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Nicola Adams wins last remaining boxing title

Nicola Adams pictured with her 2012 Olympics gold medal. Photo: PA

Nicola Adams claimed the last remaining major title to elude her after beating Thailand's Peamwilai Laopeam to be crowned world flyweight champion in Kazakhstan on Friday.

The 33-year-old's split decision victory means she will head to Rio this summer as the reigning Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion, having also previously picked up European and EU golds.

Victory ended a long period of frustration in the tournament for Adams, having been forced to settle for three consecutive silver medals before missing the 2014 event in South Korea due to injury.

And it also completed a remarkable journey for both the Leeds boxer and the Great Britain women's boxing squad, which was yet to be inaugurated when she won her first world medal in Ningbo, China in 2008.

Adams, whose victory bid in Astana was backed up by a nine-strong support staff of coaches, medical officers, a nutritionist and a psychologist, was quick to reflect on the changes that made her path to domination possible.

Adams told Press Association Sport: "If you'd told me in Ningbo in 2008 that I'd be here now and would have completed the whole set of medals I would probably never have believed you.

"Ningbo was before women's boxing got into the Olympics and we hardly had anything. We didn't even have a physio travelling with us and we arrived two days before the tournament with an eight-hour time difference. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to get through it all.

"But things have changed massively since then, especially since women's boxing got into the Olympics. We had a brilliant support team behind us out here, and that makes a huge difference."

Adams' win over the experienced Laopeam was clearer than the verdict suggests, with a dominant second round setting the tone for the contest she was largely able to dictate.

A big right hand followed by a body shot seemed to temporarily rock Laopeam in the second, but she did recover to cause Adams some problems of her own in the third.

Nicola Adams celebrates. Credit: PA

Adams will now set her sights on becoming the British boxer since Harry Mallin in 1924 to successfully defend an Olympic gold medal.

But she will have learned enough from her experience in Astana over the last week not to take Rio gold for granted.

In particular, she will be wary of Taipei 20-year-old Yu-Ting Li, who gave her plenty of problems in their quarter-final and could emerge as her major challenger.

Adams added: "I think having finally done it is going to make me feel more relaxed, because now I have won all the major titles and everything I achieve from now on will make more history.

"Now it is all about going to Rio and defending that Olympic title. I am going as part of a really strong GB boxing team and I am certainly expecting quite a few medals out there."

Adams paid tribute to her team-mate Savannah Marshall, who coped with immense pressure to reach the women's middleweight semi-finals and book her trip alongside Adams to her second Olympics.

Marshall picked up her bronze medal on Friday and Adams added: "I was really happy for Savannah. I've known her since she was 12 years old and we've come through a lot together, so it's great to see her get qualified."

Ireland's Kellie Harrington had to settle for a silver medal after losing to Wenlu Yang in the final of the non-Olympic 64kg category, while team-mate Katie Taylor collected her bronze after a shock defeat in her last four bout with Estelle Mossely on Thursday.