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Nicola Adams reveals she's ready to fight on for another two years – but then she wants to have kids

Each time the first Olympic woman ­boxing champ pulls on her gloves she is taking on more than just her opponent.

With every punch, hook and jab, Nicola Adams is fighting the corner for all women in her growing sport.

She is determined to keep challenging the prejudices and lack of opportunities faced by women’s boxing.

The bisexual boxer, who won Olympic gold in London 2012 and again in Rio in 2016, aims to fight for another two years and has plans for the future.

The 34-year-old flyweight hopes one day to have children with her fiancée and former boxing rival Marlen Esparza, 27.

She said: “Every time I step into the ring I’m breaking down ­barriers and making it easier for the sport’s next generation. A path is laid out. They can go out there, perform and do what they do.”

Marlen Esparza and Nicola Adams attend the Glamour Women of The Year Awards

But despite ­paving the way for ­others, Adams will not expect any of her children to take up the tough sport.

She said: “I’m not sure if I’d like girls or boys but it’ll be their choice whether they want to box or not.”

Yorkshire-born Nicola, awarded an OBE this year, has come a long way since her first fight at a working men’s club in Leeds aged 13.

Gold medalist Nicola Adams of Great Britain poses during the medal ceremony

It was not until 1997, a year later, that the British Amateur Boxing Association sanctioned its first boxing competition for women. It had been banned by the British Boxing Board of Control on the grounds that premenstrual syndrome made women too unstable to box.

Nicola said: “It’s mindblowing that there was a ban on women’s ­boxing, and it’s not even that long ago.”

“When I found out why there was a ban I was like: ‘What really?’”

22: Nicola Adams poses in a portrait studio at the MOBO Awards at SSE Arena

Since becoming the world’s first ­female Olympic boxing champ and defending her title four years later, Nicola has turned professional.

She hopes to become a world champion and dreams of a big money title fight in Las Vegas. Nicola’s success attracted many women to the sport but there are still barriers.

She said: “There’s not as many opportunities for the women in sport. Imagine how many more girls would come through if women’s boxing was on TV and in the press more?”

Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams at Buckingham Palace in London after receiving her OBE

Even Adams’ manager Frank Warren, who has represented boxing legends such as Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, and Amir Khan, three years ago
announced he did not like women’s boxing, adding: “Never have, and never will.”

But Nicola convinced him to ­represent her. “I like proving people wrong and for that moment, after all the hard work and training, when you raise your hand as the winner.”

  • Nicola Adams is brand ambassador for E45, as the champion of Straight Up Skincare. Visit the E45 Facebook for more about how E45 is enabling women to live more Straight Up, no-nonsense lives.

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