Amy Broadhurst knows it won’t happen, but believes she should box off with Kelly Harrington ahead of the 2020 Olympic qualifiers.
Broadhurst was effectively crowned lightweight National Elite Champion when the draw was released earlier today and it was confirmed World Championships gold medallist Harrington won’t participate.
It should have proven a happy moment for the 22-year-old former standout underage operator as she claimed her second Irish Elite title, yet there is some degree of frustration for the Dealgan BC southpaw with regard to how it was won.
“Nobody wants to win by a walkover but I prepared superbly and I did everything I could. I worked very hard for it and although it’s not how I wanted to receive it it’s still an achievement to be now the number one 60kg in Ireland,” a deliberately positive Broadhurst told Irish-Boxing.com.
Not only would the Louth fighter prefer to earn her status as Ireland’s leading lightweight operator in the ring, the fact she won’t get to challenge Harrington denies her the chance to show everyone she is Olympic qualifier worthy.
The Broadhurst-Harrington scenario possibly explains best the controversy that has surrounded the absence of seven big names from what is meant to be Ireland’s premier amateur tournament.
Granted the Dubliner has had injury troubles this year, a thumb issue that has kept her out since the Summer, but Harrington absence means she will most likely retain Olympic qualifier pole position moving into the New Year.
Considering the St Mary’s talent’s international medal haul – plus her superior experience – she would have been favoured with the bookies to beat Broadhurst in what would have been the most anticipated female final ever.
However, European bronze medallist Broadhurst was confident of victory and felt if she won she would have travelled to the IOC’s London and Paris Tokyo qualifiers.
“I genuinely thought the winner of our fight would have been the one selected for the Olympic Qualifiers which was only fair. If she had have beaten me fair, like last time, then by all means she deserves to go, but nobody will ever see the true outcome of it all now.”
“It would have been an amazing fight for women’s boxing and it would have been the most anticipated female fight ever in Ireland and that was something I was looking forward to being a part of,” she adds before stressing she was confident of victory.
“I thought everybody would enter, but I especially thought Kelly would enter and box. Then as the time came closer with word spreading around, I knew that she wasn’t going to box. I’m confident in my own ability and on my best day I can beat anyone.”
“I have gained valuable experience [since we last fought] 18 months ago. I proved that when I beat an Olympic bronze medalist two months ago. I was ready coming into these Elites, I was focusing on me and nobody else just focusing on giving my best performance.”
There have been calls for box offs when the big names recover from their assorted illnesses and injuries. Broadhurst doesn’t expect there to be any form of deciders, but does feel it’s something that should happen.
“I do think there should be a box off, but there won’t be. There will be assessments behind closed doors and that’s why so many didn’t enter and box. It’s a shame that the National Championships don’t determine who will go or not the way it used to be. I remember being a junior and a youth knowing if I won the National Championships I would be on the plane. It’s not like that anymore.”
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Elite 60kg champion of Ireland, My 18th national title and my 2nd elite title in one year. It’s not the way I wanted to win it but I can’t control what happens. With words said at the beginning of the year I thought it might have been backed up but I guess not 🤷🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️ Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year, I have the 60kg title now and I plan on holding onto it for good. I am now going to enjoy what I have achieved all year – U22 European Gold Medal, European Elite Bronze Medal & making the top 8 in the world at 22 years of age as well as enjoying my Christmas ⛄🎄🎅
There is seemingly more than meets the eye, Broadhurst hints, but the double European U22 champion is not letting loose just yet.
“I am hurt, I won’t mention why because at the end of it all it will eventually be told, but I am just 22, as I have said so many times before, I’m still a child compared to all of these boxers.”
“When I am 30 years old what will I be doing if I am getting these results at 22? I am excited to see how well I will do fully matured,” she adds before revealing how much preparation she put in before releasing she wouldn’t have to trade leather to win the second National Elite Instalment of 2019.
“I had great help in the lead up to the Elites. I trained down in the Colosseum Gym with Pete Taylor and his gang. Sam Carroll gave me valuable rounds and so did a few other boxers that helped a lot. My dad really put me through the terrors, but at the end of it all I was smashing my PBs. He had me in excellent shape. It was one of the best camps I’ve ever done, I didn’t want it to end I was enjoying the build up so much.”