‘What’s meant for ya won’t pass ya’ is probably how the stereotyped Dublin Mammy would explain it, but this articulate Dublin mother illustrates why she is certain of making history in Spain on Saturday night in a much more in-depth fashion.
The concept seems the same and Lynn Harvey is certain Europe title success is meant for her and certainly won’t pass her in Spain, but the manner in which that message is conveyed is certainly unique within the boxing world.
A lot fighters talk about destiny at big fight top tables, but it’s usually wrapped in ‘I have worked so hard for this’ talk or is qualified by visualisation or ‘life long dream’ comments.
Yet, for Harvey [5(4)-1(0)], that feeling of destiny is different and she feels there is a “spiritual element”.
‘The Hunter’ goes into her career changing minnimumweight title scrap with Catalina Diaz [4(0)-2(0)] not just confident of victory but with the self assurance that comes believing victory is predestined.
She is aware when explaining just why she is unusually ‘chilled’ makes it sound like she is talking from an Amsterdam coffee shop rather a Madrid hotel room, but Harvey has always been 100 percent honest when speaking to Irish-boxing.com and wasn’t going to change ahead of the biggest fight of her career.
“I just feel this is meant for me. I can’t explain how positive I am feeling. This is my fight, my night, this is all meant for me,” Harvey said, but not in the defiant manner we have heard those lines before.
“I often feel good before fights and you know I put the work in, but this is not about physical things or confidence that I have trained hard or because I am the better fighter. Honestly, it’s more like a spiritual thing,” she continues before, after a brief cringe, she pulls out the best anecdote to explain were the confidence comes from.
“I know this might sound corny and I nearly don’t want to say it, but here goes: It’s like little things all over place. I’d be ready to go for a run in Fr Collins Park. I’d look out the window and it would be lashing. I’d start the run and I am not joking it would be sunny, like, seriously, it would stop raining.”
“I’d turn the corner to go up the road and I’d see rain in the distance, but it would be like the sun was shining a spot light on me. Not a drop of rain on me – and you’re going to laugh and call me mad, but as soon as I finished and start a cup of tea it would be lashing from the heavens. I know it sounds corny but it’s true and I know winning this fight is in my destiny.”
“I know I won’t be lucky enough to feel like this for every fight, but it is great to feel like this now. When you go into a fight not wishing and have what is more like intuition you feel amazing.”
Harvey fans will take confidence from the Kilbarrack native’s self belief, but should be warned their nerves may still be tested on Saturday night.
The fighter who ‘found’ boxing after 30 has felt in a similar place before, but while she won on the highest domestic amateur honour after having a similar mindset, she admits she didn’t cruise to victory.
“Like I said. I have really good feeling about this fight. Everything is lining up for me at this moment. That is not usually how I feel and the last time I had this feeling was when I won the Elites in 2014.”
“I went into that fight full of confidence, relaxed and I just feeling ‘this for me’. It’s a kind of my time feeling,” she adds before reflecting on her performance versus Lynne McEnerny that night.
“Oh God no, it’s wasn’t an easy fight. I was not polished that night, but I did the job. I didn’t care once I won. I was confident of winning and felt it was my time, but that didn’t mean I expected it to be handed to me. I know that is the case with this fight too.”
It will be reassuring for Irish fight fans that the practical element of Harvey remains to a degree. Those unfortunate enough not to believe in fairytales, happy endings or magic sporting dust will be happy to hear the Dublin native give a more gritty and old school break down to why she feels she will win.
Now training with Reg Byrne, Harvey outlined how “I am expecting a completely different performance this weekend. I have made loads of changes.”
“With the stuff we have done in the gym and with what I learnt over the years I am expecting my best ever performance- and you know me I wouldn’t just say that.”
The Northsider claims that the solid, tough, and sturdy toolbox she brings to all her fights is now full with every kind of flashy tool you could imagine.
“I not taking as many puncher for one,” she explains when asked to expand. “I more way more relaxed in terms of blocking and slipping. I have always been good attacking and being aggressive, but I was taking too many on the way in.”
“Attack was more of defence for me but I have learnt to attack with a lot more intelligence. I am a lot more confident in blocking on the way in and I am slipping and rolling a lot more.”
“I know she is smaller than me so I am not sure about rolling with someone so tiny, but it’s there if I need it. It depends we will see. You never know I might have to keep her long. You know I like a scrap but if it’s better in terms of me winning to keep her long I will.”
So Harvey could be an educated bull or have to play the matador in the title fight. It suggests she is all but game plan ignorant ahead of the most important fight of her career, but that nearly excites her.
“I think it shows how much I have grown as a fighter and how much I have grown in confidence. I have way more tools now and more confidence in the fact I have skills.”
“I know I have the ability to adapt and that leaves me confident. It means I doesn’t matter what she brings my body and mind will react and I will deal with what she brings. It’s honestly the first time I have that confidence.”
“I know I will adapt to and surpass any challenge she brings.”
The 35 year old admits she has been anxious before most of her fights but, as previously stated, that isn’t the case this time around and a social media detox has played a part.
“I am staying off social media, that is the trick for me. I feel a buzz when people get on to me and wish me luck and I love the messages, but this time I will read it all after the fight.
“What happens to me is, I soak up the hype and it makes me anxious. I have had to go on and post things for sponsors and stuff like that, but I haven’t read a thing.”
“No messages and no new feed and I really think that is trick going forward. Everyone over here saying how chilled I am. I will get those healthy nerves before the fight and I look forward to that moment, but I am not anxious or over hyped and that has to be a positive.”