PROFESSIONAL BOXER Nicola Adams has been forced to hang up her boxing gloves at the age of 37.
Golden girl Adams is a two-time Olympic champion, and the current WBO flyweight heavyweight champion. But her career has come to an abrupt end due to a severe eye injury. Adams has revealed that she risks “irreparable damage” if she continues to box.
Despite this unfortunate ending, Adams leaves behind an amazing legacy, and has expressed how grateful she is for her career. She penned an open letter to fans in the Yorkshire Evening Post, in which she said: “I’m immensely honoured to have represented our country – to win double Olympic gold medals and then the WBO Championship belt is a dream come true.”
She continued: “But it is not without taking its toll on my body, and aside from the expected aches and pains, I’ve been advised that any further impact to my eye would most likely lead to irreparable damage and permanent vision loss.”
Here are five standout moments in her incredibly successful boxing career.
1) History maker – Two-time Olympic champion Adams became the first female boxer to win the flyweight title at the London 2012 Olympic games. She went on to successfully defend her crown at the Rio 2016 games, four years later. This made her the first British boxer to successfully defend their title in 92 years.
2) Undefeated – Adams won the WBO belt against Isabel Milan in 2018, a mere 18 months after her first professional fight. She leaves the ring with an unbeaten professional record of five wins and one draw.
3) Role model – Nicola has proven herself to be a champion in every sense of the word. In 2015 she took on the position as an ambassador of the Fight for Peace, an organisation that uses boxing, martial arts and education affected by crime and violence, to support young people. She used this role to inspire young women in particular to take on a combat sport. Adams has also used her voice and platform to speak out as a member of the LGBT community and to inspire people to live their truth.
4) Hero – A Barbie doll in the likeness of Adams, was released as a tribute to the boxing champion in 2018. Barbie maker Mattel created the doll as part of its “Shero” programme, recognising inspirational women.
5) Royal recognition – In acknowledgment of her services to boxing and incredible achievements, Adams was appointed MBE in 2012 and OBE in 2016.
Many people have expressed their love for Adams as she bows out from the ring, including her promotor Frank Warren. He has labelled her an “icon” of British Sport. Warren said: “Nicola has that star quality in abundance that very few possess, her accomplishments will go down in history.”