Time to punch out? British boxing heroine Nicola Adams remains coy on Olympic future
Nicola Adams says she will take time out to decide her next move after she became the first British boxer in 92 years to retain an Olympic title on Saturday.
Adams punched her way into the history books in 2012 when she became the first woman boxer to win Olympic gold and in the process also became a British media darling and the face of the London Games.
WATCH: golden moments on Day 15 at the Rio Olympics
She ripped up the history books again in Rio in retaining her flyweight title with ease – the only British boxer to previously clinch back-to-back Olympic titles was Harry Mallin, who managed that in middleweight, in 1920 and 1924.
Adams, who celebrated wildly and wiped away tears on the podium, rarely looked in any trouble in her unanimous points victory over Sarah Ourahmoune to send the Frenchwoman into retirement.
Adams is already a hugely popular household name back in Britain because of her engaging personality and seemingly habitual smile, and will face pressure to again defend her title in Tokyo in four years’ time, when she will be 37.
But there will also be promoters willing to stump up the cash for her to turn professional.
“I’m going to take some time out for now, I’m going to go on holiday, relax a little bit and decide what I’m going to do when I come back,” said Adams.
The Briton, who once had to supplement her meagre boxing earnings by acting as an extra in soap operas, added: “It feels absolutely amazing, especially to be able to think to myself I’ve created history.
“I’m now the most accomplished British amateur boxer we’ve ever had, of all time, so it’s a nice title to have.
“I’ve had a massive amount of support from Yorkshire (where she is from) and the rest of the nation. I felt like I had their support in the ring with me, every punch I was throwing.”
Wearing red and in front of the watching British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Adams enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, but Ourahmoune did catch the Briton with a decent right that momentarily deterred her.
The relentless Adams was again on top in the second round, landing the cleaner punches and getting the crowd on its feet with one savage attack.
The third was more of the same.
Ourahmoune was up against it and one Adams left jab rocked the Frenchwoman, who was trying to become a second woman from France to win Olympic boxing gold in two days after Estelle Mossely’s triumph on Friday.
The 34-year-old Ourahmoune will now retire -- as had been her plan pre-Rio.
“I’ve been waiting for a chance to be in this final for a long time and when you wait that long, you always have hope. I brought my best today and I have no regrets,” she said.
“This was a great tournament for me. At the beginning I expected to have a medal but day by day as I progressed through the rounds, I had more and more hope. I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved.”
Bronze went to China’s Ren Cancan – Adams’s victim in the 2012 final and in the semi-final in Rio – and the Colombian Ingrit Valencia.