Sunday 20 October 2019

Amy Broadhurst defeated by old foe Mika Potkonen at World Championships

Amy Broadhurst
Amy Broadhurst

Sean McGoldrick

Ireland's dominance of the lightweight category at the women's Elite world championships has ended.

There was no joy for lightweight Amy Broadhurst in her quarter-final duel with Olympic bronze medallist and current European Elite champion Mika Potkonen.

The Dundalk southpaw lost on a unanimous 5-0 decision to the Finn, who like a good wine appears to get better with age.

She has an outstanding record against Irish lightweight fighters having beaten Olympic champion Katie Taylor at the Rio Games as well as current world champion Kellie Harrington – who missed this event due to injury – and Broadhurst. It was the latter's second consecutive loss to Potkonen who beat her in the semi-final of the European Championships in Madrid earlier this year.

The quarter-final began at a frantic pace, though at times it descended into a scrappy affair and the Chinese referee never lost an opportunity to intervene.

Crucially Potkonen always looked the more aggressive fighter and got her scoring shots on target throughout the contest. Broadhurst did her best work close up but she always appeared on the back foot against Potkonen's non-stop aggression.

Four of the judges scored the fight 30-27 in favour of the Finn which meant they had her winning all three rounds while one judge scored it 29-28 for Mika, who looks on course to succeed Kellie Harrington as the world lightweight champion ahead of next year's Olympic Games.

This is the first time since 2005 that Ireland has failed to secure a medal in the 60kg category at the World Championships. Katie Taylor won five gold medals on the spin and then picked up a bronze in 2016 while Harrington won gold last year in New Delhi.

There was no joy either in Ulan-Ude for Cork welterweight Christina Desmond. She dropped a unanimous 5-0 decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28) to the impressive Turk Busenaz Surmeneli in a bronze medal bout.

The latter looked the more aggressive fighter from the bell and the referee gave Desmond a standing count in the final thirty seconds of the first round.

To her credit, Desmond fought back bravely for the remainder of the contest but Surmeneli was catching her with more eye-catching shots.

The third round was halted on three occasions as the Irish welterweight had to have her headgear adjusted. The demeanour of the two boxers when the final bell sounded told its own story as the Turk looked exuberant and the judges' agreed with her view.

Desmond's defeat ends Ireland's interests in the World Championships. Attention now switches to the next March's Olympic qualifier for European boxers in London.

Online Editors

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