Nicola Adams is one win away from retaining her Olympic gold medal after out-classing Cancan Ren to book a place in Saturday’s Women’s Flyweight final.
She will take on Sarah Ourahmoune from France who edged out Ingrit Valencia Victoria of Columbia in the second semi-final at Riocentra Pavilion 6 and with fellow reigning OIympic champion Anthony Joshua watching on, she is already in the mood to hold on to her title.
“Another gold medal fight, I am excited and I can’t wait,” she told the BBC. “This is what I have been training for for the last four years and I am ready to go.”
“Four years is a long time for someone to change their style and strength and weaknesses, so I just had to take it for what it was – going in there and stick to the tactics.”
The Leeds golden girl won a unanimous decision against the Chinese rival she beat back in London 2012 to become the first ever female to win a medal at the Olympics.
Adams won three out of the four rounds to secure a unanimous decision success – 39-37, 39-37, 39-37 – that leaves her as the first Team GB boxer to reach a final in Rio.
Adams was the first to land a shot with two crisp jabs but with her old foe happy to stay out of range and sit back and counter, it was a close and at times, cautious start.
The Team GB star was keen to claim that first round but she was soon stretching in, missing with her shots and then being caught by Cancan’s clever counters.
Adams seemed to know things hadn’t gone her way and with her 3-2 down in the last five fights between them, she came out in fantastic fashion for the second.
The opening foray saw a right hook hit home and instantly the jab slipped and stayed in gear, continually catching the Chinese fighter.
Another big right closed the round and with the referee warning Cancan for holding on whenever Adams moved right in, the balance of power has shifted straight into the reigning Olympic champions lap.
The third round saw her stamp her superiority all over it, as she managed to avoid the opening attack and as her jab and a straight right connecting cleanly, her 30-year-old opponent seemed to tire.
Cancan went for it from the start of the fourth and final round but even when roles were reversed and Adams was sitting back and countering, a couple of clever rights and her defensive skills showed Rio why she is still the reigning champion.