Nicola Adams is set to turn professional before Christmas after being left out of the Great Britain squad for the European Championships in Bulgaria later this month.
The 34-year-old double Olympic champion is currently locked in talks with promoters in both Britain and America and while a deal is yet to be struck, a decision is believed to be imminent.
Adams has been given time off from the Great Britain squad since claiming her second gold medal in Rio this summer and is not among the seven-strong team for tournament which starts on Monday. (Nov 13)
GB performance director Rob McCracken said: “Nicola is currently having a look at all her options and what is available to her, and that includes professional boxing.
“She’s the double Olympic champion and she deserves time to make up her mind. It would be great to keep on the programme and I am sure she could go to Tokyo in 2020 if she had the motivation.
“But when you have won two gold medals the motivation could be a factor and my gut feeling is she will probably look at those other options and give professional boxing a go.”
If Adams does decide to turn professional she will join fellow Olympic champions Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor, both of whom have declared their intention to quit the amateur ranks since Rio.
Under new eligibility criteria, Adams could conceivably turn professional then re-commit to the GB ranks at a later date in order to pursue a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.
But such a possibility would depend on a number of factors, including GB’s ability to source a 51kg replacement for Adams, and that prospect is not currently forming part of the Leeds fighter’s long-term plan.
Double Olympian Savannah Marshall is also out of the European Championships following recent shoulder surgery, although the Hartlepool fighter is expected to rejoin the squad in due course.
Adams’ absence gives another chance to former world silver medallist Lisa Whiteside at flyweight, while Sandy Ryan (60kg), Chantelle Cameron (64kg) and Natasha Gale (75kg) will also compete.
In addition, England Boxing have selected three fighters who are not currently part of the GB programme - Demie-Jade Resztan (48kg), Ramla Ali (54kg) and Raven Chapman (57kg).