Nicola Adams will spearhead a trio of Yorkshire boxers at the Rio Olympics - and the London 2012 gold medallist is gunning to make history for Team GB.
The 34-year-old joins fellow Leeds fighter Qais Ashfaq and Keighley’s Muhammad Ali in a 12-strong British boxing squad heading to Brazil, which was confirmed at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport yesterday.
It will be the largest party of British boxers since the Los Angeles Games of 1984.
Adams, who won gold at the world championships for a first time earlier this year, will attempt to defend her flyweight crown four years after becoming the first woman to win boxing gold in Olympic history.
“I always aim for gold. I always want the best,” Adams told the Yorkshire Post.
“I know they are going to be coming for me because they all want to be Olympic champion and be where I was in London. But I prefer that. It spurs me on and keeps me motivated.
“I need to make sure I give 110 per cent when I step into the ring which I will do. I’m not going to let anything stop me.”
No boxer - male or female - have won successive gold medals at an Olympics since 1954 and Adams believes gold could create history that lasts a lifetime.
“I want to cement a legacy,” added Adams, with her iconic smile beaming. “Impossible is nothing.”
Legacy is also the word on the lips of Ali as he handles the pressure of sharing the name of boxing’s greatest.
I always aim for gold. I always want the bestNicola Adams
A golden moment at Rio would come just 79 days after his and so many others’ idol passed away and almost 66 years to the day since Cassius Clay won Olympic gold at 18 years old.
The Keighley fighter is two years further into his own career and admits the global attention of a dream fairytale is becoming the norm.
“I am used to it now. I just want to get in the ring and do what I do, “ the 20-year-old said.
“I just hope that 50 years down the line there will be another Muhammad Ali winning an Olympic gold medal.
“That doesn’t sound too bad.”
Bantamweight hopeful Ashfaq was in the selection reckoning all the way into the lead up to London four years ago until Hull’s Luke Campbell was given the nod ahead of him.
But the 23-year-old believes the four-year wait has worked in his favour as he attempts to defend Campbell’s gold medal.
Ashfaq said: “I have worked too hard not to be going there for gold, that’s what I go to every tournament to get.
“It’s been a few years coming but the wait has done me the world of good. I’m ready to perform on the big stage now.”