Boxing: Olympic hero Nicola Adams wins in style on her professional debut

Gareth A Davies

The delivery of four dominant rounds from Nicola Adams on her professional debut was greeted with a lukewarm  response from the crowd as Great Britain's double Olympic flyweight champion defeated Virginia 'La Tigresa' Carcamo. Nothing new there. James DeGale was booed on debut; Katie Taylor has not been roared to the rafters yet. 

The flyweight 'Lioness' inflicted a third loss on the raw, brawling Argentine fighter to launch her paid career in the women's arm of the sport, accelerated by the inception of female boxing in the Olympics just five years ago. But the reception from this crowd at least could be some indication of the work needed to be done to ignite interest in a top-class boxer.

Indeed, there was a similar response to Katie Taylor on the undercard of Jorge Linages-Anthony Crolla here at this same venue two weeks ago. That said, there is clearly momentum within women's professional boxing.

Adams bossed Carcamo for four, two-minute rounds, winning 40-36 on the referee's card, having made her entrance looking sleek in a sleeveless white tracksuit, and, as ever, cool, calm and collected. Without a headguard for the first time, Adams's wedge haircut completed the picture.

Nicola Adams is awarded the victoryCredit: GETTY IMAGES

The 'Lioness' clearly wanted to thrill, throwing hooks in close and landing stinging jabs, but was tied up by the South American at close quarters, her tactic of ducking low thwarting the British fighter. 

Watched by her partner, Marlen Esparza, the London 2012 bronze medallist who looked glamorous in the VIP seats, Adams, 34, who is the most successful British amateur of all time, having claimed the 'grand slam' of world, Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles, looked better the longer she was in there, employing a long jab, and dancing  away when Carcamo attempted to clinch. 

Adams's ambition is to become the first woman to headline an event in Las Vegas, and has been underwritten by a multi-fight deal for her contests to be shown on BoxNation TV and which could make her female boxing's first 'million dollar baby'. 

Virgil Hunter, the American trainer who oversees the careers of Andre Ward and Amir Khan, whose wing Adams has fallen under, told The Sunday Telegraph: "I just wanted Nicola to be Nicola, and she did just that." 

Earlier, a terrific light-middleweight battle between Liam Smith, the former WBO world champion, and Welshman Liam Williams, ended after nine rounds when Gary Lockett pulled Williams out after a head clash in the ninth stanza.

Liam Smith (left) and Liam Williams produce a brutal fightCredit: REUTERS

But until then the fans were treated to a contest both thrilling and brutal, in which neither man would let up in relentless exchanges round after round.

Smith, who lost his title to Mexican star Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez last year, was cut over the right eye in the third round by the Rhonda Valley man after Williams had landed a powerful left hook followed by a jab, the first five rounds going to the work of the Welshman, with Smith pulling the fight back with a rally of his own in the sixth. 

With the right-hand side of Smith's face a mask of blood from the cut in the seventh, referee Terry O'Connor paused the action momentarily and called the ringside doctor to inspect, though the physician was happy for the battle to resume.

Smith was fighting his way back into the contest and when it was stopped by Williams's corner after nine, Williams led on my card led 5-4. 

"I felt comfortable. It's a bit of a disappointment, but it was a great fight. I've lost the fight but I'll come again," said Williams. 

The two men are almost certain to meet again. There was little between them. 

Earlier, heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois, just 19, also made his  professional bow with a perfunctory 35-second knockout of Marcus 'Caveman' Kelly.

Daniel Dubois puts Marcus Kelly downCredit: GETTY IMAGES

"I was sensible and calm. My left hook really dazed him and I just jumped on him there and I wanted to finish him and I did," said Dubois. "My dad brought me to the gym and inspired me to work hard and stay dedicated. I’d be back in tomorrow if I could, even later tonight. I want to be a world champion." 

Promoter Frank Warren told The Sunday Telegraph that the ambition of Dubois was "to become Britain's youngest ever world heavyweight champion". 

Dubois has been the talk of many gyms he has sparred in, having been in the ring with the likes of Anthony Joshua and Hughie Fury in recent months.

"These are very early days but he is a genuine prospect and we'll keep him busy with seven or eighty fights a year," added Warren. 

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