Boxing

Broadhurst and O'Rourke in the medals - and in the money - at World Championships

Amy Broadhurst, who boxes out of the St Bronagh's club in Rostrevor, has advanced to the semi-final stage of the World Elite Championships in Istanbul. Picture by Mark Marlow
Neil Loughran

THERE was disappointment for Belfast duo Michaela Walsh and Carly McNaul in Istanbul yesterday – but Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke are both among the medals, and the money, after continuing their World Championship odyssey.

Broadhurst and O’Rourke now join an illustrious list of Irish female boxers to have won World Championship medals, with only Katie Taylor (five golds, one bronze) and Kellie Harrington (one gold, one silver) having previously managed to do so.

Unlike in previous tournaments, though, there is now prize money at stake as well as podium places, with Broadhurst and O’Rourke guaranteed $25,000 after yesterday’s quarter-final wins, with $50,000 for a silver medal while gold medallists get $100,000.

Dundalk light-welter Broadhurst – who boxes out of the St Bronagh’s club in Rostrevor and will represent Team NI at this summer’s Commonwealth Games - it was a career-best performance as she got the better of Serbia's Jelena Janicijevic.

The 25-year-old, who intends to challenge Harrington for the 60kg place on the Irish team as she chases an Olympic spot at Paris 2024, forced the Serb to take a standing count in the second round en route to a unanimous victory.

Similarly impressive was reigning European U22 champion O’Rourke, who secured her place in the 70kg semi-finals with a unanimous decision victory over Armenian Ani Hovsepyan.

Having only turned 20 last week, Roscommon woman O’Rourke – younger sister of Tokyo Olympian Aoife – has huge potential going forward.

Earlier in the day, unfortunately it wasn’t to be for Walsh and McNaul after both had impressed in previous bouts in the Turkish capital.

Former European Union gold medallist Walsh lost out to rangy Kazakh Karin Ibragimova in the last eight, having reached that thanks to a split decision win over Ukrainian Valeriia Yeroshenko on Saturday.

Flyweight McNaul has steadily improved in recent years, and showed she can box as well as fight in Istanbul, but yesterday the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist came up short against classy and composed Brazilian Carolina de Almeida.

In a not unfamiliar juxtaposition where Irish boxing is concerned, while those women were flying the flag with pride on the international stage, the ongoing wrangling regarding the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) was being discussed back home.

Irish minister for sport Jack Chambers has set a timeline for the IABA to adopt recommended guidelines for reform or face "immediate and severe financial sanctions" which would threaten the future of the organisation.

A recently commissioned independent report has suggested adopting a new structure within IABA, which would include a new 12-member board of directors to oversee its running, half of which would be independent.

High Performance director Bernard Dunne resigned his position earlier this month.

Dunne's exit stemmed from a complaint he lodged against two volunteers back in October 2021 after an unsigned SWOT analysis critical of his performance was circulated at board level prior to the Tokyo Olympics.

Speaking on ‘Today with Claire Byrne’, minister Chambers described the document as "a disgrace".

The IABA have said they hoped Dunne would reconsider his resignation, and minister Chambers echoed those sentiments – should the association adopt the recommendations put forward.

"I would love to see Bernard Dunne return,” he said.

“If IABA is serious after their EGM about implementing the recommendations, I would love to see the door open for Bernard Dunne to return."

Issuing a response to the minister's comments last night, the IABA released the following statement: "The IABA is acutely aware of the need for reform in the volunteer structures of the association.

"The minister’s comments today will serve to focus minds on the gravity of the choice facing Irish boxing – to evolve into an association with the highest standards of governance, or to reject reform and face damaging constraints on our sport. The scale of reform recommended in the report is profound and impacts virtually all areas of operation of the volunteer structures of the association.

"The governance report was shared with all boxing clubs, county boards and provincial units on May 10th, in preparation for our forthcoming EGM.  In that sharing, the IABA has placed particular, but not exclusive, emphasis on the reform of the structure of the association’s board, and its expansion to include additional independent members, from which the implementation of all other reforms will flow.

