Nicola Adams has ruled out defending her Olympic title for a third time and has instead set her sights on matching the achievements of pound for pound king Vasyl Lomachenko, writes Sammy Mngqosini.
Like Lomachenko, Adams has won two gold medals – at the London and Rio games - before turning professional and despite a rule change allowing pros to fight at the Olympics – it is not something she is considering.
The 36-year-old prompted speculation that she may go for a third gold medal in Tokyo next year when she tweeted: “I wonder how this medal would look on my mantelpiece” in response to Olympic organisers releasing the design for the medals.
But Adams insists she is focused on winning more titles as a professional and not adding to her Olympic titles.
🌟 WORLD CHAMPION 🌟 @NicolaAdamsOBE makes the first defence of her WBO World Flyweight Title against Mexico’s Maria Salinas on Friday night at the @RoyalAlbertHall 🏟#AdamsSalinas #EveryBelt @BTSportBoxing pic.twitter.com/HRPx8VYrU0— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) September 24, 2019
On Friday she becomes the first female to fight at the Royal Albert Hall when she takes on Mexican Maria Salinas – and she plans on another bout this side of Christmas.
She said: “My plans are to fight in December, it will be a unification fight for the IBF belt.
“I would love that to be my next fight, and I would love to headline at a venue. I am going to talk to Frank (Warren) to see if I can get that one before the end of the year.
“I have got a lot of experience and boxed the best in the world. We’ve seen it time and time again when top amateurs turn professional.
“Look at Lomachenko, he is a two-time Olympic champion and has only had 13 fights but is achieving the absolute most.
“It shows that that kind of skill level passes over on to the professional game. I’ll be taking all the experience I earned in the amateurs over with me.
“All the way from my amateur career, I’ve sparred professional fighters so it’s nothing new to me.”
I wonder how this medal would look on my mantelpiece 😉 https://t.co/wy3GdaxBFN— Nicola Adams (@NicolaAdamsOBE) July 26, 2019
But Adams is not getting ahead of herself and is not underestimating Salinas – and has roped in a male sparring partner in Kid Galahad to help her prepare.
Adams – who has won all five of her professional fights – has had a frustrating 12 months and has not fought since October.
And she is determined to put on a show for her fans and show the world that she can achieve top honours in the pro ranks as well as the amateurs.
She added: “I have been sparring with Kid Galahad who is really difficult to hit. If I can land on him then I can land on anybody.
“I was training for that fight to fight the champion (Arely Mucino) and unfortunately she was injured and it was taken of my hands and I was given the title.
“Every fighter wants to be able to step into the ring and actually fight and claim the belt so even though I’m a World Champion already, I feel like this will be my world title fight.”
And on the possibility of going to Tokyo next year, she added: “It’s a difficult one, I have a lot that I want to achieve as pro right now.
“If was to do it would be a lot of hard work and I’d still have to qualify to actually go and I guess everyone would be coming for me again.
“It was difficult enough going to Rio being the returning champion.”