Olympic boxing champion retires over fears of sight loss
Two-time Olympic boxing gold medalist Nicola Adams has retired from the sport to prevent any long-term damage to her eye sight.
The 37-year-old became the first woman to win Olympic gold in boxing when she triumphed at London 2012 and she successfully defended her title in Rio four years later.
She turned professional in 2017 and retained her WBO world flyweight title in September.
In an open letter to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Leeds-born Adams thanked the readers of the paper and said she was “proud of how far the sport has come.”
“I’m immensely honored to have represented our country — to win double Olympic gold medals and then the WBO championship belt is a dream come true,” she wrote.
“But it’s not without taking its toll on my body, and aside from the expected aches and pains — I’ve been advised that any further impact to my eye would most likely lead to irreparable damage and permanent vision loss.”
Adams won Commonwealth, European and world titles as an amateur fighter.
But she exploded onto the scene when she made boxing history at the London Olympics in 2012, becoming the first woman to win a gold medal in boxing.
She retained her gold medal four years later, also becoming the first British boxer to successfully defend an Olympic title in 92 years.
In 2017, Adams turned professional aged 35.
She finished with an undefeated record, winning five and drawing once.
Adams last fought on September 28, retaining her WBO title following a split-decision draw with Mexico’s Maria Salinas.
“Having people in my life who are a fountain of support, kindness and love, has been the sole reason I’ve been able to represent my country in the way I have,” Adams added.
“It has been an honor to compete on the global stage, and it has been a privilege to fight against such remarkable athletes. Whilst I am proud of my achievements, the unwavering belief from everyone in my corner is something I will appreciate for the rest of my life.
“Hanging up my gloves was always going to be hard, but I have never felt luckier.”
Frank Warren, Adams’ promoter, paid tribute, calling her an “icon” of British sport.
“It was my absolute pleasure and privileged to promote the professional career of Nicola and it is just a pity that it has come to a conclusion,” he was reported as saying on his website.
“Nicola has that star quality in abundance that very few possess which will see her make a success of whatever she chooses to do.
“Her accomplishments will go down in history and she will always be an icon of British sport. It is no secret that I, along with many others, once held reservations over the depth and marketability of women’s boxing in this country and it was Nicola who won us all over with her Olympic exploits, her unquestionable talent and huge personality.
“She will be much missed in the sport of boxing, but will remain an inspiration to others for many generations to come.”