Home is where the heart is for boxing star Lisa Whiteside
Lisa Whiteside will relish the prospect of fighting in front of a ‘home crowd’ for what will be the first time in her career.
The 33-year-old boxer, who was born in Chorley and lives in Preston, takes on Slovakia’s Claudia Ferenczi down the road at the University of Bolton Stadium.
It will be the second fight of Whiteside’s fledgling professional career, having spent the previous decade in the amateur ranks and as part of Team GB.
Her debut in the pro ranks saw her defeat Dani Hodges comprehensively on points in Stevenage in May.
Whiteside’s second fight will be a little bit closer to home and she is set to be backed by family, friends and hordes of her supporters.
“The best thing for me about my next fight is with it being local,” said Whiteside, who won the Commonwealth Games flyweight gold medal on Australia’s Gold Coast last year.
“I boxed for six years for Team GB and travelled the world fighting in many different countries.
“That was good but people have never really been able to see me compete.
“I have either been in Australia or Kazakhstan or South Korea. To be able to be just around the corner on Friday is great.
“I have got loads and loads of people coming along to support me .
“I have got all my family from Manchester coming, all my family, friends and supporters from Chorley and Preston coming. The pressure is on really!”
At 26-years-old, Ferenczi is seven years Whiteside’s junior although she is a veteran of 97 pro fights having made her debut in 2007.
She has lost 70 of those contests, but has only been stopped on four occasions.
The challenge for Whiteside – who has more than 130 amateur fights in the bank – is to secure the stoppage.
“I think you always have to expect the unexpected in boxing,” said Whiteside.
“You can never underestimate anybody. I don’t go delving into how my opponents box too much – I like to concentrate on what I do.
“I am not going to change who I am – I’m just aiming to push on and let them worry about me.
“It’s always difficult at the start of your boxing career that why I was chuffed that my first opponent Dani Hodges came to win.
“This next girl has had a lot of fight and has lost a lot of them, but looking at her record she does not get stopped a lot.
“She has been in with some good opponents so the aim for me is try to stop her.”
Whiteside would like to thank her main sponsors: Kingsley Asset Finance, Lilliput Nursery School, Prestige Barber Shop, Slickers Recycling. Her support sponsors are Realign, Titan Strength Academy, Robin Oatride and Co, Cryo Express, Lean and Green.