Olympic medal hopeful Adams plots course to London 2012 from Bradford gym

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford City Reporter

An Olympic gold is being forged in a Bradford boxing gym.

Nicola Adams, one of the favourites to land the top prize at London 2012, has been upping her preparations in the city.

Adams has been working with long-time mentor Alwin Belcher at Huggy’s Gym in Spring Mill Street.

The former Bradford University student said: “I’ve trained with Alwin for ten years now and he still looks after me. I consider him to be one of the best.

“We’re training hard for the Olympics five times a week, three times a day. It’s pretty hardcore.”

As a Great Britain amateur coach, Belcher has worked with some of the very best, including David Haye, Amir Khan and Carl Froch. And he is confident that the 28-year-old can bring glory to West Yorkshire next year.

He said: “Nicola has followed me all over the country. She went to Durham because I was there and now she’s coming here to keep working together.

“She works so hard on her technical training skills and I’m not surprised she’s a medal favourite for the Olympics.”

When Adams donned gloves for the first time at the age of 12, her biggest fight was often finding an opponent.

But women’s boxing in this country has made great strides in recent years on the back of her continued success.

She has won five domestic amateur titles and was the first English woman to win a medal at a major overseas competition with a silver in the European Championships in Denmark in 2007.

Adams has twice claimed World Championship silver, most recently last year when she lost out to China’s Cancan Ren.

Former pro Huggy Osman, who owns the Springmill Street gym, said: “She’s an inspiration and it’s a real honour to have her training here.

“She’s technically spot on and there’s so much our boxers can learn, both male and female.

“It’s brilliant for the girls here that they have the chance to look up to somebody like that.”

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