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'Come November, if she doesn't qualify, then we'll see who has the balls' - Broadhurst

After barbed comments from the world champion last week, Amy Broadhurst says she will challenge Kellie Harrington if the chance arises.

Kellie Harrington (L) and Amy Broadhurst pose with Harrington's World Championship gold medal.
Kellie Harrington (L) and Amy Broadhurst pose with Harrington's World Championship gold medal.

AMY BROADHURST HAS confirmed that she will move back down to 60kg and challenge Kellie Harrington for a place at Tokyo 2020 if the lightweight world champion doesn’t qualify for the Olympics this year.

Broadhurst, the reigning Irish Senior Elite champion in the non-Olympic weight class of 64kg and one of Ireland’s most decorated-ever underage boxers on a national and international level, had previously stated her intention to “step back” until Paris 2024 rather than challenge Harrington at 60 given the Dubliner’s extraordinary recent success at the weight.

Things took a turn, however, after Harrington told The42 last week that she believed Broadhurst “didn’t have the balls to step up and take the chance herself”, describing the Dundalk southpaw’s past remarks as ‘belittling’.

Harrington added of Broadhurst, whom she beat in the 2018 Irish Senior Elite finals:

I beat her last year, and I would have beaten her again if she was there this year. So, when someone says they’re ‘agreeing to step back’, take it with a pinch of salt.

“I’m the number one Irish 60-kilo. She might be the number one U22 champion but she’s not the number one at 60, so whether she agreed to it or not, she had the chance to get in there and prove herself and she didn’t take it, like.”

Speaking on LMFM’s Sunday Sport, a vexed Broadhurst confirmed she had read back Harrington’s comments “a couple of times”, and vowed to return to 60kg and challenge Harrington for an Olympic spot at the next opportunity — i.e. the 2020 Irish Senior Elites — unless the 29-year-old world champion qualifies for Tokyo before then.

“To be honest with you, over the last week my mind has changed about the Olympics — depending on if Kellie Harrington qualifies for the Olympics at the end of the year,” said Broadhurst, a 17-time Irish champion across all age categories.

“If she doesn’t, I’ll be coming down to 60 kilos, and I’ll be giving 2020 a shot. If she doesn’t qualify at the World Championships, I’ll 110% be giving it a shot.

To be honest, I didn’t mean to belittle her in what I said — there was no intention of being disrespectful to her. But I think what she’s come back with is very disrespectful to me, saying I didn’t have the balls, because I was 20 years old when I first stepped in the ring with her. She beat me fair and square, but I was still able to show that I’m able to put it up to her.

“And I think she forgets that I was so young at the time,” added the Dealgan BC talent, who will aim to win a fifth continental medal at the European U22s in Russia when she flies out next week.

“I’ve went and I’ve gotten experience [since then], so I have. This year, I’ll grab the experience as well.

Come November, if she doesn’t qualify, then we’ll see who has the balls.

Broadhurst told LMFM that Harrington’s interview “really annoyed” her, explaining: “In all the interviews I’d done, I was never actually disrespectful to her. I always spoke very fondly of her. But then she came back saying I’d no balls to fight her.

“To be honest with you, she’s a bit of a hypocrite. She did the exact same — she understands my situation where she went and won the World Championships.

“She was in my position before [behind Katie Taylor], but she was in it for a lot longer. She was in it for seven or eight years. She turned around and said she didn’t have the confidence, but she just did what I’ve done. She just stepped back and she didn’t want to take the chance.

After her saying I don’t have the balls… That really annoyed me. So I will — I’ll step up and take her on, now, if she doesn’t qualify.

‘I would have beaten her again… She didn’t have the balls to step up and take the chance’

‘In four years, I don’t think Kellie will be able to beat me… I won’t be stepping down for anyone then’

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