The centrepiece of RTÉ’s return to the National Elite Senior Championships, reigning champ Kelly Harrington defends her lightweight title against Amy Broadhurst.
World and EU silver medalist Harrington is the favourite – however, plenty are tipping 20-year-old Broadhurst who has, in one way or another, been preparing for this bout for years.
The Dealgan youngster is relishing the occasion and stated that “I’m the type of person where the bigger the opportunity or the task, the better I react.”
“I’ve fought in a bigger arena where there were a lot of people, but it didn’t look too packed. But the National Stadium, because it’s so small and packed in, it’ll look a lot bigger. I’ve never experienced anything like it before.”
“This fight on Saturday is like a world final for me. I’m treating it like one of the biggest fights of my career so far. I’m really looking forward to it.”
“It’ll be one of the most high-profile fights shown on RTÉ. You had Katie Taylor and Shauna O’Keefe a couple of years ago, but Shauna hadn’t won so much abroad to the same degree as myself or Kelly, which is what makes it an even better fight. And it [Katie v Shauna] wasn’t on TV either.
“Kelly got what she deserved when she won a silver medal at the Worlds, because over the years she’s worked really hard. Now, the two of us have worked really hard, so it’s going to be a very exciting fight.”
The four-time major medalist (European gold x2, European silver, EU gold) at underage level is more familiar with Harrington than most having shared the ring with the St Mary’s stylist as a teen.
Broadhurst takes confidence from this experience and explained how “I sparred Kelly two years ago, and it was a very, very close spar. Personally, I thought I edged it: I boxed her, and it was a very, very clever spar.”
“I thought I edged it, but people outside of the ring might not have thought so, or… Like, you don’t know what you really look like when you’re the one who’s actually in there, but in your head you think, ‘Alright, I’ve done well there’.”
“So, she’s been a name floating around in my head for nearly two years, now, because I knew that eventually we would meet.”
“We have tactics coming into the fight now on Saturday, so we’ve been practicing it in training for the last two months because we knew there was a chance I was going to meet Kelly.”
Everything has fallen into place recently for the Muirhevnamor boxer who comes into the bout fit, sharp, and healthy.
Broadhurst fought twice last month, retaining the under-22 title and described how “I’ve been training very hard. I started training in November.”
“I broke my hand as well, so I was training with a broken hand. And I got my cast off the week before the under-22s and I went in, and my first fight against Bella Hughes was… I could have done more, but every time I threw my back-hand I could feel it. Then in the final I couldn’t really feel it – it was grand – so I feel very, very good.