Boxing: Glove story with happy ending as Nicola Adams grabs gold for Team GB

Leeds' finest produces the fight of her life to down Ren and make history

The ExCeL

Nicola Adams is in the history books as the first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal but the statistics tell only part of the story.

Adams has been the first lady of British boxing for just under a decade, an uncomfortable existence on the sidelines in many ways, and that all ended just before 5pm yesterday when her hand was raised at the end of the flyweight final.

She had to overcome China's Ren Cancan, a woman who had beaten her in the last two World Championship finals, but yesterday – somewhere under a din that rattled the chairs at the ExCeL – Adams fought the finest fight of her life.

Adams won the first round 4-2, increased the lead to 9-4 in the second and came close to ending the fight in the third when she sent Ren crashing down heavily on her back from a left hook. It took the crowd a second to realise what they had seen and then all 10,000 stood.

Adams went into the fourth leading 14-5 and at the bell, after a short wait, the gold medal was confirmed with the historic score of 16-7.

"It was the greatest moment of my life and I loved every second of it," Adams said. "I know her so well and she knows me so well but I just refused to get beat in that ring in front of those fans, the noisiest fans that I have ever known."

There was never a moment during the fight when it looked even remotely likely that Ren would continue her dominance of Adams, and the sickening look on her face when she was dropped suggests she will never trouble the woman from Leeds again.

It was women's boxing, which has made a stunning debut at these Games, at its best.

"I didn't want to leave anything to chance and I knew that I had to make it clear and put it beyond any doubt. I had to put on the best performance of my life and I did," said Adams, who has three silver medals from losing in the World Championship final.

Adams has spent the last five years struggling to make a living that did not interfere with her boxing ambitions and that is never easy.

She worked on building sites and as an extra on television shows – including Coronation Street – between training sessions at whatever gyms she could find near to where she was working.

"I have been making sacrifices for so long and so many people have helped me get to this medal," continued Adams, who officially fights for the Haringey Police and Community club in north London. "This win is for all the girls out there dreaming of winning an Olympic medal. It can be done, I have proved it."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Million dollar baby: Adams factfile

Born 26 October 1982, Leeds. Now trains in Tottenham, London.

1995 Started boxing aged 12, and won her first bout aged 13.

2001 Was the first woman boxer to represent England, fighting an Irish boxer.

2007 Took bantamweight silver at the European Championships in Denmark.

2008 Won silver in the World Championships in China.

2010 Returned after months out with a back injury to win silver again in World Championships.

2011 Yet another silver in the Worlds; and qualifies for London.

* She has also worked as a extra, and appeared in the soaps Coronation Street and EastEnders.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions