Boxing: Golden girl Adams has sights set on world title push

NICOLA ADAMS has already made her intentions as a professional boxer loud and clear.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 6th October 2018, 7:00 am
Nicola Adams (right) in action against Soledad Del Valle Frias  at Elland Road in May.
Nicola Adams (right) in action against Soledad Del Valle Frias at Elland Road in May.

Win every belt the super-flyweight division has to offer before retiring as undisputed champion of the world following back-to-back Olympic gold medals in her glittering career as an amateur.

Adams can take a big step closer to the WBO crown in Leicester this evening and does not care in what order the four available belts follow, declaring: “It’s just who wants to give me their belts first.”

London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic flyweight champion Adams has not surprisingly made serene progress since turning professional under Frank Warren with the 35-year-old quickly easing to four no-nonsense victories.

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Nicola Adams.

Having began her professional career with an easy win on points against Argentina’s Virginia Noemi Carcamo at Manchester Arena in April 2017, Mexico’s Maryan Salazar was stopped after 35 seconds in round three of the Leeds star’s second bout at First Direct Arena the following month.

Uruguay’s Soledad Macedo was then stopped after one minute and 26 seconds in the third round of Adams’ third fight at Place Bell in Laval, Canada in December last year.

The super flyweight then returned to her home city to brush aside another Argentinian in Soledad del Valle Frias with a late first round knock-out at Elland Road back in May.

The defeat of Frias at Leeds United’s famous home came as an aperitif to fellow Leeds fighter Josh Warrington’s epic IBF featherweight world title victory against Lee Selby and Adams has made no secret of expressing her desire to challenge for a world title at the earliest opportunity.

Whilst still not yet challenging for a belt, the Frank Warren promotions star will take one step closer to finally getting her wish this evening when taking on Mexico’s Isabel Millan at Leicester Arena in a world title eliminator.

The winner would bag themselves the opportunity to take on Germany’s Raja Amasheh who holds one of four belts on offer across the female super flyweight division.

Mexico’s Maribel Ramirez (WBA), Argentina’s Jorgelina Guanini (IBF) and Mexico’s Guadalupe Martínez Guzmán (WBC) hold the others.

But when Adams gets her way, all four will be in for a beating from the Leeds lioness who remains supremely confident of unifying the division and unconcerned about in which order the belts are amassed.

“I want them all,” a bullish Adams told the YEP.

“I want to unify the flyweight division and for me I don’t care if it was the WBO, WBC, IBF or the WBA, I don’t care because I am coming after all the titles anyway.

“It’s just who wants to give me their belts first.

“I have been looking at the champions because I have been looking at their belts and once I get this WBO one I will be looking at the next one.

“But as far as I am concerned they are all belts waiting for me to pick up.

“They have all got my name on and they might as well just hand them to me now.

“It would make my job easier.”

In four fights and counting, Adams has made the switch from the amateur game to the professional sphere look ridiculously easy but tonight’s opponent Millan should at least offer the Leeds star her toughest test yet.

Mexican fighter Millan turned professional back in 2011 with the 33-year-old having competed for a world title just 18 months ago but was defeated by Japan’s Naoko Fujioka in a bid to take the WBA female flyweight crown.

“She is a good seasoned professional,” said Adams.

“She has had quite a lot of fights – 22 wins – so she knows what she is doing around the ring and I expect a good engaging fight and I will be glad to come out the winner.”

Winning, meanwhile, has become a familiar feeling for Adams whose sparkling career as an amateur took in two Olympic golds, a World Championships gold and three silvers plus golds at the Commonwealth Games, European Championships, European Games and two golds at the European Union Championships.

The former Burmantofts Amateur Boxing Club star’s smooth transition to the pro game is no surprise but even now the boxer says she is still getting better and forever perfecting her style.

“I feeling really good,” said Adams. “It’s just the technical side has changed a little bit.

“I am planning my feet a lot more, I am looking for more accuracy on my shots and I am landing a lot more power shots now as well.

“I am learning all the time and that’s the important thing.

“I don’t want to be one of these fighters that all of a sudden thinks they know everything and then they get beat.

“I know boxing is all about learning and picking up new things where you can and as long as you never think you are the finished article then you will always do well.

“I’m really pleased with how everything has gone.”

So far so good but if Adams has her way the next year will be even better and victory this evening could well set up the prospect of the city of Leeds having two boxing world champions in time for Christmas.

IBF featherweight belt holder Warrington will take in the first defence of his world title against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on Saturday, December 22 and Adams too is hoping her first world title fight will take place the same month. “I have been talking to Frank Warren and it’s definitely doable,” said Adams.

“I just need to pull out a very good performance on the 6th of October which I will do because I always bring my A game and give 100 per cent and then give the crowd what they want.

“If it was up to me I wanted to go for a title shot at the very start like Vasyl Lomachenko did. But my coaches and my team persuaded me to take it a little bit slower, learn the ropes a little bit and get a little bit more experience in the pro game first and then chase for the title.

“I have got a feeling now where I have been let off the leash a little bit. Now I can go and attack some champions.”