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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 13 October, 2019
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Bogeywoman awaits again as Broadhurst and Desmond power on to medal fights at Worlds

The Dundalk and Cork women were in sensational form in Ulan-Ude.

Christina Desmond (file pic).
Christina Desmond (file pic).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

WEDNESDAY WAS QUITE the tonic for Ireland at the Women’s Elite World Boxing Championships in Siberia following the double disappointment suffered a day prior.

Dundalk lightweight Amy Broadhurst and Cork welterweight Christina Desmond have both advanced to the quarter-finals in their respective weight divisions, neither of them dropping a single judge’s card en route.

Broadhurst and Desmond are now each just one fight away from a coveted World Championship medal and Irish boxing immortality; just 12 fighters from these shores before them have achieved such a feat, only two of those women: Katie Taylor and Kellie Harrington.

xtina Christina Desmond celebrates her unanimous-decision victory.

In an early-morning 60kg bout, Dealgan BC underage star Broadhurst — who won European bronze in August, her first major medal in the Elite ranks — earned a unanimous decision over Poland’s 64kg European silver medallist Aneta Rygielska.

Broadhurst was well worth her 30-37, 29-28 x4 victory, dismantling Rygielska — who had dropped down a division for the Worlds — with her trademark left hand, and wobbling the Pole with a right in the second.

Intriguingly, Broadhurst is only herself competing at 60kg due to an injury sustained by reigning world champion Kellie Harrington during the European Games, and she will now face a more-than-familiar foe in the last eight.

Finland’s Mira Potkonen — who was due to face Harrington in the European Games decider before the Dubliner withdrew with her injury, and who a few weeks later eliminated Broadhurst at the semi-final stage of the European Championships — lies in wait for the Louth southpaw in the quarters on Thursday.

amy-broadhurst Amy Broadhurst is introduced to the crowd at Dundalk's Oriel Park back in March, her European U22 gold medal on display. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The scourge of Irish boxing, Potkonen already holds two victories over Harrington and famously also eliminated Katie Taylor from the 2016 Olympic Games.

Broadhurst dropped a wide unanimous decision to the Finn in that European semi six weeks ago, but the scores were somewhat disproportionate after what was a closely fought contest.

Victory for Broadhurst on this occasion would accentuate her right to challenge Harrington at the Irish Senior Elites later this year with a view to dethroning the Dub ahead of Olympic qualifiers next spring.

kellie-harrington-alongside-gold-medalist-mira-potkonen Mira Potkonen (R) won gold at the European Games after Kellie Harrington (L) withdrew from their final due to a hand injury. Source: Soenar Chamid/INPHO

All eyes turned towards Cill na Martra welterweight Christina Desmond in the afternoon session, and the hard-punching welterweight repeated the trick as she advanced to the 69kg quarter-finals on a 5-0 shutout.

Desmond edged a gruelling first round against Canada’s Pan-American Games silver medallist Myriam Da Silva before powering her way into the last eight, outclassing her foe over the course of the final six minutes.

She won the bout 30-26 on one card, 30-27 on three of them and 29-28 on the other.

The West Cork woman will square off with Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli in the quarters.

Busenaz is, not unlike the aforementioned Broadhurst, a decorated former prodigy; she has won World Youth and Junior gold medals at middleweight, European U22 gold twice at the same weight and then once at welterweight, and took European bronze last month.

Her quarter-final with Desmond will also take place on Thursday.

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