Adams wants to emulate Ali by winning first professional world title

Nicola Adams will fight for the WBO world flyweight title on March 8 (pic: John Walton/PA)

Nicola Adams will fight for the WBO world flyweight title on March 8 (pic: John Walton/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Flyweight fights for WBO world title at the Royal Albert Hall on March 8

Former Haringey Police amateur Nicola Adams believes that winning her first professional world title and emulating her hero Muhammad Ali will provide the same high as her two cherished Olympic gold medals.

The 36-year-old challenges WBO flyweight champion Arely Mucino at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where the late, great Ali fought in exhibitions in 1971 and 1979.

In her sixth professional fight on March 8 - incidentally International Women’s Day - the decorated Olympian will be presented with the opportunity to fulfil her final ambition as a boxer, and it is the ghost of Ali that she will use for further inspiration.

“This is the reason I’ve turned professional,” Adams said. “I’ve achieved everything there is to achieve as an amateur, and I wanted to go on and get the world title as a professional boxer, just like my hero Muhammad Ali.

“To think he’s boxed in the same arena I’m boxing in is unbelievable for me. To come away with a world title and call myself a world champion is every boxer’s dream.

“I can’t wait to get in there to be able to perform and prove to people I belong at world level.

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“It’s unreal. I’m thinking about the noise, the crowd. If I can I’ll be going for the knockout - I want to make a big statement. I can’t wait to get out there and get going.

“It’s going to mean everything to me and be up there with the two Olympic medals. It’s International Women’s Day as well.

“I’m over the moon, really excited and can’t wait to get going.”

Adams’ preparations will again be overseen by the Sheffield-based Dominic Ingle, despite the return to health of her respected former trainer Virgil Hunter, who has reunited with Amir Khan.

“Mucino’s a come-forward fighter with a typical Mexican style, who’ll take five (punches) to land one,” she added.

“I’m hoping that’s how she’ll come in because she won’t want to take five of my punches. That belt’s staying here with me.”

March’s bill represents the first at the Albert Hall since Billy Joe Saunders, who like Adams is trained by Ingle and promoted by Frank Warren, stopped Tony Hill in 2012.

Promising heavyweight Daniel Dubois also fights against Romania’s little-known Razvan Cojanu, and British middleweight champion Liam Williams defends his title against Joe Mullender.