Nicola Adams won’t gamble her career on a Las Vegas dream

Nicola Adams.
Nicola Adams.
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NICOLA Adams could be on her way to Las Vegas but Yorkshire’s double Olympic champion is prepared to take a patient approach before tackling the bright lights of a world title fight.

Flyweight Adams has eased to victory in bouts in Manchester and Leeds since turning professional, raising hopes that the 34-year-old could take in a world-title shot by the end of the year.

Gennady Golovkin.

Gennady Golovkin.

But Adams admits she will need more experience as a pro before bidding for world domination, even though the flyweight has set her sights on boxing in Las Vegas for the third pro fight of her career.

The Leeds star is hopeful of making her next appearance as a pro on the undercard of the eagerly-awaited fight between Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez on the Las Vegas strip on Saturday, September 16.

The double Olympic champion’s girlfriend Marlen Esparza is set to feature on the same card but at the weight below Adams with the Leeds star insisting there would never be any chance of battling it out with her ‘other half’.

Should Adams not line up in Las Vegas, the Yorkshire star has said her third outing as a professional will certainly take place by October.

Nicola Adams in light training for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey ride.

Nicola Adams in light training for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey ride.

But the flyweight star has admitted that a further two more bouts could follow before a world-title bid as the boxer continues her education as a pro having signed with Frank Warren earlier this year.

“I think I will need a few more fights,” Adams told the YEP. “My coaches want me to have learned a lot more about the pro game and the style before I take on a world title. Hopefully it will be next year. I think there’s a good chance it will be next year and I want it for then. But I have to listen to the coaches. They have got so much more experience than I do in the pro game.

“I am really enjoying the pro game. But I’ve still got a lot to learn and it’s like I have graduated from high school and now I am at university.”

Assessing a likely date and venue for her next fight, Adams revealed: “My next fight will either be in September – hopefully on the GG Canello card – or I’ll be boxing in October. I’m feeling good, I’m excited and I just can’t wait to get back in the ring and get going again.”

Nearly eight weeks have now passed since the second fight of the Leeds star’s pro career which involved a knockout of Mexico’s Marayan Salazar at the First Direct Arena.

“It was an amazing atmosphere last time,” said Adams. “Everybody was cheering and it was everything you could dream of for a homecoming. The crowd was unbelievable – I felt like I was fighting for a world title.”

And Adams has kept busy both in and out of the ring since with a sporting challenge of a different kind awaiting the flyweight next weekend when she will take part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 cycle ride. Adams is an ambassador for the campaign which aims to challenge young people to achieve their goals, and the Leeds ace got on her bike recently to take part in a spin class with students from Sheffield Academy who will be taking part in the Prudential RideLondon next weekend. There will, though, be no switching codes in a bid for a cycling gold to follow her two boxing gongs.

“You never know,” joked Adams. “Maybe in 2020?!”

Yet in all seriousness, by then the former Burmantofts boxer will hope to be a world champion and Japan’s WBA flyweight champion Naoko Fujioka is currently holding the belt that Adams has designs on.

There are four belts on offer at Adams’ weight with Mexico’s Monserrat Alarcón holding the WBO title and Argentina’s Leonela Paola Yúdica the current IBF Queen.

Mexico’s Jessica Chávez is the current WBC champion but Adams said: “I want to do three-minute rounds, not two-minute rounds so maybe the WBA.”

Sizing up the talents of WBA champion Fujiokya, Adams reasoned: “I have seen little bits of her but I am trying not to focus on the end project yet.

“I am taking it fight by fight and focusing more on the person in front of me. I don’t want to get too carried away and look too far in front and forget about he people that I need to beat right in front of me. I am really enjoying the pro game but I am learning new things all of the time and I am just happy that I have got so many experienced people under one roof.

“I have got Virgil Hunter, the coach, and he knows how to train and turn an Olympic gold medallist into a world champion – people like Andre Ward and Amir Khan, who are the best in the world. There’s so many people with so much experience there that I learn so much all of the time from asking questions. It’s good to know that I have got people there that have been through everything that I’m about to go through myself.”