Nicola Adams admits that ring legends Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather inspire her to remain boxing and achieve her dreams. Speaking to the BBC, Adams also hinted at an amateur return for a pop at Olympic Gold in 2020.
The Leeds boxer makes a belated first defence of her WBO flyweight title against tough Mexican southpaw Maria Salinas on Friday evening. The bout will take place on the undercard of Daniel Dubois’ Commonwealth heavyweight clash with Ghana’s Ebeneezer Tetteh. “The Lioness”, 36, boasts five wins, with three of her victims falling early.
Nicola has yet to taste a loss. In her last outing she defeated Isabel Millan to claim the interim WBO title. That interim belt had been put on the line as standard champion Arely Mucino was unable to defend her official strap following a car accident.
Adams turns 37 in October, but insists age is just a number. Filipino inspiration Pacquaio turns 41 in December, and despite appearing close to the end of an illustrious career that started at flyweight (Adams’ current weight class in the female divisions) Manny shows no signs of quitting.
The veteran southpaw just defeated Keith Thurman in July, had previously beaten Adrien Broner before that and has now pushed himself in to contention for a unification with the winner of this weekend’s big welterweight showdown between WBC king Shawn Porter and IBF holder Errol Spence.
While Adams’ 112-pound weight class holds no such recognisable names, victory over Salinas will open doors for a possible unification matchup of her own. The aforementioned Murino could be a potential future foe. Failing that, Nicola could box WBC champion Ibeth Zamora Silva, WBA queen Naoko Fujioka or perhaps move up in weight. Daniela Bermudez holds the WBO title at bantamweight and Adams’ promoter Frank Warren often plots his fighters down the WBO route.
Nicola Adams is not the first boxer to be inspired by the amazing achievements of the “Pacman” and neither will she be the last. Pacquiao’s desire to realise his unique talents and athletic skill set took him from the gutter right up to headlining in Las Vegas casinos. It is a true rags to riches tale that has encouraged a generation of fighters from around the world to take up combat sports.
The most remarkable thing? The Pacquiao story shows no sign of ending anytime soon.
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