Preston boxing ace Lisa Whiteside reckons it will make a mockery of UK sport if long-time rival Nicola Adams fights for a third Olympic gold

Preston boxer Lisa Whiteside
Preston boxer Lisa Whiteside

Preston boxing ace Lisa Whiteside has slammed suggestions that long-time rival Nicola Adams could defend her Olympic title.

The reigning Commonwealth Games champion belives it will ‘make a mockery of UK Sport’ if the Leeds fighter is allowed to compete at the Tokyo Games next year.

Flyweight Adams is a two-time Olympic champion having won in London 2012 and again in Rio four years later.

But following her success in Brazil, the Leeds-born fighter seemingly turned her back on going for a third Olympic gold when she turned professional in 2017.

However, having only had five fights as a pro, with her sixth scheduled later this month, Adams could conceivably still qualify for Tokyo under UK amateur rules as she has had six or less bouts as a pro.

Indeed last month, GB Boxing performance director Rob McCracken intimated he would be open to a potential return to the amateur ranks for Adams.

In a further twist to the tale, Adams became world champion at 51kg earlier this summer without getting in the ring, as Arely Mucino had to relinquish her belt due to injury.

Whiteside – who turned her back on a possible Olympic appearance to pursue a world title and a long-awaited showdown with Adams in the pro game – believes it would be a real kick in the teeth to GB’s current prospects if Adams was allowed to fight in Tokyo.

“I think it would make a mockery of UK Sport, if that was allowed to happen,” Whiteside said.

“What about all those girls on Team GB who have been training and dedicating themselves to go to the next Olympics? Nicola’s had her turn.”

Whiteside – who takes on Russian Evgeniya Zablotskaya on Friday at the Bolton Whites Hotel in her latest bout– 
admits she believes a bout with Adams may well never happen for her.

“It’s not going to happen,” said Whiteside, who has also questioned Adams’ current position of world champion having not fought for the title.

“I am still going to push for it. I want to show that I am better than her and show that it has been her who has avoided me for all these years.” Despite the storm swirling around her, Whiteside remains focused on getting the victory on Friday.

Her opponent on paper does not look too impressive having won only eight of 26 bouts, but Whiteside will certainly not be underestimating her.

“Her last opponent was ranked No.5 in the world,” Whiteside said. “In fact her last three fights have all been against good opponents and she’s took them all the way.

“I am hoping it’s not just going to be a walkover, it’s going to be a bit of a fight.”