It’s been a formidable start for Ireland at the Women’s Elite World Championships in New Delhi. After a unanimous decision victory for Kellie Harrington yesterday, Team Ireland made it five wins from five after dominant performances in Day 3 of the prestigious boxing tournament.
Cavan’s experienced flyweight Céire Smith was the first of the Irish boxers to take to the ring in the morning session. Smith, who is making her international return to the ring after two years, faced Bulgaria’s Gabriela Dimitrova, who is a European bronze medallist.
The 25-year old put on an impressive display to edge out the Bulgarian in a tight encounter. Smith took victory on the judges’ scorecards with a 3-2 split decision – 30-27 x2, 29-28 x1.
European U22 Silver medallist Aoife O’Rourke was next into the ring and dominated her Chinese Taipei opponent from start to finish. O’Rourke forced Yang into two standing counts as her speed, power and timing was too much to handle.
The Roscommon fighter took revenge on her opponent who had previously beaten her last year as she won on a unanimous decision – 30-27, 30-26 and 30-25 x3 all in the Irish woman’s favour.
Céire Smith will now face Japan’s Tsukimi Namiki in the last 16 on Monday whilst O’Rourke is set to face Commonwealth Games champion Lauren Price. Two more victories for both fighters will guarantee at least bronze for the pair.
After a break in action, the evening session got underway with Belfast’s Michaela Walsh boxing Romania’s Lacramiora Perijoc at featherweight.
In what seems to be a trend amongst the Irish boxers, their boxing skill, movement and IQ appears to be a cut above the rest and Walsh displayed this in impressive fashion.
Walsh, a European Bronze medallist, displayed great ring-presence and movement as her counter-punching and quick hands were flawless, dominating the opening exchanges. Perijoc tried her best to make it a scrappy affair and got some joy as Walsh veered away from her clear height and reach advantage.
In the end the Belfast featherweight was the superior boxer with more skill and hand speed which counted in her favour as she claimed victory 4:1 on a split decision. Walsh will now take on Italy’s Alessia Mesiano in the last 16.
In the final bout for the Irish, Amy Broadhurst took on Russian European bronze medallist and fellow former underage star Ekaterina Dynnik.
Broadhurst, nicknamed ‘Baby Canelo’, used her speed and height advantage expertly as she evaded the Russian who desperately tried to use her stocky-size to get success on the inside. Broadhurst who is extremely light on her feet, exposed the Russian several times in the first round to make it a great start.
The Russian gained more success in the second round but once again the Dundalk fighter was able to dance around any oncoming strikes. In the important final round, Broadhurst bamboozled the Russian who could hardly land any punches and Broadhurst picked her off with fantastic quick shots as she came in and out of range.
Ultimately, Broadhurst was announced victorious on split decision 4:1 – 28-29 x2 and 27-30 x2. Tomorrow, Kellie Harrington will take on India’s Sarita Devi while Grainne Walsh will also be in action.
Their bouts can be watched live on BFI Official Youtube Channel.