Adams more motivated than ever ahead of Commonwealth Games

Nicola Adams knocks down Canacan Ren of China on her way to winning Olympic gold

Nicola Adams knocks down Canacan Ren of China on her way to winning Olympic gold

First published in Sport
Last updated

NICOLA Adams is aiming to make more history at Glasgow 2014 as she bids to become the first female boxer to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal.

Olympic champion Adams will be afforded star billing after her exploits in London two years ago and will start as the clear favourite to win the women's 51kg flyweight division.

But a recent shock defeat in the European Championships proved that former Bradford College student Adams is far from invincible – and she can expect to face some stiff competition from rising Indian star Pinky Jangra and Mandy Bujold of Canada.

Jangra stunned five-time world champion Mary Kom in the recent Indian trials, while Bujold is the reigning Pan-American Games champion and will fancy her chances of an upset.

Leeds-based Adams said: "I never take anything for granted but I would love to make more history in Glasgow and my recent defeat has only increased my motivation to do that.

"I was hoping to come up against Mary Kom because she is such a great fighter. But obviously Pinky is a good fighter if she can win the trials, so I am really look forward to putting her to the test if it happens."

Adams' England team-mate, reigning world champion Savannah Marshall, will look to wipe away the memories of her London 2012 disappointment in the middleweight division.

In the men's competition, most eyes will be on Lochend light-welterweight Josh Taylor, a silver medallist in Delhi four years ago who is regarded as the hosts' best hope of boxing gold.

Taylor could be set for a mouth-watering match-up with Great Britain squad team-mate Sam Maxwell, who Taylor narrowly edged to win a place in the squad for London 2012.

Plenty will also be expected of Motherwell youngster Charlie Flynn, who will compete in the 52kg division, while Joe Ham will return for his second Commonwealth Games at 56kg.

Ham will likely have to win a series of high-profile domestic scraps to earn a medal, with Northern Ireland's Olympic bronze medallist Michael Conlan, Welshman and reigning Commonwealth champion Sean McGoldrick and Leeds fighter Qais Ashfaq in his category.

Ashfaq said: "There's some really tough guys at my weight but I'm fully confident. Conlan is a threat but I've got the blueprint for beating him and I know it's my time.

"London was a bit too soon for me, with people like Luke Campbell going to get the gold medal. But he's moved on and it's my turn and I thrive on the pressure all the expectation brings."

Another potentially exciting domestic showdown in the flyweight division could bring together England's Charlie Edwards and irrepressible Northern Ireland fighter Paddy Barnes, who won gold at light-flyweight in Delhi.

Two-time Olympic bronze medallist Barnes was part of an extraordinary Northern Ireland success story in Delhi, where his team claimed three gold medals and two silvers.

India, Australia and Canada are likely to pose the biggest threat to British dominance in the boxing ring – with a strong Indian squad including Delhi gold medallist Manoj Kumar and superstar Vijender, who was controversially denied by England's Anthony Ogogo four years ago.

The star of the Australian team could be Jai Opetaia, who turns 19 shortly before the Games. Opetaia came close to an upset win over eventual bronze medallist Teymur Mammadov in London and will fancy his chances in the 91kg division.

New Zealand super-heavyweight Patrick Mailata will also be 19 years old at Games time and is one of the outstanding candidates in the heaviest men's category.

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