(Photo by Donal Moloney)
By Derek McKenna
Ireland will soon have a second female to join Cristina McMahon in the professional fight game.
Former Irish Novice, Intermediate and Senior Champion Lynn Harvey has decided to ditch the headguard and is aiming to start punching for pay in the near future. Harvey will become Ireland’s second ever female pro boxer and the first to graduate to the pro ranks as a former Senior champion.
After a short break from the sport to establish her own personal training business, Harvey decided not to defend the senior title she won in 2014 this year, and has now opted to wave goodbye to the amateur ranks and set herself a new test to become the best there is in the pro game.
Speaking exclusively to Irish-boxing.com, the fiercely competitive Kilbarrack native said she is happy to be leaving the amateur ranks behind and starting a new journey under the tutelage of respected pro trainer Paschal Collins at the Celtic Warrior Gym.
“The reason behind me leaving the amateur ranks was that I was always made to feel like I owed something back to people. I’m not a team player, I get in that ring by myself with my own demons and I do that for me. I fight for my own name and not for a team. When I refused the chance to fight for the Irish team I was made to feel like I owed something to people.”
“While I definitely enjoyed my time there, I’ve done all I can in the amateurs. I won the senior title and I proved that I am the best in the country at my weight so I don’t feel like I have anything else to prove.”
Harvey has come a long way since first lacing up the gloves just four years ago, and now the 34 year old has now set her sights on the top of the pro game. After starting out in boxing as a hobby, her natural competitive streak spurred her on after she lost her first ever fight at a white collar show. Eight months later she was Irish novice champion, a year later Intermediate champion and then Senior champion the following year.
Now after achieving all she can as an amateur, the former Crumlin Boxing Club fighter has took the first steps on the lightly tread path of Irish female pro boxing and will become Ireland’s second pro in the near future.
With only one other Irish female boxer around there will undoubtedly calls for an all-Irish clash with recently crowned interim WBC World bantamweight champion Christina McMahon but Harvey is adamant that such a fight will be much further down the line.
“I admire and respect girls like Christina McMahon and Katie Taylor but I don’t look up to them. I don’t look up to anyone, I only look to achieve for myself. Right now the plan is to get some experience under my belt in the pro game and the bigger fights will come further down the line.”
“Fighting as a pro will suit me perfectly. I was never an amateur style fighter, I’m more of an old-school, aggressive style of boxer. With the heart and strength and perseverance I have I believe I have the potential to be a strong contender as a professional boxer”
With the wheels already in motion for her pro licence, Harvey has linked up with trainer Paschal Collins at the Celtic Warrior Gym, a move that she believes will help her reach the top of her game.
“I will be working with Paschal and my amateur trainer Sean Carton. Sean knows me so well already and being at the Celtic Warrior Gym working with a trainer of Paschal’s experience as well as the sparring that I will get there will be great for me. Turning pro has been at the back of my mind for a long time now and now that I have made the decision I can’t wait to get back in the ring”