Preston boxing star Lisa Whiteside may still get the chance to fight British rival Nicola Adams this year.
The duo were set to meet in the ring on Sunday in the final of the 51kg weight division at the 2015 Elite ABA Championships in Liverpool.
The match-up was being billed as a potential decider for next year’s Olympic Games as both fighters are vying for just one spot on the Team GB squad.
But on the eve of the competition, 32-year-old Adams – who is the current Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion – pulled out of the event after being the victim of a burglary last week. In Adams’ absence, Whiteside, 29 – who won a silver medal at the World Championships in South Korea last year – went on to be crowned national champion by comfortably beating Kim Shannon over four rounds.
Her trainer at Larches and Savick Amateur Boxing Club Dave Fitzgerald, who also works with the country’s junior stars, believes the pair could meet at some point in the near future.
“I think they are going to have to sort something out,” Fitzgerald said.
“Lisa is No.1 in the country at the moment.
“She is ranked No.3 in the world, whereas Nicola is ranked something like 13th.
“Lisa could have proved that she is the one to go to the Olympics and I think she is a little upset that Nicola pulled out but it’s one of those things.”
Whiteside had no problems in recording a unanimous points victory over Shannon – a display which impressed Fitzgerald.
“She boxed really well – she was a different class and won all four rounds,” he said.
“I think she could have stopped her, but she was just happy to move her around and get the four rounds under her belt.”
While there was joy for Whiteside, there was disappointment for Fitzgerald’s son Scott, who lost in the welterweight semi-finals.
“Scott’s not himself,” said Dave Fitzgerald. “He was flat. He fought the Russian world champion two weeks ago and that took a lot out of him.”
Surprise package super heavyweight Adam Simpson performed creditably, winning one fight before losing at the semi-final stage. “Adam did brilliantly. He got as far as the semi-finals,” he said.