European Junior gold, European Youth gold, European Youth silver, EU Youth gold, 13 national underage titles – it was an impressive resumé held by Broadhurst as she entered the adult ranks but she always wanted more.
Considering the jump in levels, it was understandable that the Muirhevnamor fighter didn’t immediately ‘take over’ but it can now be said that Broadhurst has become a fully-fledged elite athlete,
2016 was quiet. 2017 saw an Irish U22 crown and semi-final exits in both the Irish and English Senior Championships for the Louth lightweight. This year the U22 title was retained and a runner-up spot in the Elites – before a big arrival in Romania.
The Dealgan boxer claimed three wins over strong opposition to take gold at the European U22 Championships and, if she hadn’t already in her RTÉ-broadcast final with Harrington in February, underlined her credentials as an elite fighter at the weight.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” Broadhurst told Irish-Boxing.com, reflecting on her final victory over Italian Francesca Martusciello.
“Honestly, it didn’t sink in for a good few hours after I had won what I had just achieved.”
It was an important win for Broadhurst who has been patiently building in a division ruled by Katie Taylor and now Kelly Harrington – who defeated her in the recent Elite Senior final
“I suppose I have been unlucky but I could have easily avoided the 60kg like some people would and go straight in at elite level at 64kg but I didn’t,” she noted.
“I’m not afraid to take on the best and I know whether it’s not this year or next year I know eventually if I work hard enough, what I work hard for will come to me.”
“With such a reputation as a junior and youth, I expect myself to have the same reputation as an elite so when I lost [to Harrington] it was hard to take. ”
“I’ve always been told that nothing really matters until you’re elite, so to actually win a European title at this level is just brilliant!”
“Compared to the other European titles as a Junior and Youth, this one seems to be a lot bigger as it is basically an elite tournament.”
Broadhurst’s big tests came in the quarters versus World #16 Esra Yildiz and then in the final with a familiar foe in Martusciello
She explained how “in the final I boxed the Italian I boxed in the 2015 European Final.”
“With it been three years ago I didn’t even let the last fight come into my head because she had improved just as much as I did and I knew she would be out for revenge! So I went in like it was someone I’d never boxed before.”
The European U22 gold, Ireland’s second ever after Jason Quigley in 2012, came less than six weeks after Broadhurst’s loss to Harrington.
Despite the disappointment, it was straight back into training though. Indeed, the gold medal may only have just been placed on the mantlepiece but Broadhurst is now ready to start her the journey for the Elites in September – and potentially the World Championships in November.
“It was very hard [after losing to Harrington], I found it very hard to motivate myself. I was heartbroken but I trained hard for these Europeans and just gave my everything,” she recalled
“At the moment, everything is up in the air in what I’m to do next. But regardless of what happens, the training for my elites will be starting very soon.”