NICOLA ADAMS advanced to the quarter-finals of the women’s World championships, winning her last preliminary contest at the Barys Arena in Astana on Monday. Adams, the reigning Olympic gold medallist, outpointed Azerbaijan’s Anna Alimardanova.
The Azeri was a patient, southpaw counter-puncher who stayed resolutely on the backfoot. Adams though put on a textbook display. Light on her feet, Nicola picked her moments to dart in with a jab. Her reactions were swift enough to duck countering right hooks. Adams occasionally led with her right to score with clean, decisive crosses. The Briton won 40-36 for all three judges.
“I just had to keep focused and not let my guard down. She’s a counter-puncher and she’s a quick counter-puncher. I didn’t want to get caught on my way in or on my way out as I was attacking,” Nicola said. “It was more of a chess game that one, rather than a high energy match.
“I don’t mind, a win’s a win. You come up against everything in the amateurs so you’ve got to be ready for everything.”
Adams boxes her quarter-final tomorrow, when she’ll take on Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Ting Li, another very tall opponent who is however orthodox and seems more aggressive than Alimardanova.
“I feel good, ready to go,” Nicola promises. “Can’t wait to get back in action.”