Nicola Adams

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Nicola Adams
Nicola Adams - Our Greatest Team Parade.jpg
Adams in 2012
Nickname(s)The Lioness, Babyface[1]
Height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
Born (1982-10-26) 26 October 1982 (age 37)
Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Boxing record
Total fights6
Wins by KO3

Nicola Adams OBE (born 26 October 1982) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 2017 to 2019. She retired with an undefeated record and held the WBO female flyweight title in 2019.[2][3] As an amateur, she became the first female boxer to become an Olympic champion after winning gold at London 2012, and the first double Olympic champion following a second gold medal at Rio 2016, both in the flyweight division. As of 27 May 2016 she was the reigning Olympic, World and European Games champion at flyweight, and won the entire set of amateur championships available to her - Olympic, Commonwealth and European Games' titles, and the World, European and European Union championships.[4]

Rainbow Plaque in Leeds honouring her as the first openly LGBT+ person to win an Olympic Boxing Gold

Adams represented Haringey Police Community Club at boxing.[5] She is openly bisexual, and was named the most influential LGBT person in Britain by The Independent in 2012. She also became the first openly LGBT person to win an Olympic boxing Gold medal, after her win at the 2012 Summer Olympics.[6][7][8]

Personal life[edit]

Adams was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire. She was educated at Agnes Stewart Church of England High School, Ebor Gardens, Leeds.[9][10] She also went to Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale.[11] In November 2012, she topped the list of The Independent's 101 most influential LGBT people in Britain for 2012.[12][13][14] Nicola’s Heritage is, British & French/Caribbean, Nevis/St Kitts & St Maarten.


Adams fought (and won) her first bout at the age of 13, but it was four years before she found a second opponent.[15] In 2001, she became the first woman boxer ever to represent England, in a fight against an Irish boxer.[15] In 2003, she became English amateur champion for the first time,[5] and she retained the title at the next 3 championships.[15]

In 2007, Adams was the first English female to win a medal in a major tournament, taking Silver in the bantamweight (54kg) division at the European Championships in Denmark. She won Silver again at the world championships in Ningbo, China, in 2008. The following year she had to abstain from the sport for several months due to a back injury,[16] but she returned to success at the 2010 world championships in Bridgetown, Barbados,[17] taking Silver again, competing now at flyweight (51kg). Adams struggled to continue her boxing career due to lack of funds. She worked as an acting extra on soap operas such as Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and EastEnders, and worked as a builder before the International Olympic Committee backed funding for women’s boxing in 2009.[18]

In November 2010, Adams was victorious in the first ever GB Amateur Boxing Championship at the Echo Arena Liverpool.[19] In 2011, she won Gold at the European Union Amateur Boxing Championships in Katowice.[20] In July 2011, the BBC included Adams in a feature on "6 Promising Britons to watch in the Olympics".[21]

Nicola Adams (red) at the final of the European Games 2015 in Baku (Azerbaijan)

In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Adams defeated Mary Kom from India in the Flyweight semi-final.[22][23] She went on to defeat Chinese boxer and world number one Ren Cancan in the final to claim the first Olympic women's boxing Gold medal.[24]

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Adams knocked out Michaela Walsh of Northern Ireland to take the gold medal in the women's flyweight division on a split decision.[25][26]

At the 2016 Rio Olympic games Adams successfully defended her Olympic title, defeating Sarah Ourahmoune of France in the Final on 20 August, becoming the first female boxer to successfully defend an Olympic title and the first British boxer to defend an Olympic title in 92 years, the last to do so being Harry Mallin in 1924.[27]

On 23 January 2017 it was confirmed that Adams had turned professional, having signed with promoter Frank Warren.[28]

Adams had a 40-36 points victory over Virginia Carcamo of Argentina in Adams' professional debut.[29]

Adams announced her retirement from boxing in November 2019.[30]


Postboxes on Cookridge Street in Leeds painted gold in honour of Adams' Olympic Gold medal win.
Year Tournament Venue Result Event
2007 European Amateur Championships Vejle, Denmark 2nd 54 kg
2008 World Amateur Championship Ningbo, People's Republic of China 2nd 54 kg
2010 World Amateur Championship Bridgetown, Barbados 2nd 51 kg
2011 European Union Amateur Championships Katowice, Poland 1st 51 kg
2011 European Amateur Championships Rotterdam, the Netherlands 1st 51 kg
2012 World Amateur Championship Qinhuangdao, China 2nd 51 kg
2012 Summer Olympics London, United Kingdom 1st 51 kg
2013 European Union Amateur Championships Keszthely, Hungary 1st 51 kg
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, United Kingdom 1st 51 kg
2015 European Games Baku, Azerbaijan 1st 51 kg
2016 World Amateur Championship Astana, Kazakhstan 1st 51 kg
2016 Summer Olympics Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1st 51 kg

In 2012, she became the first female boxer to receive an award from the Boxing Writers' Club of Great Britain.[31][31] Specifically, she was awarded the Joe Bromley Award for outstanding services to boxing.[31] She was also the first woman ever to be invited to the club's awards ceremony.[31]

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to boxing[32][33] and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours, also for services to boxing.[34]

In July 2015, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Leeds.[35] In November 2015, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women.[36]


In 2016, Adams was named Number One in the DIVA Power List of the UK's most eminent lesbian and bisexual women[citation needed].


Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
6 fights 5 wins 0 losses
By knockout 3 0
By decision 2 0
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
6 Draw 5–0–1 Mexico Maria Salinas SD 10 27 Sep 2019 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, London, England Retained WBO female flyweight title
5 Win 5–0 Mexico Isabel Millan UD 10 6 Oct 2018 United Kingdom Leicester Arena, Leicester, England Won vacant WBO female interim flyweight title
4 Win 4–0 Argentina Soledad del Valle Frias KO 1 (10), 2:59 19 May 2018 United Kingdom Elland Road, Leeds, England
3 Win 3–0 Uruguay Soledad Macedo TKO 3 (6), 1:26 16 Dec 2017 Canada Place Bell, Laval, Quebec, Canada
2 Win 2–0 Mexico Maryan Salazar TKO 3 (4), 0:35 13 May 2017 United Kingdom First Direct Arena, Leeds, England
1 Win 1–0 Argentina Virginia Noemi Carcamo PTS 4 8 Apr 2017 United Kingdom Manchester Arena, Manchester, England


On 6 November 2019, Adams retired from boxing over fears for her eyesight. She said, "I've been advised that any further impact to my eye would most likely lead to irreparable damage and permanent vision loss."[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jon, Snow. "Captivated by boxing's Nicola 'Babyface' Adams". Channel 4. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Nicola Adams: Two-time Olympic champion retires over fears for her sight". 6 November 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Nicola Adams: WBO make Briton world flyweight champion". BBC Sport. 30 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Nicola Adams: British fighter wins world flyweight gold". BBC Sport. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b "One hundred hopefuls for 2012". London: The Guardian. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Nicola Adams Makes Olympic Boxing History". Sky News. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  7. ^ "London Olympics: Nicola Adams wins first ever women boxing gold". The Times Of India. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Bi Olympian Nicola Adams given MBE in New Year honours list". Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Made in Leeds: How Nicola Adams grew to the brink of Olympic glory". Yorkshire Evening Post. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  10. ^ "How Nicola Adams got her fighting chance for an Olympic gold medal". ITV News. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  11. ^ "FE students add to Team GB Olympic medal haul". FE Week. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  12. ^ Khaleeli, Homa (9 August 2014). "Nicola Adams: 'It always felt like boxing was my path'". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  13. ^ "UK sport stars top 2012 Pink List". Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b c "Nicola Adams, World Championship Silver Medallist" (PDF). GSE Agency. 5 February 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  16. ^ "Adams' excitement hitting fever pitch". Bradford Telegraph & Argus. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  17. ^ "Marshall and Adams miss out on gold". BBC Sport (video available in UK only). 18 September 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  18. ^ Rojas, John-Paul Ford (8 August 2012). "Fighter Nicola Adams battles her way to chance at gold". London: Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Nicola Adams: trailblazer for women's boxing wins historic gold". London: The Guardian. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Boxer Nicola Adams confident of London 2012 gold". BBC Sport. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  21. ^ Creighton, Jessica (27 July 2011). "London 2012: Promising Britons to watch in the Olympics". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  22. ^ Bakowski, Gregg (8 August 2012). "Nicola Adams beats Mary Kom to reach 51kg Olympic final". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Nicola Adams beats India's Mary Kom to reach Olympic flyweight final". The Guardian. London. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  24. ^ "Olympics boxing: Great Britain's Nicola Adams wins historic gold". BBC Sport. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  25. ^ "Glasgow 2014: Nicola Adams beats Michaela Walsh to gold". BBC Sport. BBC. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  26. ^ "Nicola Adams". Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  27. ^ Burrowa, Thomas; Fagge, Nick (20 August 2016). "'I've made history!' Nicola Adams wins gold as she becomes the first Briton to defend an Olympic boxing title in 92 years". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  28. ^ "Nicola Adams: Two-time Olympic champion turns professional". BBC Sport. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Nicola Adams beats Virginia Carcamo on her professional debut - BBC Sport". 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  30. ^ "Nicola Adams retires from boxing at the age of 37", Sky Sports, 6 November 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019
  31. ^ a b c d "Nicola Adams becomes first female boxer honoured by writers". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  32. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 24.
  33. ^ "2013 New Year's Honours" (PDF). Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  34. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N10.
  35. ^ "University of Leeds awards honorary degrees". University of Leeds. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  36. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2015: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  37. ^ Creighton, Jessica (7 December 2012). "Sports Personality of the Year: Why Nicola Adams should win - BBC Sport". Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  38. ^ "Nicola Adams: Two-time Olympic champion retires over fears for her sight". BBC News online. 6 November 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
World boxing titles
New title WBO female
flyweight champion

Interim title

6 October 2018 – 29 July 2019
Title last held by
Arely Muciño
WBO female
flyweight champion

29 July 2019 – 6 November 2019
Title next held by
Debora Anahí López