Dealgan Boxing Club’s Paul Broadhurst made a dream return to the squared circle recently when he donned his gloves for the first time in three-years and ended the reign of Irish champion Kieran Forde.
The club entered three of their top boxers into the Irish Intermediate championships with Paul being under no illusions of the task he faced in the 71 kilo Light Middleweight division as this was his first tournament in three years.
His first opponent was the very experienced Sean Hunt and in three rounds of high quality boxing, Paul went on to win the unanimous decision.
The next two contests also went the way of the Dealgan boxer as he first defeated Phil Maloney and then Brian Duffy, both of who have boxed previously in Irish National Championships.
Broadhurst’s opponent in the final was none other than Kieran Forde who has won this tournament the past eight times and who has boxed all over the world.
The finals were televised live on TG4 and saw Forde try to take control of the ring and press forward as he looked to land big shots and slow Broadhurst down, taking him out of his slick boxing style.
He edged round one but round two saw Broadhurst show all the speed and movement that won him Irish titles and European medals in the past and he won the round well, leading both fighters to go all out in the final round to impose their style on the contest.
Paul again proved too quick and slick for Forde and the verdict went his way at the end of the contest. Many onlookers felt that Paul’s boxing skills were the best witnessed all night.
It caps a remarkable year for the Broadhurst family who have created Irish amateur boxing history. Sister Amy won European gold, with her brother Stephen winning the Irish U22 National title and Paul then going on to claim Ireland’s National Intermediate title which is history in Irish amateur boxing.
The other Dealgan boxers in action were Ricky Nesbitt and Rory Lavery.
Nesbitt made it to the semi-final where he faced eight-time national champion Jason McKay in a tough test. Ricky started the contest by matching his opponent blow for blow and continued in this vein until the end of the first round. Round two and three saw McKay up the tempo and with his experience proving vital, he managed to grind out a win via unanimous decision.
McKay went on to win the 51 kilo title on a second round stoppage of his opponent in the final which again shows again shows the potential of this young fighter who has just two years’ experience behind him.
Rory Lavery has boxed at the top level for many years in Ireland and he faced Eamonn Magee in the 64 kilo class which proved to be a match of the highest quality.
Both men displayed all of the technique and ring control of two excellent young boxers and each had very good spells throughout which continued up until the end of the contest.
Magee was awarded a close split decision in the end which many observers thought should have went the way of Lavery and to rub salt into the wound again, Magee went on to win the title.