Anyone who has interviewed Lynn Harvey since she added her unique personality to the domestic Irish scene will have noticed that she can overthink things in the build-up to a fight.
A confessed worrier, ‘The Hunter’s’ pre-fight camp persona doesn’t always match up with the bravado-based approach taken by many of her male counterparts.
Yet, while she may worry about 101 things in the build-up to a bout, she never has concerns about fight night. Fight night from ring walk to final bell belongs to ‘Fight Lynn’, a ‘mad bitch’ that loves nothing more than to go to war.
Well, it seems ‘Fight Lynn’ has come to the fore earlier than usual as, over a month out from her chance to make Irish boxing history, the Kilbarrack native is promising to break down Catalina Diaz [4(0)-2(0)].
Harvey [5(4)-1(0)] fights the Spaniard for the vacant strawweight [105lbs] EBU European title next month and, if she emerges victorious, will become the first ever female European champion from these shores.
Like her opponent, Harvey will be weighing in lower than ever – but nearly sees it as an advantage, predicting she will be massive at minimumweight and will thus break down her opponent.
“Look I am only 5’1″. I am not Lynn ‘The Giant’ Harvey, but she is only 4’11. I think I will be much bigger than her,” Harvey told Irish-Boxing.com before ‘Fight Lynn’ made a fleeting appearance.
“I am big for flyweight and I think I’ll be big at this weight. I feel too big and strong. Mentally now I am looking at it like ‘I’ll take this little thing apart’.”
“I don’t mean that disrespectfully, I am just focused on going in and doing a job, but in my mind now I see me being a monster.”
“It suits my style to be bigger and stronger. I will go in break her down. I never spar anyone smaller than me and I never take a step back in sparring so my thinking now without getting any in-depth information on her is that I am going in there to do a job on her,” she continues before adding some logic.
“Looks, she has no KOs on her record and if [super bantamweight, Mary] Romero couldn’t stop me, this girl has no hope.”
“I kept going at Romero, who was much bigger and stronger, she left me badly beat up, but she didn’t stop me coming for her for six rounds.”
“I doubt this girl can [stop me] either and lets see if she can take the power. She might be tough and I expect her to be, but she won’t stop me hunting her down.”
Team Harvey may feel a stoppage might be the safest route to victory as they fill the away corner on a non-TV card hidden away in a suburb of Madrid – and, if that is the case, they have probably have the best Irish candidate for the job.
The only time Harvey has gone more than three rounds was in that Romero defeat, a reverse that earned her massive respect considering the guts she showed.
Three of her five wins have come in the first round, one in the second and the fifth via third-round disqualification after her beleaguered opponent Sara Regina Coca kicked her.
‘The Hunter’ doesn’t just know how to track prey down, she knows how to take them out.
When pushed on that ability, she points to a killer instinct rather than a feeling of having superior power.
The Dubliner points to a sixth stoppage sense.
“It’s a strange one and I never asked if it’s the same for other boxers, but I get a sense. It’s like a stoppage sense. I just feel something leaving them.”
“Their facial expression doesn’t change or anything I just get something telling me they have wilted. I just know when its time to go put it on them and finish breaking them down.”
“Once I sense that she is out of there, I feel them going and I make sure they go and no matter how much people tell me to get rounds once. I feel that I can’t stop myself from taking them out. I just think now or never.
“When you think about it, if you let them off the hook and the next round they hit you with a body shot and you’d feel like a gobshite. Everyone looking at because you got stopped when in truth you could have stopped her the round before and looked a hero.”
“Then again I never think about it like that when I am in there. I told you before I don’t worry about ‘fight Lynn’ she is a mad bitch when she senses the stoppage she wants it.”
There are some suggesting that such is Harvey’s style, size, and finishing ability that her biggest battle will be making the 7st 7lbs strawweight limit.
However, that won’t be an issue assures the Jay Byrne-managed 38-year-old.
Harvey reveals she will take a new approach, is comfortable in the knowledge that weight is something she can control, and claims her strong mindedness as well as some expert help will see her make weight.
“When Jay told me it was at strawweight the first thing I did was contact John Connor from the Irish Strength Institute . He mapped it out for me to a tee. I know each week what I have to loose and what I have to eat right up to the fight.”
“I made 48kgs [105.8lbs] for the Elites and that was weighing in on the day. I had to weigh in every week for three weeks after that. Leading into that I was weaker than I would have liked, but once I made it I was grand and it might be the same this time.”
“I am used to doing an extreme cut, but I can’t leave anything to chance with this one so I am on a week by week program and I am cutting down to it gradually. For my last fight I went from 53.5kg [117.9lbs] to 49.5kg [109.1lbs] in five days. Then on the night of the fight I was 52kgs [114.6lbs].
“The plan now is to lose the weight over the camp, but keep enough energy via calories to be able to train effectively.
“I am not worried about it to be honest. I can be a worrier, but I know I worry about thinks I have no control over. I know I will do things right and I trust myself.”
“I am strong minded and I trust John’s plan, so with that plan and my will power I know I will not just make the weight, but do it in a way that ensures I am at my best in on the night.”
Photo Credits: Laszlo Geczo and Ricardo Guglielminotti