Amy Broadhurst became only the third Irish woman to win a World Championships gold medal as she comfortably beat Algeria’s Imane Khelif to claim the light-welterweight title in Istanbul.
It was a brilliant display of pressure fighting by Broadhurst, who overcame a big height disadvantage to claim a unanimous points decision. After a close first round, Broadhurst got well on top to outwork and outpunch the Algerian.
She became the first Irish women’s world champion since Kellie Harrington, who won gold in New Delhi in 2018. The only other Irish gold medallist was Katie Taylor, who won five times between 2006 and 2014.
Broadhurst’s biggest achievement prior to today had been a silver medal at the 2019 European Championships.
But the 25-year-old southpaw from Dundalk had a remarkable nine days in Turkey, winning as she won four times to book her place in the light-welterweight final, including a semi-final win over highly-ranked Indian boxer Parveen Hooda.
Broadhurst had to overcome a five-inch heigh disadvantage. But as Khelif tried to stay on the outside and prod away with her jab, the Irish boxer tried closing the gap and the more the first round wore on, the more success she had, as she landed well with the left hook as the Algerian tried to pull back out of range.
That success saw Broadhurst take a close first round on three of the five judges’ cards, but Khelif started the second round well, catching Broadhurst with one-twos and switching her attack to the body.
But Khelif struggled to keep Broadhurst off her and as Broadhurst got closer behind a high guard, she began to end most exchanges with a right hook that landed and Khelif started to look disorientated as she backed off.
As the second round ended, it was Broadhurst landing the cleaner punches, while the Algerian started to fade. Broadhurst swept the board with the five judges, with two give her the round 10-8.
Khelif needed a big last round and possibly a stoppage, but Broadhurst was giving nothing away and she was now beating Khelif to the punch.
Three judges went to Broadhurst by 29-28, while two judges scored it 30-26.
The championships are the first since the rebranding of the international governing body from AIBA to the IBA. They could also prove life changing for gold medallists, who pick up $100,000 in prize money, vastly more than would be available to most female boxers in the professional sport.