My dream is to top a Vegas bill, reveals Adams
Briton views her spot on Golovkin undercard as the step to bigger things, she tells Gareth A Davies
Nicola Adams revealed yesterday she could not believe her good fortune when the call came two weeks ago that she had been invited to fight in Las Vegas on the Gennady Golovkin versus Saul “Canelo” Alvarez undercard.
It is not a bad American debut for the double Olympic champion’s third professional contest.
“Frank Warren [her promoter] said there was the opportunity to box on the undercard and I was like ‘yeah, definitely’,” said Adams, 34, who faces Alexandra Vlajk, 37, of Hungary, who has a record of 11 victories, six defeats, tomorrow night.
“Just to be on the undercard of this fight, the best fight of the year as far as I’m concerned, with two of the biggest fighters coming together and it’s all on the line. I can’t even put into words just how happy I am to be a part of this.”
Adams’ third pro fight is fuelling her ambitions. “It would be really special to headline in Vegas one day. I’d love to. I dream of it. If I get the opportunity to fight in Vegas again I’ll definitely go for that. This is a great experience and it’s building a new fan-base as well.
“I’m just trying to take it all in and use all this energy to go and perform. Getting into the city last night, I saw the posters and billboards, it was really cool.”
Like so many fans and analysts, Adams is split on the outcome of the big fight, which could arguably decide the pound-for-pound king of the sport, and certainly the world’s leading middleweight.
“I’m on the fence with this one. At first, I was leaning towards Canelo because he’s got the speed and a bit of power, but then he is coming up in weight and GGG [Golovkin] is really strong, a good power puncher and a good finisher. So, if he catches him, it could be one of those fights where it’s all over. Maybe Canelo will have the skill and speed to stay away from the power punches and not let [Golovkin] put him into the corner. It’s the fight everyone is talking about in the gym [in Oakland] every day where I’ve trained. Everyone is 50-50.”
Adams finds herself in Sin City for the first time. The smile barely left her chiseled face in the media room at the MGM Grand resort.
“To be here, competing in my third pro fight, is something special. It’s an amazing opportunity to showcase, especially to have my American debut in Vegas on one of the biggest cards.”
Even more meaningful for Adams is that her partner, the American Olympic boxer and bronze medallist Marlen Esparza, is also fighting on the card. “It’s been really good just to train alongside each other. It’s almost like being in the amateurs again. You train, finish off the camp and then you go to the fight. We will be sharing a dressing room as we both have Virgil Hunter as our coach,” explained the Leeds boxer.
Amazingly, Adams has seen no footage of Vlajk. “The first I see of her will be when I step into the ring. I’ve seen pictures of her, but not seen her box. I tend not to study opponents too much anyway and just take it fight by fight.
“When I fight them, that’s when I tend to look at them. I don’t like to get too far ahead of myself and forget about the person who’s in front of me. In the amateurs, I was up against people I knew nothing about before I boxed them, whether they are left or righthanded, for example. Coming up through the amateur system is a big learning experience. You get a lot from that because there was often no footage of them.”
Adams admits that although she is the first fight on the card, she wants to “put on a show”.
“I’d love to be able to do that, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot and say ‘yes, it’s going to be a knockout’,” she explained.
“If it goes the distance, I don’t mind. It means people get to see a lot more of me. She’s more experienced than me and it’s a big step up in class and I am looking forward to it. I want to progress quickly but not too quickly. My coaches and team think it is a good move to start making a name for myself and getting these big-name opponents. I’d like two more fights this year and a challenge for the world title next year.”
Look of a champion: Nicola Adams will contest her third professional fight