Preston boxer and new mum Lisa Whiteside hit with Covid-19 scare

Preston boxer Lisa Whiteside has spoken of her relief after her newborn son and mum both recovered from Covid-19.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 4:20 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2021, 4:22 pm
Lisa Whiteside

The Chorley-born ace welcomed Jensen into the world on Boxing Day after a complicated birth.

Mum and father John’s joy at the arrival of their first child quickly changed to worry after they were all struck down with the virus.

And that concern escalated when her mum became ill with coronavirus and had to be admitted to the intensive care unit in hospital.

Fortunately, she appears to be on the mend, while Jensen suffered just a minor dose of lethargy.

“It’s been a crazy few weeks,” said Whiteside. “The birth was quite scary because he nearly didn’t make it and then I nearly didn’t make it.

“Then we got Covid and then my mum got Covid.

“She ended up in hospital and we had the panic and worry of, ‘Is my mum going to come out of hospital?’.

“But she obviously has a bit of fight in her. She is home now although still very, very weak.”

Meanwhile, Whiteside will not let a few ‘keyboard warriors’ derail her ambitions of becoming the best in the world at bantamweight.

The 35-year-old fight star is just a few weeks back into her training routine after the birth of her first child, baby boy Jensen, at the end of last year.

While looking after her son has now become her first priority, it has certainly not dulled her boxing ambitions.

And she is eager to make some major in-roads within the professional ranks this year after turning over at the start of 2019.

While pregnancy has kept her out of action for the majority of last year – albeit coinciding with the Covid-19 pandemic – she still believes she has got what it takes to reach the top.

However, it would appear some people still need convincing of her pedigree, despite the fact that she has a stellar amateur career behind her.

Looking to get back in the ring at the first opportunity, Whiteside offered to take on Australia’s Ebanie Bridges on the undercard of Shannon Courtenay and Rachel Ball’s contest for the vacant WBA female super-bantamweight title in April.

Nicknamed the Blonde Bomber, Bridges looks set to meet the winner of the Courtney and Ball, but announced on social media that she would be happy to face another opponent on the same bill.

That was cue for Whiteside to make her suggestion about a match-up, although that triggered a mini online spat, and the possibility of the pair meeting now appears to have gone cold.

While a number of people have suggested the fight would be good viewing, some have been less than complimentary about Whiteside.

It is all water off a duck’s back as far the reigning Commonwealth Games champion is concerned as she targets a comeback fight in May.

“I never really go on social media,” said Whiteside.

“I have spoken to my manager Sam Jones about plans going forward.

“Obviously I had started back training and just said, ‘Give me an eight-week camp and I’ll be back ready to go’.

“We worked out that promoter Eddie Hearn had a show on in April, well he has a few shows, but this particular one has two of the girls in my weight category boxing for a world title.

“Then lo and behold I had seen that Ebanie Bridges had said she wanted to box on that undercard.

“I hardly ever go on social media, I just replied to her and said, ‘I’ll box you’.

“Then that was it, it all went off and started getting all these keyboard warriors saying all sorts.

“They were saying I am not good enough, I’m small, I’m weak. But I was thinking this Ebanie Bridges has had four pro fights and that’s it. She has no amateur background.

“The people she has fought are nobodies and so I think she is going to show herself up.

“You can see the different levels.

“The fact that I have had 140 amateur fights and everything which I have achieved is going to help me in some way.

“Everything that I have been through and the years I have been boxing would suggest my pedigree, compared to somebody who has gone from ring card girl to a pro.

“I think she has got in the position she has because of her followers on social media.

“I let other people comment – all I said was that I am willing to be your opponent.

“I just put, ‘Let’s get it on’. I tagged her, I tagged my manager Sam, I tagged Eddie Hearn but nothing came of it.

“Now all of a sudden, she’s saying she doesn’t need me, I am this and I am that. I think the boxing world knows that she just doesn’t want to fight me.”

The fact that Bridges is the mandatory challenger to face either Courtenay or Ball next to fight for a world title has also left Whiteside shaking her head also.

“I don’t know how she is a mandatory for the defence of the world title,” said Whiteside.

“It’s the only thing isn’t it with pro boxing?

“Some of what goes on is a bit farcical, especially in female boxing.

“I think because there’s not that many about, people are getting opportunities which they don’t really deserve.

“You think to yourself ‘how have they earned that opportunity?’

“When you see them getting an opportunity, I just think ‘why not put me in there?’ I will box at bantamweight or super-bantamweight.

“But whoever wins between Courtenay or Ball, it’s a nice easy first defence for them.”