Nicola ‘The Lioness’ Adams is a former professional boxer, who retired in November, 2019, with an undefeated 5-0-1 record, on medical advice. In the first round of what turned out to be her last fight – her first defence of her World Boxing Organisation (WBO) flyweight title against Mexican Maria Salinas at the Royal Albert Hall – Adams suffered a torn pupil. She subsequently retired due to fears of going blind.
Adams turned professional in January, 2017, but will probably always be best remembered for her amateur career. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she beat Mary Kom of India in the semi-final and Ren Cancan of China in the final of the flyweight (51kg) division to become the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. Four years later, in Rio de Janeiro, she again beat Ren Cancan in the semi-final and Sarah Ourahmoune of France in the final of the same division, thereby becoming the first British boxer for 92 years to defend an Olympic title.
At the 2007 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Vejle, Denmark, Adams won the silver medal in the bantamweight (54kg) division, thereby becoming the first Englishwoman to win a medal at a major boxing championship. Other highlights of her amateur career include four medals at the International Boxing Association (IBA) World Championships, a gold medal in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2016 and three silver medals, in Ningbo City, China in 2008, Bridgetown, Barbados in 2010 and Qinhuangdao, China in 2012. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Adams made history once again, beating Michaela Walsh of Northern Ireland to become the inaugural Commonwealth women’s flyweight champion.