MEETING Olympic champion boxer Nicola Adams has inspired Moray’s own female fighter to battle back from a series of setbacks and go for Commonwealth glory.
Scottish international Megan Gordon was on the wrong end of several split decision defeats in competitive bouts against top British opponents, and admitted she considered quitting the sport which had become her life.
But she remembered the words of double Olympic gold medallist Adams, who she met at a training camp in Sheffield and was encouraged never to give up on her dream by the champion fighter.
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Now Gordon (17), daughter of Elgin Boxing Club coach Paul, has her confidence and her determination back and is aiming to qualify for this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
“Nicola was so lovely, talking to you like normal,” she recalled of her 2015 meeting with Britain’s most successful female boxer. “She started at the bottom and went to the very top, and she was basically saying how she got there and not giving up.
“It definitely inspired me. Everyone knows how hard she worked to get where she has. “I’ve watched programmes about her and you think that’s what you should do, never give up because you could get to that stage.”
While Adams had to overcome a back injury and funding problems to achieve her dream, Gordon had to regain her self-belief after a run of narrow defeats.
Twice a Scottish champion at junior level, she began to run out of opponents in her own country after stepping up to youth level, and had to travel further afield to get competitive bouts.
“Last season I didn’t actually have any home shows,” she said. “It was all internationals, boxing the English champion, the Irish and Welsh champion. I was just boxing the champions as there was no one in Scotland I could box.”
Nicknamed ‘Princess Meg’ at her club – as in her coach dad’s little Princess – Gordon had worn the Scotland vest for the first time in 2015. She fought in major competitions in Sweden and Ireland before taking on a British Championship bout in Wales last year.
“The English girl had been winning big competitions and I got her and ended up losing that on a split decision. I had lost competitions before that on the split, four in a row in total.
“I got to the point where I was thinking ‘should I carry on?’ because I didn’t think I was going to come back from it.
Full story in Friday's Northern Scot