Nicola Adams is relishing her new-found freedom as a professional boxer as she targets a return to the ring towards the end of the year.
The 34-year-old saw off Maryan Salazar in May in her second paid contest since opting to switch in the wake of the successful defence of her Olympic title in Rio last year.
Adams admits she initially found it hard with so much spare time on her hands but believes spending time away from the ring can only help her quest to crown her career with a professional world title.
Adams told Press Association Sport: “I have never had the chance to take a break before because I was always in training and I could be boxing up to 40 times in a year. You got two weeks off at Christmas and that was it. You went to a tournament and if you got a gold medal you might get a bit extra but anything less and you were straight back to camp.
“I love boxing so it’s been hard for me to get used to not having to train so much. But I find gearing everything towards one day is starting to suit me a lot more and just makes me hungrier when it is time to fight again.”
Among the extra-curricular activities Adams has adopted are participation in the 46-mile Prudential RideLondon later this month, and a crash-course in Spanish during her time in the US with partner Marlen Esparza.
Her cycling opportunity will represent the longest ride of Adams’ life but it is not the first time she has been in the saddle having been a keen BMXer as a child.
Adams added: “I’ve cycled as part of my training but I’ve never taken part in a race. The most cycling I’ve ever done was when I was young and there was a BMX track 10 minutes from my house.
“But I’ve always been involved in other sports. I was a good 100-metre sprinter and when I was 16 I was asked to consider taking it further but it was then that I decided to choose boxing instead.”
She added: “I’m really happy to get the opportunity to do other things and that can only help. There’s not such a rush at the time and staying patient will only help me get to the top and win that world title and keep hold of it.”
:: Nicola Adams OBE will be riding with students and teachers from the educational charity Teach First at Prudential RideLondon as part of the PruGOals programme. For further information on PruGOals visit www.prugoals.co.uk