Nicola Adams eyes ‘epic’ night for city at Elland Road

Nicola Adams: Heading to Elland Road.
Nicola Adams: Heading to Elland Road.
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NICOLA Adams is hoping for a Leeds double when she returns to fight in the city this weekend.

Adams, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, makes her fourth outing in the professional ranks when she takes on Argentina’s Soledad del Valle Frias at Elland Road.

The fight is on the undercard of the eagerly-anticipated IBF world featherweight bout between fellow Leeds boxer Josh Warrington and Lee Selby.

Adams and Warrington know each other well having trained together in their formative years at Burmantofts ABC.

And now Adams wants the passionate home crowd to cheer on her and Warrington to victory on what is set to be a momentous evening for the city.

“Can you imagine the Leeds fans on the night, if we both win?,” Adams told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Nicola Adams.

Nicola Adams.

“It would be epic.

“Me and Josh used to box for the same club when we were younger so it’s nice to see him do well as a professional fighter.”

Adams is looking forward to sampling the unique atmosphere of competing at a football ground.

Her previous outing in her home city came last May when she stormed to victory over Maryan Salazar at the First Direct Arena.

Can you imagine the Leeds fans on the night, if we both win? It would be epic.

Nicola Adams

But she is expecting an even bigger reception when she walks out on Saturday night.

“When I came out the last time I boxed in Leeds at the Arena, the atmosphere was unbelievable,” said the 35-year-old.

“It was as though I was having a world-title fight, even though it was only four, three-minute rounds.

“So I can’t even imagine what it will be like in the stadium.

“I know what it’s like to be among the crowd at Elland Road so it will be amazing to walk out there and even more so knowing that everyone is willing me to win.

“I’m going to enjoy the moment and the energy of the crowd.”

Adams is cautious not to look too far ahead but she has maintained ever since turning pro that she wanted to land a world title. Victory over her Argentine foe at the weekend would almost certainly put her in contention for such a fight, possibly later this year.

To achieve that, Adams knows she has to get the business done against an opponent who has herself fought at world-title level three times, albeit unsuccessfully.

“I know that anybody who’s put in front of me in that ring, I’m going to take them out,” Adams added. “In my last fight, everybody said, and I could see it myself, that I’ve started to develop as a pro.

“I’ve been practicing day in, day out to get everything right and it’s starting to pay off now.

“I feel close to a title but I’m focusing on this next fight and I want to put on a performance.

“But I don’t take anybody lightly. I know what I’m up against and she’s (Frias) fought for the title three times.

“She’ll be ready but my desire and hunger to win is bigger than anybody else’s and I’m going to win.

“Yes, it’s a step up in class but I want to show I belong at world level.”

Meanwhile, promoter Frank Warren has hailed Nicola Adams’ desire to win ahead of the Leeds fighter’s return to her home city.

Warren believes that Adams is an inspiration to males and females across the sporting spectrum.

Warren said: “I look at Nicola as a role model for sport, not just as a woman, but as a British sporting hero because that’s what she is.

“Whether you’re a bloke or a woman, what she has achieved through adversity is great tribute to her and also her will and desire. She’s a winner who’s done it as an amateur and is now doing it as a professional.”

“If Nicola comes through this, then I’m very confident her next fight will be for a world title,” added Warren.

“She’d be the first double gold Olympic medal winner to win a world title and would be creating yet more history.”

BUY TICKETS: Prices are from £40 to £200 are available to purchase online via Leeds United’s official website at www.leedsunited.com and via the club ticket office on 0371 334 1992.