The leading ‘name’ for the RTÉ-broadcast portion of the National Elite Senior Championships finals on Saturday night, Harrington oozed confidence and swagger as she unanimously defeated young star Amy Broadhurst to claim her eighth title and second successive lightweight crown.
From the first steps of her ringwalk, the 28-year-old Dubliner looked right at home in the spotlight and proceeded to give a classy display of counter-punching, check-hooking, and fancy footwork.
It was Harrington’s most high-profile win yet, with hundreds of thousands (exact figure to be confirmed) watching on at home, and the EU and World silver medalist explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “this is my eighth title, but I’ve never once boxed on national telly.”
“To box here tonight, with my Ma and Da, and people from my job here, it’s mind-blowing. It’s really, really brilliant.”
“There were just the general nerves, and I think everybody has them to be honest with you. There’s no pressure on me because I know, no matter what the outcome is, I’ll give it my best in there and as long as I come out and I’m happy with the performance – whether I win or I lose – I know everyone supporting me will be happy as well.”
“It’s great for the kids, and to be able to do it for my club St Mary’s – we have Aoife [Burke] and George [Bates], the three of us will be on the Irish team together this year. It’s amazing.”
While the men’s scene is quiet in 2018, women’s boxing has a major year ahead with both World and European Championships.
Harrington outlined how “we’re going to America now in March, I’ve three fights in America, then we’re off to Poland for the Europeans and that’s going to be a massive, massive tournament.”
“The Europeans are one of the hardest competitions out there, the top boxers are in Europe, I think. I’m looking forward to it,” she added before reflecting on her final and women’s boxing in general.
In 20-year-old Broadhurst, Harrington was faced by an opponent from the next generation and a testament to the ever-increasing standing of women’s boxing in Ireland. However, the Northsider is looking even further down the line
Harrington described how “I’ve been around for 13 years, and what’s even better is the younger, younger kids, the 11, 12, and 13 year olds. Honestly, like, I’m looking at them thinking ‘wow’. If I, or anybody my age, had the opportunities they have now at that age, boxing would be completely different.”
“They’re on a marvelous pathway, they are the future, and I believe we have Olympic medalist among out young females – it might not be until 2028-ish, but they’re there and the talent is phenomenal.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)