Historic Hunter – Lynn Harvey to fight for EBU European title


Dubliner Lynn Harvey [5(4)-1] has been handed the opportunity to become Ireland’s first female European champion.

The EBU have sanctioned a fight between ‘The Hunter’ and Catalina Diaz [4-2] for the vacant strawweight European title. 

Harvey has been fighting just above the light flyweight limit [108lbs] in recent times but will drop down a class to fight for continental honours in the 105lbs division which is referred to as strawweight, mini-flyweight, and minnimumweight.

Irish-boxing.com believe that a deal has been made and that the fight, which was listed by the EBU today, will be officially announced over the coming days.

Diaz was nominated to fight for the strap, but struggled to find a willing opponent so when Harvey was put to the EBU the Kilbarrack native was given the green light.

It’s a drop in weight for the fighter whose last appearance was on the Celtic Clash 8 card back in November but Harvey did win amateur titles at light flyweight which is 48kg/105.8lbs in the amateurs. As a pro, the Northsider has come in as low as 107lbs and should have little problems becoming Ireland’s second ever minnumweight after Anto Connolly.

38-year-old Diaz will be cutting too as the majority of her fights have played out a light flyweight.

The fight will play out in Spain with Diaz’s promoters looking to host the fight in Cádiz on Wednesday February 27th with a venue to be confirmed shortly.

The European title is contested over 10 two-minute rounds. Harvey has never been scheduled beyond six while Diaz has done one eight-rounder.

It’s a massive opportunity for the attack-minded fighter and one that could put her name alongside some Irish blue strap winning greats.

In recent years the likes of Carl Frampton, Bernard Dunne, James Tennyson, Paul McCloskey, and Brian Magee have won the European title.

The winner of the Diaz-Harvey fight will also become only the second ever strawweight champ.

Spaniard Joana Pastrana is the only operator to have held the strap, but vacated after she went on to challenge for the IBF world title successfully.

The popular puncher is just back having returned from a year-long retirement and got less than a round in during her comeback fight but has been keen to kick and it seems hasn’t shied away from a step down in weight and step up in quality.

Indeed the 37-year-old, who is managed by Jay Byrne, had already accepted a fight with top German Sarah Bormann for December but say this proposed bout shelved.

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Diaz began her career with three straight wins before being outpointed over eight by Yolanda Ramos in November 2017. The Andalucia fighter was then defeated in Poland by Ewelina Pekalska last September but bounced back with a win over Joana Suarez in October.

The pair share one common foe – Romanian Sara Regina Coca – who Diaz outpointed over five before Harvey defeated the same opponent via third-round disqualification following a kick.

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com