Published On: Fri, May 14th, 2021

‘I tore my pupil in two places’: Nicola Adams details gruesome eye injury which forced her to retire

Olympic boxer Nicola Adams discussed her horrifying eye injury on The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday and admitted her early departure from Strictly Come Dancing in 2020 left her feeling ‘gutted.’ 

The flyweight fighter, 38, became the first female Olympic boxing champion in 2012, but she tore her pupil when she collided with Maria Salinas in a title fight in 2019, forcing her to retire. 

Now, she hopes to work on new projects including other potential dance competitions as she reflected on her premature exit from Strictly due to a positive coronavirus test result. 

‘I tore my pupil in two places’ Nicola Adams discussed her horrifying eye injury on Saturday and admitted her early departure from Strictly Come Dancing in 2020 left her feeling ‘gutted’ (pictured in 2019)

Speaking first about her injury to host Jonathan, 60, she said: ‘In my last fight I received an eye injury in the first round. 

‘I tore my pupil in two places. it was really tough. I can see OK now, but it’s still an injury that affects me. My pupil doesn’t close the way it should.’

She also detailed the highs and lows of retirement as she continued: ‘At first it was really cool. I loved it, I had freedom, I could do what I wanted, it was awesome. 

‘The flip side of that, because I’d had such a strict eating regime… going from that to absolutely being able to do whatever I wanted, I found it really hard to control my eating. 

Focus: The athlete, 38, hopes to work on new projects, including other potential dance competitions, as she reflected on her exit from Strictly due to a positive coronavirus test

Focus: The athlete, 38, hopes to work on new projects, including other potential dance competitions, as she reflected on her exit from Strictly due to a positive coronavirus test

‘I tried loads of different diets, my weight was fluctuating all the time. I did some research, [looking into] building a good relationship with food.’

She continued: ‘I’ve been working on a tech platform, to help people build a good relationship with food; to have that pizza and say it’s OK. 

‘I can eat that pizza and I don’t feel guilty about what I’m eating now. I’m in a really good head space and have a good relationship with food now.’

Nicola made the most of her sudden retirement by using her newfound spare time to enter the 2020 series of Strictly.

Ouch! Nicola appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show and discussed the moment she tore her pupil when she collided with Maria Salinas in a title fight in 2019, forcing her to retire

Ouch! Nicola appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show and discussed the moment she tore her pupil when she collided with Maria Salinas in a title fight in 2019, forcing her to retire

She got off to a fantastic start, becoming the show’s first same-sex couple with professional dancer Katya Jones. 

However their run on the iconic BBC dancing show ended prematurely after her dance partner, 32, tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

Discussing the unfortunate series of events, Nicola said to Jonathan: ‘Katya got Covid and then that was it, we were out of the show. 

‘I was absolutely gutted. Being a fighter, I’d have preferred to have gone out on my shield, in a dance off. How I never caught the virus I have no idea.’

Time to throw the towel in: She said to Jonathan, 60: 'I tore my pupil in two places. it was really tough. I can see OK now, but it’s still an injury that affects me. My pupil doesn’t close the way it should'

Time to throw the towel in: She said to Jonathan, 60: ‘I tore my pupil in two places. it was really tough. I can see OK now, but it’s still an injury that affects me. My pupil doesn’t close the way it should’

When asked if she would have made it to the final if coronavirus hadn’t intervened, she responded: ‘Ah yeah, [of] course. I’m a champ.’

Of being eliminated, Nicola added: ‘So sad. Who knows, maybe there’s another dance show I can do.’

She also recalled the learning process during training for the dance competition and compared it to fighting.

Nicola said: ‘First thing, I wasn’t getting hit in the face, so that was amazing. Because I had the fitness side already, it was just learning the dance routines and remembering to point my toes. 

‘Because I was so used to making myself as small as I could for defence in boxing, having to open up, project to the crowd, point my toes, know where to stand, turn… it was an awesome experience.’

When asked if she misses physically hitting people, she responded: ‘I think for me I miss more of the performance side of it, going out in front of the crowd, the build up, the trash talking in the press conferences. I miss all that the most.’ 

Jonathan was also joined by Sir Tom Jones, Paloma Faith, Dave Bautista and James Acaster during Saturday night’s show.   

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on Saturday 15 May at 9:35pm on ITV and is available to watch on ITV Hub.   

Star-studded lineup: Jonathan was also joined by Sir Tom Jones, Paloma Faith, Dave Bautista and Jame Acaster during Saturday night's show

Star-studded lineup: Jonathan was also joined by Sir Tom Jones, Paloma Faith, Dave Bautista and Jame Acaster during Saturday night’s show

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