While it has proved a title some very famous Irish fighters have dined out on well into retirement in recent years, the ontinental strap has been sold as a massive gateway to world honours.
The introduction of a number of governing bodies Euro straps may have played a part in that – with the likes of the IBF and WBO Euro belts being more about ranking than honour.
The EBU European title, the famous blue belt, still holds that prestige and its holder is deemed the best in Europe, but some do sell it as a stepping stone to world level.
That could certainly be the case for Harvey who – as has been confirmed to Irish-Boxing.com – will receive an IBF world title fight offer from PBK Promotions if she does beat Catalina Diaz to become Ireland’s first ever female European champion in Madrid tonight.
However, the fighter herself will remember success she is confident of achieving in it’s own right, rather than see it as passage to even bigger things.
Win tonight and doors will open, with Spanish IBF champ Joana Pastrana waiting in the wings and a healthy WBC rating also making a fight with German beltholder Tina Rupprecht a distinct possibility.
However, even if these doors were to remain bolted shut, Harvey will in many years to come always rejoice in the fact that she was once champion of Europe.
“I am not talking too much about what it will mean for the future. If the team want to do that and look into next moves they know they have to go off into a different room and do it when I am not there,” Harvey [5(4)-1(0)] explained ahead of the ten-round title fight.
“Winning it is important for me. I don’t care what size of a show I fight for this belt on. I said today it could be in a banged up barn with just me, her, and the ref. I have no interest in if it’s a headline fight or who is going to be watching, all I want to do is win a the title.”
“It’s not about what’s next, it’s something that reflects what I have done. It’s reward for hard work. This is not a stepping stone, it’s an accomplishment. I am just focused on victory at moment and I’ll enjoy the moment of that victory.”
“Calling it a stepping stone is diluting it. It’s an accomplishment, my first ever belt and a real boxing achievement,” she added ahead of the clash with Diaz [4(0)-2(0)].
Talking to Harvey, it’s clear it is all about that personal achievement. The Dubliner only seems half aware of the history of the belt and indeed the indeed the historic nature of the fight in terms of Irish boxing.
In fact, the EBU blue belt isn’t special to her because of it’s historic significance or the list of greats she joins if she does secure victory, but rather because it’s a title she grew attached to as it stared back at her from pride of place on her vision-board.
“If I win this belt will be the most special belt to me. It’s the one that has been on my wall and my phone. It has become special to me personally and that adds to that if feels like this is meant be feel for me,” noted the 38-year-old who aims to become Ireland’s 15th ever European champion.
“I’d love to have the belt but I am not thinking about the history of it. I realise it’s a big deal and people have mentioned it, but it’s special for me in another way too.”
“People are trying to say it lead to things but I am not having that. Firstly because it will be a massive achievement to win it and I want to recognise that and secondly I have a job to do. I am focused on that one job right now. I am not getting overwhelmed or looking to far down the line.”