Nicola Adams enters the World championships

Nicola Adams
Action Images/Peter Cziborra
Nicola Adams takes an impressive victory, but Chantelle Cameron sees her Olympic dream end in Kazakhstan. John Dennen reports from the Barys Arena

NICOLA ADAMS, the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist, won her first contest at the women’s World championships in Astana, Kazakhstan on Saturday (May 21). Her opponent, Dilnozakhon Odiljonova was an unknown but Adams soon figured the Uzbek southpaw out.

“When you don’t know what to expect, there’s no footage, you just have to go in tight guard, stick to the basics and then from there you start to read them and see what they’re about,” Adams said. “It just comes from experience.”

Nicola edged forward on to the front foot. Accurate jabs pinged in and Adams fired her right cross straight through Odiljonova’s guard. A right hook upset the Uzbek’s balance in the first round. There was a vicious quality to Adams’ work. A few shots from the Uzbek slipped through but Nicola harried her into a corner and in the last round a sweet countering right dropped Odiljonova to her hands and knees.

“When you do knock someone down, you never know it’s going to happen. It’s kind of always a little bit of a shock when they do go down because you’re not expecting them to go down,” she said.

It was a dominant win for Adams, the judges were unanimous 40-36 and 40-34 twice.

“It was good to get the ring rust off,” Nicola smiled afterwards. “I felt in control, I was just trying to pick my shots and just trying to get my flow going for Monday.

“I’m feeling good, no injuries, ready to go on Monday.”

Adams will next box Azerbaijan’s Anna Alimardanova, a tall, patient southpaw, who dashed American flyweight Virginia Fuchs’ hopes of qualifying for Rio 2016 with a split decision victory.

GB lightweight Chantelle Cameron suffered a defeat, all the more bitter as this was her last chance to qualify for the Olympic Games in August. Cameron went toe to toe with Finland’s Mira Potkonen. A point was taken off each in an at times scrappy bout. Potkonen was more accurate, her solid jab thudding through with sickening regularity.

Chantelle fired back furiously, growing stronger as the bout progressed, attacking the body but the split decision went to Potkonen.

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