‘Fighter’ Adams is still up for battle

Nicola Adams at The Trinity ahead of her fight at Elland Road.
Nicola Adams at The Trinity ahead of her fight at Elland Road.
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LEEDS fighter Nicola Adams clearly has no issues with motivation.

Two Olympic golds and a perfect start to her professional career – not to mention huge success out of the ring – tells you all you need to know.

Nicola Adams, left, and Soledad del Valle Frias who fight at Elland Road on Saturday.

Nicola Adams, left, and Soledad del Valle Frias who fight at Elland Road on Saturday.

It is then, rather ominous for her forthcoming flyweight opponents that Adams now “wants to win more than ever” after her mum Dee’s diagnosis with breast cancer last September.

Dee had been championing her daughter’s bid for glory long before Adams savoured gold at the London 2012 Olympics before defending her title at the Rio Games four years later.

Right back in her daughter’s early days at Burmantofts Amateur Boxing Club, the fighter’s mother was convinced her little girl was destined to be a star.

Having already been crowned a European amateur champion and two-time world silver medallist, Adams then became a household name when topping the podium at London 2012 before taking her fame and glories to an even higher level with the same outcome in South America four years later.

Nicola Adams

Nicola Adams

The Adams beaming smile has been a familiar sight over the last six years but the 35-year-old has had to endure a difficult last nine months.

The boxer was left rocked when her mum was diagnosed with breast cancer last September and a further personal challenge presented itself last month when Adams split with her fiancée Marlen Esparza.

The Leeds fighter was suddenly making the tabloids for reasons other than her boxing glories though Adams insists she remained focused on the task in hand throughout.

“I didn’t take to it,” said Adams, asked about the tabloid reports of her well-publicised split. I just got on with business. I had been given the orders from my mum to train hard and perform well and make her proud so I had been focusing on doing that.”

Dee Adams

Dee Adams

But the Leeds golden girl admits her mum’s earlier diagnosis has most definitely had an effect on her future ambitions which looks set to spell trouble for those waiting in her wake.

Opening up in an exclusive interview ahead of tomorrow night’s fight with Argentina’s Soledad del Valle Frias at Elland Road, Adams said of this past year: “It’s been hard, especially with my mum.

“It was tough when she first got diagnosed with breast cancer so that was a really, really tough blow for me.

“But mum said to me ‘I don’t want to hold you back, I want you to be able to work hard and train and achieve your goals’ and she said ‘don’t worry, I will be there on Saturday night’. I said to myself ‘right, that’s it, okay, I’m going to do this, I’m going to train hard and I’m going to perform well so she knows that I’ve done exactly what she wanted me to do really’.

Adams with her London gold

Adams with her London gold

“I want to win even more now because I’ve got even more to fight for now. I will be the wearing the breast cancer awareness logo on my shorts on Saturday night, as well.

“I’m just doing all I can. It’s one of those things where you think it’s never going to happen to you until it does.”

Adams’ mum has since responded positively to radiotherapy treatment and is “doing well” according to Adams.

Dee will be in the crowd and Adams cannot wait to savour what is bound to be an electric atmosphere with over 20,000 tickets sold already as Leeds fighter Josh Warrington takes on Lee Selby for the IBF featherweight world championship.

“It’s going to be amazing,” beamed Adams. “I remember what it was like at the Olympic Games in the crowd there and the noise they made when they put it on the Richter Scale it was the same amount of noise as a jumbo jet taking off.

“This is double the amount of people so I can’t even imagine what the crowd is going to be like.”

In the fourth fight of her pro career, Adams herself is now ready for lift off at Elland Road where mother and daughter will be in unison and showing similar qualities and traits.

“She is doing really well now,” said Adams, asked how her mum was. “She is going through radiotherapy and she is a fighter, like me.

“Or should I say I am a fighter, like her.”