Tony Broadhurst, father and coach of World champion Amy Broadhurst, has explained why they competed at the recently-concluded Irish Elite Championships a full two weights above her optimum category and revealed that entry at lightweight would have been completely pointless.
Broadhurst was last night beaten by the stronger Gráinne Walsh in the welterweight final. This was her second fight of the championships having beaten reigning champ Kaci Rock last week.
Aside from the Commonwealth Games, where she won gold at lightweight, Broadhurst spent much of 2022 in the non-Olympic light welterweight class, topping the podium at the World and European Championships.
Many expected that Broadhurst would move down to her natural weight to challenge Tokyo gold medallist Kellie Harrington for the lightweight spot ahead of the Paris qualifiers – a repeat of the 2018 final won by the Dubliner and arguably the biggest match-up in Irish amateur boxing history.
While results in the National Elites are not the sole factor in determining teams, one would assume that the result in such a hypothetical bout would be of major importance.
However, the elder Broadhurst claims that even had his daughter entered at lightweight and defeated Harrington this would not be enough to secure the Louth southpaw a spot on the Irish team ahead of the reigning Olympic champion. It would appear the brilliant Harrington’s long list of achievements at lightweight have locked down the 60kg spot.
Posting on Facebook, Tony claimed “…there’s a criteria that even if Amy was to win 60kg the points system that chooses the boxer for that weight would mean Amy still wouldn’t be picked because her Worlds and European Gold Medals were achieved at 63kg which isn’t an Olympic weight…”
It’s long been known that there are a range of factors and appraisals that make up team selection but this is the first public discussion of a quantifiable ‘points system’.
The IABA have previously provided the following ‘non-exhaustive’ list which was caveated with “all selection decisions are discretionary and based on the judgment of the Selection Panel” – something which Broadhurst’s claims of a points system would dispute.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of factors that the Selection Panel may consider, in any order as it sees fit, when making its decision:
a) National/World ranking;
b) Current form;
c) Previous competition history;
d) Previous conduct and behaviour at events;
e) Future medal potential;
f) Previous Head-to-heads;
g) Technical and tactical performance in training and sparring;
h) Fitness levels;
i) Injury status;
j) Weight management and ability to make the required weight;
k) Demonstration of attitude and commitment towards training in the HPU;
l) Demonstrated ability to work alongside other HP athletes.
m) Demonstrated ability to adhere to advice and guidance provided by the HPU support team including professional advice from the medical and sports science support team
Broadhurst’s post in full read:
Not to be for Amy Broadhurst tonight losing a close split decision 3-2 in a 6 kilo heavier weight category than her natural weight of 60kg but can’t express how proud I am of Amy in taking such a big challenge on.
For anyone that was guessing or presuming why Amy was 66kg and not 60kg it’s because there’s a criteria that even if Amy was to win 60kg the points system that chooses the boxer for that weight would mean Amy still wouldn’t be picked because her Worlds and European Gold Medals were achieved at 63kg which isn’t an Olympic weight so Amy being Amy took the challenge of moving from 60kg to 66kg to compete against 69kg boxers moving down to 66kg.
It’s so, so sad how the Olympic Weights have forced boxers to do this kind of stuff but it shows the character and what type of person Amy is to put herself in such a position. So PROUD to call Amy my daughter and to be part of coaching her, proud Dad and Coach.