Nope. "I like a good challenge," she says, "and this is an even bigger challenge for me: staying on top and proving I'm the best in the world."

Boxing is a sport with an abiding passion for its own history. Undoubtedly Adams and the rest of the female medallists at London will now be woven into the fabric of that history, not simply as the first generation of women fighters who were allowed to compete at the Olympics but as a generation who justified their places by fighting with ferocity allied to panache.

Being remembered in that way would suit Adams, whose enthusiasm for her sport was sparked by watching old tapes of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, both of whom first made their names at the Games.

Adams is still inspired by the past. …

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