Abby Briggs boxing clever in bid to emulate Nicola Adams with Olympics glory

YOUNG Hunslet Club boxer Abby Briggs is a big fan of double Olympic golden girl turned professional world champion Nicola Adams.

Saturday, 14th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 14th December 2019, 9:43 am
Hunslet Club's Abby Briggs: Top prospect.

Briggs was among those in the Elland Road crowd in May, 2018 as Adams readily brushed aside Soledad del Valle Frias on the Josh Warrington v Lee Selby undercard.

The Hunslet teenager remembers it well.

“I just thought that’s what I want to do when I am older!” she said.

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But not before following Adams’ lead and conquering the Olympics first with national champion and double European silver medallist Briggs targeting the Los Angeles 2028 Games before turning professional.

Fourteen-year-old Cockburn High School pupil Briggs is the latest boxer to emerge from the Hunslet Club, whose Hope Price recently turned professional under Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing team.

Price even fought on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s world title fight against Andy Ruiz last weekend when the Briton regained his belts. Price initially had designs of representing Great Britain at the Olympics but instead opted to turn professional.

If Briggs has her way, her club will one day be hailing an Olympian on a female boxing front with the 60kg fighter having the ambitions to match her already impressive achievements.

That is not bad for someone who began boxing as something to do to pass the time.

“When I first started, it was more for like just something to do after school but I didn’t really think that I would still be doing it now,” said Briggs.

“Now I want to go to the Olympics and then turn professional. I wanted to go for 2024 but that might be a bit early so I think I will be going for 2028.”

Briggs will be 24 by the time the LA Games come knocking but more immediately, the fighter feels she has unfinished business at European junior level. Having had just three fights, Briggs came back from the 2018 European Schools Championships as a silver medallist and took a European silver one year on, having also been crowned National Schools champion in May.

A Tri-Nations gold then followed in June.

Next year will see the teenager forced to take on older fighters when she will be upped an age group to juniors level but her sights remain set on an elusive European gold.

She recalled: “The first time I went to the Europeans I didn’t really know what to expect because I was going over having only had three fights.

“When I got over there, I had doubled my experience so it was more like a learning thing and picking up experience.

“I got silver again this year. I’m happy with it because it’s an achievement to my name but I was gutted when I didn’t win.

“It just makes me determined to get it next time. I’m going into Juniors next year so next year and will be fighting up a year. It will be 14 to 16-year-olds so it’s better competition but I’m going for gold.”

The nationals and Tri-Nations are also again on the agenda for 2020 which will begin competitively in Serbia representing England in an international tournament in January.

An end of year holiday with her family in Fuerteventura is in the offing but even then boxing will be at the forefront of dedicated Briggs’ mind.

“I train at Hunslet Club four times a week which is manageable,” said Briggs.

“I miss a lot of time off school with my boxing as well but it’s all right. At the minute, I am not really missing out much but I started my GCSEs this year so I don’t know if I will. I’ll just have to see how it goes.

“Next up, we go on holiday for Christmas. But there’s a gym where we are going so I will just be in there every day!”