Ireland’s Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke will hope to join Katie Taylor and Kellie Harrington as boxing world champions. The pair guaranteed themselves at least bronze medals at the IBA World Championships in Istanbul by making it through to the semi-final stage of the competition on Monday.
Light welterweight Broadhurst beat Serbia’s Jelena Janicijevic to make it through to the medal stage for the first time in five world championships. She had been to the quarterfinals four times before.
It was Broadhurst who sparred with Taylor before the professional lightweight world champion's recent win over Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden. Broadhurst's win came against a tough Serb fighter, although it was the Louth woman who looked the stronger of the two over the three rounds.
Janicijevic took a standing count in the second before Broadhurst, knowing she was ahead, added a cautious third round for the win. Still, she was given the fight on all the judges’ cards for a unanimous win.
Her medal was the first of the championships for Ireland. But it didn’t take long for another to be added and less than half an hour later O’Rourke in the 70kg division made it two Irish boxers into the medal stage.
The 20-year-old reigning European Under-22 middleweight champion from Olympic BC in Galway proved to be the class act against Armenia’s Ani Hovsepyan, claiming a unanimous points win to move into the final four. She will meet Turkey’s Sema Caliskan in the semi-final later this week.
Kellie Harrington, who was the reigning lightweight world and Olympic champion is not at the championships after she pulled out after a training camp in Italy with an injured hand.