"This matter will be put before members at the EGM and members will be asked to initially support the changes within the Teneo Governance review of IABA 2022 in relation to the board. That is, that all recommendations that are set out in the review on the constitution of the board of IABA are accepted.

"If the recommendations are adopted by the at the members at the EGM, the IABA will be engage, fully, with all monitoring and change management structures applied by Sport Ireland. IABA also commits to publishing an implementation plan within the timescale outlined by the Minister today.

"IABA’s ability to implement the required reforms is contingent upon a democratic ballot of boxing clubs and their members. IABA is already aware of staunch opposition among some long-standing volunteer members to the primary recommendations proposed in the review. The IABA hopes that the minister’s comments today on the immediacy and severity of financial sanctions will give those members pause and motivate them to think on what is in the best interests of the sport they love.

"The IABA notes the minister’s comments on the resignation of Bernard Dunne as High Performance director. IABA asked Bernard to reconsider his resignation, a request reiterated at last Monday’s board meeting.  IABA considers the anonymous document disseminated in February of 2021 to be a malicious and appalling attack on a member of staff."

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Star of the Sea’s Danny Tsui lands a solid left uppercut on East Down’s Oisin Lowry during their Boy 5 57kg Ulster final at Corpus Christi on Sunday. Lowry went on to win a close fight. Other results from Ulster 9 County B/G 4-7 Championship finals - Boy 4 36kg: C Hughes (Gleann) bt D Kelly (Castleblayney) 4-1; Boy 4 42kg: J McCann (St Monica’s) bt B Miller (Enniskillen) 5-0; Boy 4 46kg: E Wilson (Gilford) bt T Hughes (Keady) 5-0; Boy 4 48kg: R Patton (Raphoe) bt M McDonagh (Duke’s) 5-0; Boy 4 50kg: S Gray (Clonard) bt R Ritchie (Canal) 5-0; Boy 4 52kg: A Scott (Glengormley) bt M McDonagh (Duke’s) 3-2; Boy 4 54kg: C Mulligan (Cookstown) bt S Carter (Sacred Heart BA) 3-2; Boy 4 60kg: C O’Neill (Star) bt L Jardine (Holy Trinity) 4-1; Boy 4 63kg: C Fox (Oliver Plunkett) bt K Ward (Sacred Heart, N) 5-0; Boy 4 70kg: R Holmes (Oakleaf) bt R Taylor (Clonard) 4-1; Boy 4 85kg: R Devlin (Rathfriland) bt P Conway (Omagh B&G) 5-0; Boy 5 42kg: S Thompson (Spartans) bt C McGonigle (St Bridget’s) 5-0; Boy 5 46kg: J Graham (Clonard) bt F Kilpatrick (Cookstown) 5-0; Boy 5 48kg: B Walsh (Holy Family GG) bt C Magone (St Pat’s) RSC1; Boy 5 50kg: S Duke (Duke’s) bt S Hillick (Holy Family GG) 3-2; Boy 5 52kg: D O’Neill (SJ Bosco, Newry) bt C Curley (Holy Trinity) 3-2; Boy 5 54kg: C Burns (Holy Trinity) bt J Daly (D Box) 4-1; Boy 5 57kg: S Devenney (Oakleaf) bt T Hale (Star) 5-0; Boy 5 60kg: J Doherty (Holy Trinity) bt B McDonagh (Sacred Heart, N) 5-0; Boy 5 63kg: G Flynn (Holy Trinity) bt Z Quinn (Sacred Heart BA) 5-0; Boy 5 66kg: D Smyth (Clonard) bt P McDermott (Banbridge) 5-0; Boy 5 70kg: J Molyneaux (Holy Trinity) w/o A McIvor (Oakleaf); Boy 5 80kg: J O’Hara (Twintowns) bt J Lennon (St Michael’s) 3-2. Picture by Mark Marlow

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