Although Mary Romero couldn’t break the brave Dubliner’s heart over six rounds, she did leave Harvey heartbroken in the National Stadium earlier this November.
Harvey [1(1)-1(0)] admits to being in tears post-fight after suffering defeat to a fighter who shared the ring with Katie Taylor on an amateur show the Kilbarrack puncher herself appeared on.
However, while Harvey may still be carrying some fight scars from the brutal battle, her career prospects and her fan appeal don’t seem to have been wounded.Indeed, Harvey claims the response she has received has been immensely positive. Her fan base has seemed to have increased so much that she is now receiving calls unknown well-wishers, while promoters and managers haven’t been put off by the defeat.
“For most fighters they only get love when they are winning. I am not joking, I got more interest after this fight than when I won. Honestly, the fan base and the interest seems to have grown. My phone has been hopping, it hasn’t stopped! People I don’t know have been onto me, and not just fans. Managers and promoters have been in touch. The interest has just gone through the roof,” Harvey told Irish-Boxing.com.
The positive outcome doesn’t mean Harvey will be happy to lose again, but it has taken some of the pain off the defeat.
There is genuine surprise in the voice of a fighter, who seems to be attracting the kind of media attention a lot more established Irish pugilists could only dream of, when discussing the level of support received – and she personally believes it stems from the willingness to fight on while faced with adversity.
Such was the size difference in her second pro fight that it often looked like ‘The Hunter,’ a small flyweight, was hunting King Kong with a pee shooter, as Romero was a bantamweight who had fought as high as lightweight.
However, Harvey persevered in the most respect-winning manner, not just trying to survive the big right hands, but battling to the final bell in a bid to win a fight that it was clear was going the other way.
“I can’t stress how much I am gutted with the defeat and I hate losing, but it is nice to see that people are taking positives from the fight and are still there supporting me. I think maybe I got more respect for battling and staying in there than I would for knocking someone out in the first round. People seen I am tough, I want this and I am willing to fight for it. Really, Facebook went mad and it is great to see the support.
“It is hard to explain what it has been like, but put it this way an old couple, an old couple I don’t know, rang me to say they are big supporters of me now, saying how much they respected me and that they can’t wait to see me fight again. How mad is that?”
It’s not just the old couple that have been in touch. More influential figures in the fight game have touched base.
Managers and promoters have been in contact with exciting offers, while news Harvey has elected to move from the respected boxing hub that is the Celtic Warriors Gym has sparked new trainer interest.
“I have left the Celtic Warrior Gym, I just think for me it’s time for a change. I loved it there, we were like a family and I will always be grateful to all there. I will always keep in touch too and I wish them all the best,” she continued.
“I haven’t made a decision as to what gym to go to yet and I am also considering promotional offers. There have been a few in touch and I have some interesting offers on the table. However, I have to take my time over them. I am flattered by the interest and it’s another positive coming off that defeat.”
Harvey is confident that she can build and prosper, and described how “I know I can become a World champion, but I know I need to make sure I have people around me that can help me with that. I am going to wait to asses all the offers. This could be the biggest decision of my career so I am not going to rush it. I will listen to all offers and what people have to say, sit down assess them all in calmness and with intelligence. I want someone that knows the potential I have and works with me toward achieving my goals. Someone who understands how marketable I am would be good too. I don’t mean that in a cocky way, but to succeed in boxing sometimes you need more than just a good fighter.”
“For now I will asses the offers I have and listen to others that come in and I will make an informed choice, but I am glad the interest is there and it has helped.”
Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography