The 21-year-old, who retained her Irish U22 lightweight title on Friday, didn’t make the choice lightly, but believes there is nothing to she could do to dislodge a deserving Kelly Harrington from being Ireland’s first pick for the various qualifying tournaments over the next year or so.
The fighter, who was all but robbed of a World Championship medal late last year, could have tried to challenge the world #1 at lightweight in next month’s National Elite Championships, but feels that even victory in that tournament wouldn’t see her represent Ireland at 60kg at World Champion Harrington’s expense.
As a result, after some thought and discussions with her coach and father Tony, the decorated Dundalk fighter has elected to focus on light welterweight, a non-Olympic class, and delay her dreams until Paris in 2024 and beyond.
The talented operator and emerging talent is thinking long-term and argues that a win at 64kgs in the Irish Elites would then enable to try and add Senior success to her collection of underage medals at the European Games, European Championships, and World Championships this year
“I am going to go back up for the Elites and then back down for the Europeans. I think I am going to England to do the Elites over there but I am not sure at what weight yet,” Broadhurst explained to Irish-Boxing.com following her 60kg U22 win at the weekend.
“I am doing 64kg for the Elites because there is no point doing 60kg. I have taken a step back because, if I go 60kg after what Kelly is after achieving there is no chance [to be picked for Tokyo qualifiers].
“She deserves to go, but I’d like my chance as well. I am only 21 so if I really wanted to I could go to 2024 and 2028. We will see what happens.”
“But it’s very hard to deal with and hard to accept over the last couple of weeks that I have to wait another five or six years to try and go to the Olympics,” added the Dealgan southpaw.
With Harrington’s recent World Championship win and her status as the best amateur lightweight in the world there is no doubt she has earned the right to try and make Tokyo.
The High Performance Unit would most likely push for her to be sent the Olympic qualifiers even if she was to lose to Broadhurts in the Elites, although that isn’t something that has been relayed to the Louth favourite.
Broadhurst is adamant the decision to move up and end her Tokyo dream was solely her own.
“It’s a choice we made. Myself and my Dad discussed it and the best thing is to move to 64kg because if I win 64kg it gives me an opportunity to enter Europeans and World Championships, so that’s the better move. ”
It seems somewhat cruel that Broadhurst, a genuine talent and potential medal hope if she were to travel to Japan, finds herself in a weight with the world’s best and that there is no Olympic 64kg category.
Not to mention it comes on the back of being deprived of a World Championship medal in India where she was ‘defeated’ at the quarter-final stage by home favourite Simranjit Kaur.
However, another Irish U22 title and a chance to head to Russia to defend her European title provided the perfect tonic
“Up and until a week ago, even a couple of days ago it’s been really hard to deal with what has gone on,” admitted Broadhurst.
“But winning my 16th Irish title and qualifying for the Europeans is a big, big uplift for me.
Most may start to lose count after 16 national triumphs, but not a competitor like Broadhurst who will be aiming to win her first Elite crown next month.
“I have been keeping count because I want to get the most ever. I think so far underage I am the most successful with Irish titles,” adds the Muirhevnamor fighter before commenting on her dominant win over Isobella Hughes of Mount Tallant.
“I boxed her last year and I had just got the cast off after breaking my hand and I didn’t perform to my best so I wanted to get in there tonight and performed to how I know I can.”
Broadhurst now has a plan and can look forward, but upon reflecting on New Delhi one last time, she does take some positives from it.
“I work hard and I think over the years I have proved myself and I don’t I deserve what happened in India. Nobody does, but my profile has risen after that.”
“The viewing of the video went massive. It was crazy. I am glad people seen it. I am one to admit when I lose I have no problem with that, but when that happened to me I was hurt.”
“Dad said even if I knocked her out they would have disqualified me for something, but look it’s done now all I can do is keeping training, keep winning and building my profile even more.”