Life may have been one non-stop whirl for Nicola Adams since she made history at the London Olympics, but the 31-year-old Leeds star has stayed grounded enough to acknowledge she is anything but invincible.
Adams is a huge favourite to be crowned the first Commonwealth Games women’s boxing gold medallist by repelling the feisty challenge of Northern Ireland flyweight Michaela Walsh at the 10,000-capacity Hydro in Glasgow tonight.
Adams soon got into gear to outpoint Canada’s Mandy Bujold in their semi-final yesterday, but a recent shock defeat in the European Championships in Romania has provided her with a timely reminder not to take anything for granted.
Adams said: “I get to do lots of exciting things – movie premieres, going to Brazil with the prime minister and receiving an MBE.
“I’m just absolutely overwhelmed by how women’s boxing has taken off.
“But I’m definitely not unbeatable. Everyone is beatable on the right day. I’m just hoping my A-game tomorrow is better than the other girl’s A-game.”
Rising Belfast star Walsh sealed her dream final with a gutsy win over powerful Indian Pinki Jangra, coming on strong in the second half of the contest to squeeze a split decision on the three judges’ cards.
Walsh said: “Months ago I said my dream was to fight Nicola Adams in the Commonwealth final and when I go to bed tonight I will dream of that gold medal hanging round my neck.
“I know if I perform to the best of my ability I can beat her. She is the golden girl and I’m only a baby but, in the ring, it’s a different story.”
Adams’s best friend Savannah Marshall is also guaranteed either gold or silver after swatting aside the tenacious challenge of Nigerian Edith Ogoke in the women’s middleweight division.
Marshall produced a perfectly poised display of counter-punching to repel Ogoke’s crude attacks and secure a well-deserved unanimous verdict from the three ringside judges.
And the Hartlepool 23-year-old believes experience has been key to her comeback after the crushing disappointment of her first round defeat at the London 2012 Olympics.
Marshall said: “I didn’t really enjoy the Olympics and I’ve just tried to embrace the experience more and I’m really enjoying it.
“ I know what to expect now, so I’m a bit more prepared. The Olympics was two years ago and I was still young, and coming two months after I won the world title, it all came a bit fast for me.”
Marshall will face Ariane Fortin in tonight’s final after the Canadian came on strong in the second half of the contest to beat Lauren Price of Wales on a split decision.
England super-heavyweight Joe Joyce moved through to the final without lacing on his gloves after Ugandan opponent Mike Sekabembe failed a pre-fight medical. And Joyce’s team-mate Qais Ashfaq will face Northern Ireland’s Michael Conlan the bantamweight final after outpointing Benson Njangiru of Kenya.
Conlan won a technical decision over Welshman Sean McGoldrick after a second round clash of heads left blood streaming from a cut above his right eye, although Conlan was insistent he will be fit to fight today.
Home favourite Josh Taylor scored a narrow points win over Great Britain squad team-mate Sam Maxwell after a sharp display of back-foot boxing.
Taylor, who was the first GB boxer to exit London 2012, said: “I’ve been dreaming of this moment for four years and I can’t wait to win a gold medal in front of the Scottish fans.
“The Olympics have been and gone and I’ve been looking forward since then.
“I’ve put all my losses right since.”
Scotland team-mate Reece McFadden’s shock run in the men’s flyweight division came to an end at the hands of slick Australian Andrew Moloney, who triumphed via a split decision.
Welsh light-heavyweight Nathan Thorley was stopped in the third round by Kennedy St Pierre of Mauritius, and light-flyweight Ashley Williams was well beaten by the excellent Devendro Laishram of India.