Stephen Broadhurst is back, and has made it to a second Senior Elite final.
The rangey southpaw reached the 2015 decider before being beaten by Michael O’Reilly. Some time away from the sport followed, and now Broadhurst is back and much better prepared for a second tilt at the title.
As he did in the 2015 championships, Broadhurst won his semi final against Belfast’s Caoimhin Hynes to book his place in Friday’s final.
The Muirhevnamor man described the contest to Irish-Boxing.com and admitted that Hynes was a difficult foe.
“He was very tricky,” explained Broadhurst. “He was moving, and moving, and moving, then he’d lunge in – and when he lunged in he was fast so to catch him you had to counter punch really good.”
“I thought he had a good gameplan, he did everything in bursts, once or twice every round he’d throw a lot – but I felt I blocked a good few of them and then in the third round I started picking him off every time he came in just to make sure.”
“When people are that much smaller than you sometimes it’s hard to catch them because when you throw down towards their head they’re ducking and weaving and before you know it they’re inside on you and the [reach] advantage is gone.”
Things are a little different now than two years ago, and Broadhurst certainly feels in better shape going into his final on Friday against Emmett Brennan following a change in his work circumstances.
He recalled how “two years ago I was working 12 hour shifts – but don’t get me wrong, Michael O’Reilly’s a class act and for me to beat him I would have had to have been at my absolute best. This year I’m getting a lot of benefit from not working so much so I can concentrate on my training.”
“There’s a lot more still to come, I still trying to get to my A-game, but after two years off I’m delighted to have gotten to a final.”
In terms of his Glasnevin opponent, the pair have never shared the ring, but Broadhurst is familiar with the Dub and described how “he’s been around a long time, he’s small, and he can adapt to all different sort of styles.”
“I saw him in the quarter final against [John] Joyce, and to beat Joyce you have to be good. I need to be on my game. It should be good. I trained hard and it should be good enough in the ring!”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: