Olympic champion Nicola Adams admits that while a hand injury has left her frustrated, it could prove to be a blessing in disguise when she returns to the ring.
Adams burst into the nation’s conscious last summer when she won flyweight gold at London 2012, becoming the first female boxer to achieve such a feat.
But since her shining moment the 30-year-old has seen her progress stalled by a right-hand injury, an operation ruling her out for six months.
However Adams is now fighting fit and is chomping at the bit to get back in the ring, with the July’s European Union Championships in Hungary fast approaching.
“I have got back to punching and sparring and my hand is fine. I am looking forward to getting back in the ring in July,” said Adams.
“It has been really frustrating not being able to box and watching a lot of my teammates going off to compete in tournaments since the Olympics.
“I am itching to get back in there but I think I will probably be improved. I have had plenty of time to concentrate on technique and sharpness.”
Despite her enforced absence from the ring Adams has kept herself busy and she was among the Great Britain stars greeting winners of the schools Golden Gloves tournaments at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield this week.
And Adams understands that since her London 2012 adventure, her role extends beyond the ropes.
She added: “A lot of the young girls here look up to me as a role model and that is really important for them.
“I just used to look up to Muhammad Ali but I would have liked to have had a female boxer who I could relate to more.
“It will be really inspiring for a lot of these girls to come to the gym for the first time and having seen what happened at the Olympics, they now know it is possible for them to go all the way.”
© Sportsbeat 2013