Leeds’ Nicola Adams claimed her fifth straight victory as a professional fighter at Leicester Arena on Saturday night, but was made to fight the full 10 rounds for the first time.
Entering the arena to a great ovation, she met Mexico’s former world title challenger Isabel Millan (22-4-1) for the interim WBO flyweight title. Effectively serving as a final eliminator for the full world title, the teak tough central American looked outclassed for most of the fight, as Adams took the centre of ring, landing a ram rod jab to head and body, earning scorecards of 96-94 and 97-3 twice.
Adams clearly relished the occasion, dancing in and out of range, flashing her trademark smile, displaying an Ali shuffle and occasionally switching to a southpaw stance.
“Every time I switched southpaw, she didn’t know what was going on. I can switch hit, and that works to my advantage,” Adams said after the fight.
“It was good to get the 10 rounds in, tough fight; she (Millan) was there to fight as well. I was chilled, I was cruising. I knew she had a good chin.”
The ultra game central American, who Adams described as displaying a “tough Mexican style” also allowed Adams to show some mid-fight tactical adjustments.
“I went out looking for the knockout, then halfway in I thought, she’s going to be here for a little bit, so I changed tactics, and stopped loading up on the heavy shots.
“I could tell from the first bell, their game plan was to try and wear me down. They thought I might gas out. I’ve done 10 heavy rounds with the guys in the gym. That was nothing compared to what the lads put me through in camp.”
With a win and the rounds in the bag, it now looks like full steam ahead for a full world title tilt for the two time Olympic gold medallist from Leeds.
“I want a title shot, December 22nd hopefully I’ll be back out, and hopefully we can pin her (reigning world champion Arely Mucino) down. I want that title before the end of the year”
Adams is clearly relishing the opportunity to add a professional title to her amateur exploits.
She added: “I’m excited. I love the entertainment, the pressure, of the big fights. This is what I want to do. I think tonight everyone got a bit more from me, going the full 10 rounds.”
Adams is not apprehensive about facing Mucino, either.
“With my experience now, I can just deal with what’s in front of me. I’ve boxed all around the world, girls from different countries. I’ve been in with the best of them; I don’t think there’s anything new people can show me.”