The Dundalk southpaw had previously stated that she would focus on the Paris 2024 Games rather than the Olympiad in Tokyo next year.
Rather than challenge Harrington for the right to go to the major competitions and Tokyo qualifiers this year, the 21-year-old planned to focus on the non-Olympic light welterweight division to build experience.
Harrington and Broadhurst would claim the national Elite Senior titles last week at 60kg and 64kg respectively but the Dubliner, who received a walkover, was not happy with her Louth counterpart and felt that her talk of ‘stepping back’ was “belittling”.
The 29-year-old St Mary’s fighter hit out at Broadhurst at a media event for the Dare To Believe initiative, describing how “it really does annoy me because it sounds as if someone is saying, ‘Ah, she agreed to step back and give you that chance, Kelly’. Well, no, actually — she didn’t have the balls to step up and take the chance herself.”
Tonight the Dealgan youngster would respond to these statements and revealed that that they have, in part, inspired a change of heart and that she may box at lightweight in next year’s National Elite Senior championships – the pathway to the final Olympic qualifiers.
For this to happen, though, World #1 Harrington would need to fail to qualify for the Olympics at the qualifiers this year – which are believed to be the European Championships and World Championships.
Broadhurst, who was beaten by Harrington in the lightweight final last year, had hinted at the possibility of a change following her 64kg win over Moira McElligott last week and would go all in tonight.
Outlining her position, Broadhurst told LMFM that “over the last week, my mind has changed on the [Tokyo] Olympics.”
“Depending on if Kelly Harrington qualifies for the Olympics at the end of the year, if she doesn’t I’ll be coming down to lightweight and giving 2020 a shot.”
“If she doesn’t qualify – I’ll 110% be coming down and giving it a shot.”
The European U22 lightweight champion, who defends her crown in Russia next week, was not happy with Harrington’s comments.
Broadhurst explained how “to be honest with you, I didn’t mean to belittle her in what I said. There was no intention of being disrespectful towards her.”
“I think what she’s come back with is very disrespectful towards me, saying I didn’t have the balls.”
“It really annoyed me because, in all the interviews I did, I was never actually disrespectful to her or said anything that would put a rivalry out there. I always spoke very fondly of her.”
Indeed, Broadhurst found Harrington’s talk hard to stomach due to the Northsider’s previous endeavours at light welterweight whilst Katie Taylor ruled the world.
The Muirhevnamore woman noted how Harrington “came back and said I had no balls to fight her and, to be honest with you, she’s a bit of a hypocrite because she did the exact same, she understands my position.”
“She was in my position before but she ws it a lot longer, she was in it for seven or eight years. She turned around and said she didn’t have the confidence but she just did what I did, she just stepped back and didn’t want to take the chance.”
Broadhurst is confident that she can overtake Harrington and take a spot at the Olympics if she gets the chance and has been fuelled by suggestions of cowardice.
“Her saying I didn’t have the balls, that really annoyed me so I will step up and take her on now if she doesn’t qualify,” promised Broadhurst.
“I was 20 years old when I stepped first in the ring with her. She beat me fair and square but I was still able to show that I’m able to put it up to her.”
“I think she forgets that I was so young at the time. I’ve went and I’ve gotten experience and, this year, I’ll grab the experience as well and, this November, if she doesn’t qualify [for the Tokyo Olympics], then we’ll see who has the balls.”