Preston boxer Lisa Whiteside believes she has finally emerged from the shadow of Olympic gold medal winner Nicola Adams.
The 29-year-old Larches and Savick Amateur Boxing Club ace produced a magnificent performance to win a silver medal in the 51kg category at the AIBA World Championships in the Jeju Islands, South Korea.
Whiteside won four bouts to reach the final before losing a narrow split decision to Marlen Esparza, of the US.
Indeed, many good judges were amazed that the Team GB fighter was not handed the gold medal after appearing to dominate her American opponent for the majority of the bout and landing the cleaner shots.
Whiteside admitted she has not watched a replay of the fight and so is not in a position to comment on the merits of the judges’ decision.
However, she is just thrilled to have performned so well on the international stage, especially as she has suffered a number of setbacks this season.
In the European Championships earlier this year, Whiteside suffered a shock defeat in her opening bout at 54kg to Italy’s Marzia Davide, who went to win the event.
And she was also overlooked for this summer’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games in favour of Adams, who was crowned Olympic champion at the London 2012 Games.
Her performance in Asia proves that she belongs among the elite and it has boosted her confidence immeasurably as she builds towards winning a place on the GB squad for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“Sometimes I’ve thought – at my lowest point this year – that maybe it’s time pack it all in,” Whiteside said. “The reason being because it’s just so hard.
“You’re weight-making all the time – don’t get me wrong, I can do it – I make the weight easily.
“But it is so intense and you sacrifice so much like your family, socialising, not seeing your friends and family.
“And obviously being in the shadow of Nicola Adams, missing out on the Commonwealths...it was tough.
“I feel like my performance out in South Korea shows that I belong at this level and I am not in the shadow of Nicola.”