Boxing champion Nicola Adams reveals that she slept with a hammer underneath her pillow as a child in order to protect herself from her abusive mother

Nicola Adams revealed that as a child she slept with a hammer in her pillow to defend herself against her mother’s abusive partner. 

The 39-year old boxing champion was raised on a Leeds council estate and suffered abuse from her dad, Innocent. Denver then began to date another abusive man. 

She now tells The Sun, “It was terrible.” I couldn’t understand why it had happened, and I remember asking my mum: “How have we ended up in this situation again?”  I’d been through a lot already, and this guy was a lot bigger than my dad. I knew there was no way I’d be able to stop him if anything serious happened.’ 

Unsafe: Nicola Adams, 39, has revealed that slept with a hammer under her pillow as a child to defend herself from her mother's abusive partner; pictured 2021

Unsafe: Nicola Adams, 39 has revealed that she slept under her pillow with a hammer as a child to protect herself against her mother’s abuser; pictured 2021 

She decided then that she would sleep with a hammer underneath her pillow in order to defend herself and her mother. 

Nicola was still scared, even though he wasn’t abusive. She went on to say: ‘One night I’d just had enough. I went downstairs and took the hammer and said: “You need to leave the house now or I’m going to use it.” 

“I can remember feeling scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen, I just knew I had to do something. As soon as I had, I was thinking: “Oh c**p, I’m here now, and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”‘ 

She followed him to his car with the weapon, making sure he didn’t return to their home.  

Turbulent: The boxing champion grew up on a council estate in Leeds and suffered abuse from her father, Innocent, before her mother, Denver, started dating another abusive man; pictured 2018

Turbulent: The boxing champ grew up in Leeds on a council estate. She was subject to abuse from her father Innocent before Denver began dating another abusive man. pictured 2018,

Nicola spent her childhood afraid of her father. He would lash out at Nicola with a fist and belt for being late home. 

It was because she felt scared and sad that she began to accept it. She then had to go to trauma therapy. 

Speaking ahead of a Netflix documentary, she also revealed that her boxing journey began when her mother couldn’t find a babysitter. She dropped her off at her brother Kurtis’ house when he went into practice. 

Here, she found another type of family. Her coach, Steve Franks, said she would be a world champion one day. 

Nicola’s road to success was difficult because women’s boxing was underfunded. She sought out motivation from others whenever she felt she wanted to quit.

She explained that she needed to work part time to make enough money to support her family because the industry was so poor. 

In 2012, women’s boxing became an Olympic sport. She won her first gold medal. 

Nicola continued her professional boxing career in 2017, but she was forced to retire in 2019 after she broke a pupil in her eye in a fight against Maria Salinas. 

After taking part in Strictly Come Dancing last season, she was the first same-sex couple to appear on the show with Katya. 

Nicola hopes to now launch her acting career following the release of her documentary Lioness.  

Historic: After her momentous career success, Nicola made history once again after taking part in Strictly Come Dancing last year in being in the first same-sex couple on the show with Katya Jones; pictured in 2020

Historic: Nicola was a pioneer in her field after her remarkable career success. She took part in Strictly Come Dancing last season as the first same-sex couple to appear on the show.