World champion Amy Broadhurst may be the overwhelming favourite to take Commonwealth Games gold at lightweight but she insists she will take nothing for granted after coming through her Quarter-Final in Birmingham.
On paper, Broadhurst is a class apart in her category and although the 25-year-old wasn’t at her best early on against Zambia’s Felistus Nkandu, she turned up the heat to stop the fight in the third round, ensuring a bronze medal with surely a better colour to come.
Dundalk boxer Broadhurst, who is affiliated to the St Bronagh’s club in Rostrevor, said: “I felt good but obviously not at my best, my timing and everything wasn’t there. I was probably getting caught with stupid punches in the first round — I got caught with a few and I thought, ‘Jesus, where did that come from!?’
“But I’m happy with getting it out of the way and a bronze medal in the bag as well. It was just about progressing.
“I knew getting in there I couldn’t take anything for granted and I found that out in the first round. Even though technically and physically I was probably better, there were still things I was doing wrong and shots I was getting caught with. I just can’t take anything for granted.”
World light-welterweight champion Broadhurst added that she has been impressed by the quality of the Team NI boxing squad, saying: “Exceptional. You have Aidan Walsh, an Olympic bronze medallist, Michaela (Walsh) who was at the Olympics and to be honest the one that stands out for me the most is Dylan Eagleson — he’s incredible, and he’s only 19.
“Even my dad was talking about him, saying you could watch him all day long, he’s amazing. To be involved with such great boxers lifts me up as well.”
Broadhurst’s victory made sure seven Northern Ireland boxers will take home medals and Northern Ireland are now guaranteed at least 15, equalling the best tally ever achieved by the country.
Light-flyweight Clepson dos Santos couldn’t add to the total as he was stopped late on in his Quarter-Final by Welshman Jake Dodd.
The Banbridge boxer, who has bags of potential, was perhaps unlucky to have three standing counts against him during a contest in which he hurt his opponent.
He said: “I thought I was going to win the fight if I stuck out that last round but I got three counts… obviously I can’t see what everybody else is seeing but, to me, I didn’t feel there should have been three counts. I thought I should have been giving him a few counts because I was hitting him hard but these things happen
“I’m still young and it’s good to gain this experience — I know that I’m 100% going to the next Commonwealth Games, and I’m 100% winning gold. Next time will be my time.”