Dundalk lightweight Amy Broadhurst, pictured above today having her hand raised in victory, burst into tears of joy after stunning a World champion at the European Women’s Elites in Madrid this afternoon.
The Irish southpaw is guaranteed at least bronze at the tournament after racking up a unanimous decision – 30-27 x 3 and 29-28 x 2 – against Russia’s 2014 World Elite champion and Rio 2016 bronze medallist Anastasia Belokova.
But Cork welter Christina Desmond bowed out at the last-eight stage to Darima Sandakova this afternoon.
The Russian No. 2 seed earned a 30-27,30-27,29-28,29-28, 28-29 decision after a close encounter.
Desmond continuously walked down her opponent in all three rounds, but the judges leaned toward the counter-punching of the 2019 European Games medalist.
The Rebel lefty, a bronze medallist at the 2016 Europeans, vowed to bounce back from the reversal and despite her disappointment took time out to hail Broadhurst’s performance.
“Amy was absolutely brilliant against a world-class opponent. I’m delighted for her and she totally deserved it, said the Macroom southpaw.
“I thought my fight could have gone either way. It was close, but that’s boxing and I’ll be back all the stronger after this.”
Broadhurst, meantime, went about her business with zip and energy – and with the look of a woman who was not going to be denied – from the opening bell and took the first round across the board. The pick of her punches was a short-range left which rocked her vaunted opponent.
The second was close but Broadhurst, working from the body to head on a few occasions, detonated the clearer and more solid shots and the Irishwomen was again in the ascendency in the latter half of the third round en route to a career-best victory.
“Phenomenal performance from Amy against a world champion and I thought that Christina gave it everything. Christina took the fight to her,” said Irish team manager JP Kinsella.
Broadhurst will now meet an old friend of Irish boxing, Finland’s Mira Potkonen, in the semi-finals on Friday. Potkonen beat current unified pro champion Katie Taylor in the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics in Taylor’s last amateur fight.
Thursday is a rest day at the tournament. The semi-finals and finals will be decided on Friday and Saturday.
As things stand, Amy Broadhurst and Aoife O’Rourke are guaranteed at least bronze in Madrid and Irish boxing has maintained its sequence of having medalled at every European Women’s Elite Championships since Katie Taylor won gold in Norway in 2005.
European Women’s Elite Championships Madrid, Spain August 22/31
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) beat Anastasia Belokova (Russia) 5-0
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Darima Sandakova (Russia) 1-4
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) v Mira Potkonen (Finland)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Anastasia Shamonova (Russia)
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) beat Leonie Anna Van Leeuwen (Netherlands) 5-0
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Naz Buse Cakiroglu (Turkey) 0-5
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) beat Dominika Ciklova (Czech Republic) 5-0
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Tetiana Petrovich (Ukraine) 5-0
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Krisztina Beri (Hungary) RSC2
51kg: Ceire Smith (Cavan/Virginia)
60kg: Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan) (Bronze, at least)
69kg: Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)
75kg: Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea) (Bronze, at least)
Team manager: JP Kinsella
Coaches: Zaur Antia and Damian Kennedy
Physio; David Cooke