'Another fight and I could go blind': The boxing great retiring over fears she could lose her sight

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams is one of the pioneers of women's boxing in the UK. Her sudden retirement following a promising pro career was surprising, but she's still inspiring many.

Posted: Nov 27, 2019 2:20 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2019 2:20 PM

Her hero was Muhammad Ali, who once talked of the importance of not counting the days, but making the days count. It's a maxim that British boxer Nicola Adams, who is quitting due to fears of going blind, very much lived.

In 2012, a monumental year for British sport, Adams became the first woman to win gold in boxing at the Olympic Games in London.

Just four years later, she became the first British boxer to successfully defend their Olympic title for 92 years, when she won gold again in Rio de Janeiro.

The 37-year-old turned professional in 2017 and went on to win all five of her bouts and become WBO flyweight champion.

READ: Deontay Wilder floors Luis Ortiz to retain world heavyweight title

"My hero is Muhammad Ali and I wanted to emulate what he did," Adams, who is originally from Leeds in Yorkshire and is known for her intoxicating smile, told CNN Sport.

"I wanted to go to the Olympics, win a gold medal and become a world champion and luckily enough I have been able to do that."

The upbeat and jovial Adams doesn't strike you as someone who has beaten people up for a living. She also doesn't strike you as someone who has had to recently quit fighting because of health concerns.

But earlier this month, Adams decided to stop boxing due to fears she could go blind if she continued.

"In my last fight I suffered an eye injury ... I could box another 10 times and nothing happen to it or I could box in my next fight and have a really serious eye injury and maybe go blind," the double Olympic champion said.

"I didn't want to take that risk, so basically I had to retire," she added.

Adams says she's in a happy place over her retirement and that there's no chance of her appearing at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year in any competitive capacity.

"At the moment, I'm enjoying spending time with my friends, my family, basically doing things that I haven't been able to do while I've been training."

"It's also nice not having a coach shout at me to get up early in morning," she says, while guffawing loudly.

Women's boxing has 'changed massively'

Adams says she hopes she has inspired the next generation of women boxers.

She instantly became a role model for young women following her success in London in 2012.

In 2014-2015, in the years proceeding the Olympics, 166,400 people participated in boxing once per week -- compared to 106,8000 for the same period in 2007-2008.

Sport England's survey also found 35,500 women participated in boxing at least once per week -- up from 2012 when the figure was 23,300.

"Boxing has changed massively since I started," Adams said. "When I first started training, there was no female Olympic medalist for me to look up too. Now we have loads of Olympic medalists, which is really, really good to see."

Adams came to boxing accidentally, going to a class one night after her mother was unable to find a babysitter for her.

READ: British hockey player fights for career after ball fractures face

"I don't want to see women struggle in the same way I did ... There weren't a lot of girls in the boxing gym, that's all changed now," she said.

Adams praised the funding changes in the sport, which has a lot to do with the UK's National Lottery.

"When I first started boxing, we didn't have any funding, we struggled to get kit, going away to tournaments, even just getting coaches and physicians and doctors on board, we didn't have any of that and it's with the National Lottery that got that funding and were able to train full time.

"A lot of the girls were working one, two maybe three different jobs to try and fit in training."

In the last 25 years, The National Lottery has invested more than £5.7 billion into community sports projects from funding facilities, creating playing fields and increasing sporting opportunities for millions of people, according to their website.

Questioned over the dangers that are associated with the sport and which have ultimately caused her retirement, she stressed that progress was still needed.

"I'd love to see doctors and scientists be able to invent something to pick up brain injuries a lot sooner, I think that definitely has to be a step forward," Adams said.

Although the curtains may have drawn on Adams' remarkable career, she leaves a legacy of potentially inspiring a wave of female boxers for future generations.

"I'm definitely proud to have been one of the people to have taken women's boxing to where it is today."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 94189

Reported Deaths: 2046
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26706928
Ramsey10775319
Dakota7428125
Anoka6006133
Stearns395024
Washington373555
Scott253233
Olmsted238828
Nobles196116
Blue Earth16766
Wright16037
St. Louis155539
Carver13967
Clay137140
Rice13288
Mower13225
Sherburne113714
Kandiyohi9822
Winona87018
Lyon6784
Waseca6148
Freeborn5404
Steele5402
Benton5363
Nicollet52916
Watonwan5204
Crow Wing49418
Todd4882
Chisago4841
McLeod4782
Le Sueur4604
Otter Tail4304
Beltrami4135
Martin39410
Goodhue3609
Pine3190
Itasca31314
Polk3054
Douglas2972
Isanti2890
Becker2722
Carlton2631
Morrison2331
Dodge2320
Cottonwood2240
Pipestone22010
Chippewa2081
Meeker1982
Sibley1913
Wabasha1880
Brown1842
Yellow Medicine1762
Rock1660
Cass1654
Murray1632
Mille Lacs1583
Redwood1581
Unassigned15552
Renville1478
Jackson1451
Faribault1410
Swift1371
Houston1250
Koochiching1213
Kanabec1198
Roseau1180
Pennington1171
Fillmore1160
Lincoln1110
Hubbard971
Stevens971
Pope920
Big Stone810
Aitkin761
Wadena680
Wilkin633
Grant614
Lake580
Norman540
Lac qui Parle531
Marshall511
Mahnomen461
Red Lake441
Traverse290
Clearwater270
Lake of the Woods211
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 84671

Reported Deaths: 1303
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15779262
Woodbury535664
Johnson510027
Black Hawk447290
Linn3973111
Story342917
Dubuque317341
Scott297128
Dallas277138
Pottawattamie208938
Buena Vista198412
Marshall177734
Sioux15653
Wapello132857
Webster125114
Plymouth112220
Clinton111221
Muscatine110054
Crawford10775
Cerro Gordo105121
Warren9516
Jasper83332
Des Moines7748
Marion7567
Henry7305
Tama70831
Carroll6605
Lee6247
Wright5811
Dickinson5106
Boone5058
Bremer4887
Washington45611
Louisa42815
Mahaska40619
Delaware3973
Franklin34718
Floyd3423
Jackson3373
Winneshiek3306
Hamilton3223
Clay3194
Lyon3184
Benton3091
Winnebago30113
Hardin2991
Poweshiek2928
Buchanan2741
Butler2702
Jones2693
Clarke2653
Kossuth2650
Shelby2651
Emmet26110
Allamakee2596
Clayton2523
Sac2480
Cherokee2462
Chickasaw2460
Guthrie2446
Cedar2411
Grundy2193
Fayette2172
Harrison2143
Madison2122
Iowa2041
Mitchell1890
Humboldt1883
Palo Alto1880
Howard1876
Hancock1842
Calhoun1823
Mills1781
Cass1632
Monroe15710
Osceola1570
Pocahontas1572
Lucas1566
Page1540
Monona1501
Jefferson1381
Appanoose1363
Union1313
Taylor1271
Davis1244
Ida1201
Fremont1150
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1071
Worth1070
Greene1000
Montgomery925
Wayne862
Audubon821
Adair711
Decatur670
Ringgold502
Adams330
Unassigned70
Rochester
Few Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 65°
Mason City
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 66°
Austin
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
One Last Mild Day
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events