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

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Boxing -

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

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