Amy Broadhurst was crowned European Junior featherweight champion following an edge-of-the-seat win over Russia’s Svetlana Khilchenko in Poland on Friday evening.
The Russian, the current World Junior Champion, was an overwhelming favourite for the title at the start of these championships.
The Dundalk southpaw (Dealgan BC) was trailing by one point going into the third and final round but turned it around to finish on top of the 57kg podium following a 16-15 win in Wladyslawowo.
Broadhurst, whose brothers Stephen and Paul have won bronze medals at European Schoolboy and Youth level, and Khilchenko, an orthodox puncher, shared the first round 5-5, the Russian doing good work on the inside, Broadhurst winging home some big lefts.
Khilchenko upped the pace in the second and started getting inside Broadhurst’s guard to pick up points, but Broadhurst, roared on by the Irish squad at ringside, held her ground and continued to pick off her shots with her left and also managed to find the target with a solid right close to the bell.
The Russian champion edged that frame and held a one-point advantage going into the third and final stanza. Broadhurst, upping her work rate, secured that round by a two-point margin to seal what Irish team manager Maura Campbell described as a brilliant victory.
“It was a fantastic victory and performance. The win is another great boost for women’s boxing in Ireland. It was a tough final and it was very close, but Amy performed magnificently,” said IABA Director of Boxing Dominic O’Rourke from Poland.
Broadhurst is trained by her dad Tony, Jim O’Connor and Anto Donnelly at the Dealgan BC – who now have the distinction of having won three European medals by three members of the same family.
Commentating after today’s win, Anto Donnelly said that it was another proud moment for the club.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the victory and it was a great performance by Amy. It is fantastic to have three European medals won by boxers in our club. Amy gave it everything and she totally deserved her win,” he said.
Sally Carrig and Niamh Folan claimed bronze for Ireland at the 20-national tournament. The Irish squad are due to arrive home via Dublin Airport at 1pm tomorrow evening (Saturday, November 10th).
John McCormack and Damien Walsh were working Ireland’s corner in Poland.
Amy is now the only Irish female boxer – besides World number one Katie Taylor – to win gold in European competition.
The sixteen years old from Dundalk,had already amassed six National titles in her short career whilst brother, Stephen claimed bronze at the IABA hosted 2011 European Youth Championships in Dublin.
Amy is one of a number of talented female boxers at the Marian Park-based Dealgan club as club coach Anto Donnelly explained in a recent “Argus” interview:
‘Dealgan, like other clubs in Dundalk, have a number of promising female boxers, some of whom are already Irish champions.
Orla Garvey is a national champ at 42kgs and her sister, Grainne is twice under-21 champion. In addition, there are sisters Nicole and Emma Agnew. Nicole is twice Irish champion at 39kgs and Emma is a 22-yearold five-times Irish champ, while Amy Broadhurst holds already six national titles’.
Fittingly , Amy won her Gold in Poland on the day that Irish boxing holds its annual awards ceremony – her feat in taking Gold against the cream of Europe’s boxers is sure to be toasted at the Green Isle Hotel in Clondalkin tonight as the IABA celebrates a golden year for Irish boxing.
Today though the day belongs to Amy Broadhurst but let us not also forget that Connemara’s Niamh Folan and Clare’s Sally Carrig also take home bronze medals from these championships whilst each and every member of the Irish squad gave of their all.
As we have said on SportsNewsIreland so often in recent months, NOW is the time that the IABA must invest more on female boxing in Ireland for it is only with regular competition in club tournaments outside of Ireland that these young women can progress to the next stage.
(Additional Reporting by iaba.ie)