Nicola Adams has been left out of the Great Britain squad for this month’s European Championships and is expected to turn professional.
The 34-year-old double Olympic champion has held talks with promoters in Britain and the US and an announcement about her future is believed to be imminent.
GB team performance director Rob McCracken believes Adams, who is currently on a break from training after defending her flyweight title in Rio in the summer, will follow the lead of fellow Olympians Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields and join the paid ranks.
Irish sensation Taylor is due to make her professional debut on The SSE Arena, Wembley in London on November 26, while American Shields is due to fight on the undercard of Andre Ward’s clash with Sergey Kovalev on Saturday week.
“Nicola is currently having a look at all her options and what is available to her, and that includes professional boxing,” said McCracken.
“She’s the double Olympic champion and she deserves time to make up her mind. It would be great to keep on the programme and I am sure she could go to Tokyo in 2020 if she had the motivation.
“But when you have won two gold medals the motivation could be a factor and my gut feeling is she will probably look at those other options and give professional boxing a go.”
Under new eligibility criteria, Adams could conceivably turn professional then re-commit to the GB ranks at a later date in order to pursue a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.
However, such a possibility would depend on a number of factors, including GB’s ability to source a 51kg replacement for Adams, and that prospect is not currently forming part of the Leeds fighter’s long-term plan.
Double Olympian Savannah Marshall is also out of the European Championships following recent shoulder surgery, although the Hartlepool fighter is expected to rejoin the squad in due course.
Adams’ absence gives another chance to former world silver medallist Lisa Whiteside at flyweight, while Sandy Ryan (60kg), Chantelle Cameron (64kg) and Natasha Gale (75kg) will also compete.
In addition, England Boxing have selected three fighters who are not currently part of the GB programme – Demie-Jade Resztan (48kg), Ramla Ali (54kg) and Raven Chapman (57kg).