Following her superb performances in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana in May that secured a first ever AIBA World Championship title, Britain’s Nicola Adams is the winner of the latest AIBA Boxer of the Month award.
Born in the English city of Leeds, West Yorkshire in 1982, Nicola Adams first began boxing at the Police Community Boxing Club at the age of just 13. A pioneering figure in women’s boxing both in her home country and around the world, in 2001 Adams became the first woman to represent England in an international boxing match, shortly before the inaugural AIBA Women’s World Championships were held in Scranton USA, a title she would eventually win 15 years later.
Nicola Adams won her first national competition in 2003 and went on to earn a first international title a year later, lifting the Witch Cup in the Hungarian city of Pecs. It wasn’t until the European Confederation Championships in 2007, however, that she really broke through, only narrowly missing out on gold after a tight final against Russia’s two-time World Champion Sofya Ochigava.
The 2008 Women’s World Championships was the stage for Adams’ first worldwide tournament, and she blazed her way through to what would be the first of three successive silver medals in the tournament. During that run came a first European title in Rotterdam in 2011, and then the event that would propel the popular athlete firmly into the world’s hearts: London 2012.
Going into the flyweight competition as favourite, Adams blew away Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova in the quarter-final and then defeated India’s five-time World Champion MC Mary Kom to set up a gold-medal match against China’s Cancan Ren. The performance of a lifetime in front of her home fans saw Adams romp to a stunning 16:7 win, becoming the first woman ever to win an Olympic boxing gold.
Rather than having time out to take stock of her achievement, Adams went on to win Commonwealth Games gold in 2014 and a first European Games title a year later. Then, following her silvers in 2008, 2010 and 2012, AIBA World Championship gold finally arrived in May of this year with a brilliant win over Thailand’s 33-year-old Peamwilai Laopeam in Astana, completing an incredible haul of major titles.