Amy Broadhurst has said the belief she gained from sparring with elite boxers Katie Taylor Kellie Harrington gave her the confidence needed to reach the top of her sport.
ast night, Broadhurst and her Irish teammate Lisa O’Rourke were crowned champions at the finals of the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
Dundalk native Broadhurst (25) controlled her light welterweight final bout against Algerian Imane Khelif, earning her a deserved unanimous win over the Tokyo Olympian.
O’Rourke’s final was a lot closer in the light middleweight decider. However, the Roscommon fighter produced a competent final three minutes which were enough to propel her to victory.
Broadhurst said she has dreamed of being a world champion since she was five years old.
“It took a long road to get here. It’s been 20 years of my life that’s actually got me here. I’ve had European medals and that before but all I’ve wanted was a world medal and to go and get a world gold is just unbelievable,” she told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
“I just knew from a little girl that this is what I wanted to do and, even yesterday, before I came out from my fight, I just thought to myself, 20 years ago I started boxing and this is what I’ve been dreaming about from when I was that age, so go and grab it.”
The first round of last night’s bout was very close, but Broadhurst said she “enjoyed every second of it” and she got stronger with each passing round.
She said people always told her she had the potential to be a world champion, but it took self-belief to get her over the line.
“I’ve always had people telling me you’re one of the best in the world, but it actually took myself to believe it to go and do it,” she said.
“I have people around me who have seen just how good I am, but I didn’t believe in myself and, I think, over the last three months, with sparring with Katie [Taylor] and getting the confidence from her, and even from sparring with Kellie [Harrington] as well, has lifted my confidence a lot.
“This is actually the first competition I’ve come into believing in myself that I could go and win a gold medal and it’s amazing what believing in yourself can do.”
She added that her phone has been “hopping” since last night’s victory and the support she has received has been amazing. After a long, four-and-a-half weeks at the tournament, Amy said what she is looking forward to most is “seeing my own bed”.
“That fact that I’m returning home to Dundalk as a world champion, it doesn’t feel real at the moment. It’s madness,” she said.
Speaking in earlier in the programme, Amy’s father Tony said it was a great night for his family and Irish boxing.
“It was absolutely fantastic. It was a dream that became reality. Where could you write it? You’ve not only got Amy in the World Championship Final but Lisa O’Rourke also and for Ireland to have two world champions on the same day, in the same tournament has never been achieved before,” he added.