European trek for GB ace Whiteside

Larches and Savick's Lisa Whiteside
Larches and Savick's Lisa Whiteside
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Preston boxer Lisa Whiteside will be racking up the air miles over the next week as she potentially faces two career-defining moments.

The Team GB fighter will be the leading member of an England party which will be travelling to Scandinavia on Friday to face Norway.

There she will take on Marielle Hansen in the ring, on Saturday, in the 51kg weight category

Then after a full day back on home soil, Whiteside will be on her travels once more as she heads to eastern Europe on Tuesday.

Representing Team GB in the absence of Olympic champion Nicola Adams, Whiteside will be aiming for a gold medal at the Strandja Memorial Cup, in Bulgaria, also at 51kg.

It’s a great opportunity for Whiteside to emerge from Adams’ shadow as she looks to force her way into selection reckoning for the Commonwealth Games and beyond – the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are just over two years away.

As long as Adams stays fit, it is a certainty that she will get the nod to represent Team GB in Glasgow this year at 51kg.

However, a strong performance over the next week could hand Whiteside an outside chance of going to the Commonwealths, especially if Adams suffers loss of form or fitness.

Whiteside said: “I’m fighting Marielle Hansen and I’ve never fought against her before. Nicola has boxed her before and beaten her.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m the only girl on the team from the podium squad, the rest are from the development squad.

“I get back from that and then I’m off again to Bulgaria for the Strandja Cup. It is a world-class tournament with a lot of good girls competing.

“Ren Cancan, the Chinese boxer who Nicola beat in the final at the London Olympics, will be there. So I will be looking to make my mark at 51kg. It’s a knockout tournament so I could have four bouts in four days.”

The Larches and Savick ABC fighter – who appeared as a guest on the BBC’s popular sports quiz ‘A Question Of Sport’ last week – is currently putting the finishing touches to her preparation at the Institute of Sport, in Sheffield.

“I’ve been pushing myself in training,” she said. “I’ve had some good sparring sessions and I’ve really pushed myself on the runs. I’m feeling really strond and fit.”

Meanwhile, fellow Larches and Savick ABC fighter Scott Fitgerald has been away in Kazakhstan training in minus 33 degree celsius weather conditions with Team GB.