Social media backlash after Amy Broadhurst Team GB switch

THERE has been a social media backlash after Amy Broadhurst was picked to box for Great Britain in the final Olympic qualifier.

GB Boxing have had to limit who could comment on the story on their Facebook page as coaches and fans reacted angrily to the news GB Boxing will be sending Broadhurst at 60kgs for the event in Thailand (May 25-June 2).

Broadhurst has won European, World and Commonwealth Games gold representing Ireland and family and supporters of Shona Whitwell and Gemma Richardson are unhappy with the decision to send the 27 year old from Dundalk to Bangkok.

St Ives southpaw Whitwell went to the first two qualifying events and Richardson (Scunthorpe) came back with a silver medal from the World Boxing Cup: International Invitational in Colorado earlier this month.

Reaction to Broadhurst’s switch on her own social media has been more positive with the majority of Irish fans backing her.

Broadhurst looked into the possibility of boxing for Britain after being told Ireland would send welterweight Grainne Walsh to the final qualifier held in Bangkok (May 27-June 2).

The IOC website says athletes can only change nationality after “at least three years have passed since the competitor last represented their former country.”

Broadhurst appears to have been accepted to represent GB Boxing because she has a British passport – her father is from Slough – and is registered with Islington ABC.

Aged 18, Broadhurst moved to London and coach Reg Hagland reckons she had “around a dozen bouts” for the North London club.

She had spells sleeping in the gym during her spell in the capital.

Representing Islington, Broadhurst was named Best Boxer at the 2016 Celtic Box Cup in Dungarvan and won the 2018 ABA Championship in their colours.

She also represented London ABA against Sweden in Gothenburg in 2016.

Rob McCracken, GB Boxing’s Performance Director, said of the decision to pick Broadhurst: “GB Boxing’s selection criteria dictates that we choose people that demonstrate the potential to qualify for and to win a medal at the Olympic Games and, having closely assessed all of the boxers at recent training camps and examined their past performances at elite international tournaments, the coaches were unanimous in their view of which boxer fulfilled the criteria most in the women’s lightweight division.”

Broadhurst did think over a move to GB Boxing a while ago after it was clear Kellie Harrington would be aiming for back-to-back Olympic golds at 60kgs in Paris.

Kellie Harrington (L)

Broadhurst, who predicted at the time she would get “lots of stick” if she made the move, dominated the 2022 Commonwealth Games at 60kgs and won European and World gold at 63kgs.

Light-welterweight isn’t one of the women’s weight categories in Paris and with Harrington the No 1 choice with Ireland at 60kgs, Broadhurst was forced to move up to 66kgs.

She just missed out on qualifying for the Olympics at last year’s European Games in Poland, losing a split to Rosie Eccles (Wales).

The Irish Amateur Boxing Association sent Walsh to the qualifier in Italy in March and missed out in heartbreaking fashion, losing on a tie break to Aneta Rygielska (Poland).

Walsh was up on two cards at the final bell with the other three judges having it level.

The judges were asked to nominate a winner and all five voted for the Pole.

Broadhurst looked into her options after being told Walsh would be sent to Bangkok for the last qualifier.

She was offered a box off against Lisa O’Rourke for the No 2 spot behind Walsh and turned it down.

Patris Mughalzai is picked at 63.5kgs after a run to the final at the World Boxing Cup in Colorado.

The 21 year old from Powerday Hooks put out 2021 World featherweight champion Jahmal Harvey (USA) and came through a crunch semi final against Reese Lynch.

Mughalzai beat the Scottish southpaw unanimously before withdrawing from the final.

Lewis Richardson (Colchester) is sent to Bangkok at 71kgs ahead of 2022 European Champion Harris Akbar (Bradford Police) after both came back from Colorado with bronze medals and Ramtin Musah (Beartown) gets his chance at 80kgs.

Welsh light-heavyweight Taylor Bevan (Poseidon) had been sent to the first two qualifying events.

Empire light-flyweight Savannah Stubley, bronze medallist at the latest World Boxing Cup event, is picked ahead of Demi-Jade Resztan (New Astley) and Elise Glynn (West Warwicks) is the pick at 57kgs.

She won featherweight gold in Colorado with three wins.

Kiaran MacDonald (Sunderland) and Owan Harris-Allan (Apollos) complete the Great Britain team, competing at 50kgs and 57kgs respectively.

Both have been only a win away from qualifying at previous events.

GB BOXING TEAM for Olympic qualifier in Bangkok (May 25-June 2).

Number of Olympic places available in brackets

Women: 50kgs: Savannah Stubley (3 or 4); 57kgs: Elise Glynn (3 or 4); 60kgs: Amy Broadhurst (2 or 3)

Men: 51kgs: Kiaran MacDonald (4); 57kgs: Owain Harris-Allan (2 or 3); 63.5kgs: Patris Mughalzai (4 or 5); 71kgs: Lewis Richardson (4 or 5); 80kgs: Ramtin Musah (2 or 3).


“It has always been my dream to compete at the Olympic Games and I am very happy that I have been selected by GB Boxing to go to the final qualifying event in Thailand in May.

“The decision to pursue an alternative route to the Olympic Games – after I was informed by the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) in March 2024 that I would not be assessed for selection for the final qualifier – was not taken lightly and, as the holder of a British passport, I felt I owed it to myself and all the people that have supported me throughout my career to do everything possible to continue to pursue my dream of competing on the biggest stage in sport.

“Since I first walked into the GB Boxing gym, I have been made to feel incredibly welcome by my new teammates and all of the coaches and support staff and I would like to thank everyone at GB Boxing for their support and hard work over recent weeks in helping to keep my Olympic dream alive and enabling me to have this opportunity.

“My priority now is to continue to train hard, listen to the coaches and give myself the best possible chance of succeeding at the qualifier and achieving my dream of securing a place at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“I have nothing further to add at this time and will not be making any further public comment until after the qualifying event in Thailand.”

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