The ticket-selling flyweight World title hopeful suffered defeat in just her second pro outing, outpointed by the much bigger Mary Romero in the National Stadium on November 5th.
The reverse, which looks an avoidable one upon reflection as it seems Harvey was over matched at an early stage of her career, hurt the Kilbarrack puncher, but while she was left devastated by the defeat, she remains proud of the performance.
While there was no ring glory their certainly was guts on display, as Harvey battled bravely against a much bigger and more experienced opponent, and the 35 year old can live with defeat in the knowledge that she gave it her all.
Harvey also believes the fact she didn’t make surviving the goal after she was hurt is testament to her character and drive, and may even prove she has what it takes to bounce back and fulfill her World title dream.
“It was one of the toughest fights I’ve ever had. She was a big girl, much bigger than me, but I am proud I stuck it out until the end,” she told Irish-Boxing.com.
“I think in that situation, and against someone much bigger like that, loads would have quit, but that isn’t me. When I look back, I think it revealed just how tough I am, not just to me but to anyone who saw the fight.”
“She hurt me a few times and there was once or twice I was thinking ‘don’t let her stop you’, but the game plan never became survive – it was always to fight on.”
“The corner were telling me there was not much in it, but I knew in my heart of hearts that I was behind. I never let that show, but I knew. Now I am not saying I wasn’t going out to win every round. I didn’t start saying ‘I can’t win this fight so just survive’.
“Doing something like that would kill me, that is not me. I went out to fight in every round. I knew winning the fight was going to be hard, but I never gave up. I said it before, I would have had to be put to sleep for me to be stopped. I couldn’t face myself or the support if I gave up and I am so glad on reflection that I didn’t. I proved I am a fighter and a battler. I think if we were the same size I would have had too much for her, but I can take solace that I fought till the final bell against a bigger girl that had hurt me.”
There were physical and emotional scars following the National Stadium hosted defeat, but Harvey reveals the tears stopped well before the swelling went down.
“I am always a positive person, but I thought losing would make my World would crumble, but it didn’t I bounced back really quick. I was crying after the fight and for most of the next day, but by Sunday afternoon I just got over it. I made myself get over it. Again I am positive by nature, but you can talk positive and say positive things, but Saturday I had that positivist nature really tested. I am so glad I could look on the bright side so quick,” the straight talking boxer continued.
“Don’t get me wrong it hurt to lose and I hate losing. I am not happy I lost, but I am learnt and I have to take what positives I can and I am personally happy that I now know that is something I can do. I can take adversary and not dwell on it negatively.”
Acceptance of the defeat seems to coincide with a belief that the loss is part of what will be a successful journey for Harvey.
The former Irish amateur champion remains confident she can win a World title and suggests the reverse will prove important to her achieving that goal.
“I still have faith in myself and I still believe I will be World champion one day,” she adds.
“This might sound strange, but I have a sense that the loss was part of my journey. In some messed up way, it was meant for me. It was meant to happen. I can’t see why now, but one day I will be able to look back and I will see why and how it was important for me. It is time for me to make changes too the fight revealed that to some degree that could be it, but down the line I know I will look back at this fight and see it as an important part of the journey. It hurts I lost and I don’t want to feel this again, but I feel as confident as ever, I am still hungry and I am surprised at how positive I am.”
Photo Credit: Laszlo Geckzo