Wednesday 20 February 2019

'She's not taking me out' - Dubliner Lynn 'The Hunter' Harvey confident of landing European title in March

Lynn Harvey
Lynn Harvey

Ian Gaughran

Lynn Harvey’s tilt at a European title is officially on – and her chances of wrapping the blue belt around her waist just got higher with the announcement of a new fight date of March 23.

Kilbarrack’s Harvey had endured a torrid couple of years until returning to the ring with a blowout victory over Kitti Kolampar at Celtic Clash 7 in November, a first round knockout which ultimately set the stage for March’s opportunity.

With a new target date on the horizon, not too much has changed for ‘The Hunter’ but with an extra couple of weeks (the fight had been mooted for March 9) it just gives Harvey that extra preparation time, as well as meaning an easier weight cut.

The 37-year-old takes on Spain’s Catalina Diaz in Venturada, Madrid, for the EBU European strawweight title at what will be the lightest she has fought, so the extra time means Harvey can afford to ease down to the 105lbs limit as opposed to going through an ‘extreme weight cut’ on fight week.

“It sounds worse than it is, to be honest,” Harvey told Independent.ie. "It’s around 47.5kgs and when I fought Regina Coca I think I weighed in at 48.7 or so, so it’s only one more kilo.

“John Connor from the Irish Strength Institute is the man when it comes to this and he has rejigged my schedule so now we can make it even easier. Between John and Lowcalmealsdelivered.ie, who provide my food in camp, it’s going to be a doddle.

“I was actually annoyed with the date change at first and I was moaning to my manager Jay Byrne about it but he’s great with me and now I just have a new date to become champion."

Diaz’s promoter Jose Castro was quoted at the weekend claiming that Harvey is in for a fright but the Dubliner laughed off what she sees as just promoter talk.

“These two fighters are hard boxing machines and I think it’s safe to say both are in for a strong shock,” the promoter told Irish-Boxing.com but in reply Harvey joked: “I’m rattling.”

"Look, I’m not one for mud-slinging or any of that kind of stuff but there’s a difference between tough and durable.

“If she is as tough as her promoter says she is she would be stopping journeywomen and she’s not. The one opponent we have in common is Regina Coca [who was disqualified for kicking Harvey when the pair met] and she couldn’t get her out of there.

“Regina kicked me because she couldn’t lay a glove on me and I reckon she would have only lasted one more round with me - so I know I’m tough. I know Catalina’s durable but I don’t think she’s going to hit as hard as anyone I’ve ever faced or sparred so I suppose we’ll see if her promoter’s right.

“He’s probably after doing me a favour because, even though I’ve never underestimated any opponent I’ve faced, he’s just got me that bit more focused.

“Like I said, though, I don’t believe she’ll be able to hurt me. I’m not saying that being cocky or complacent – I'm an honest and realistic person. I’m a nice person, I just don’t think that she’ll hurt me.

“I’ve been in with big hitters like Mary Romero and I’ve sparred my whole career with big-hitting girls and the lads obviously, and I just think that if she’s not taking out journeywomen she’s not taking me out.

“And this isn’t me having a go at her or having a pop, she’s been very respectful and hasn’t been running her mouth so I’m not going to start running her down.

“And when I see her at the weigh-in I’ll shake her hand and smile and that won’t be me offering up any weakness. As I said, I’m nice – I'm just not nice when I get in that ring. Normal Lynn and fight Lynn are two different people and she’s going to see that."

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