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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Caty Diaz celebrates winning the EBU minimumweight title against Lynn Harvey.
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Dublin's Lynn Harvey stopped in Spain as European title tilt falls short
The Kilbarrack woman was dropped and halted in a five-round thriller with Caty Diaz.

DUBLIN’S LYNN HARVEY has fallen short in her bid to become Ireland’s first-ever female professional European champion after being halted in five rounds by Spain’s Caty Diaz.

In a high-octane scrap for the vacant EBU minimumweight title, Harvey began on the front foot before being picked apart by the home fighter in the Pabellón de Cotos de Monterrey in Venturada.

Harvey, 37, was dropped heavily in the third before being spared by French referee in the fifth as Diaz, 38, dished out a beating in the away fighter’s corner.

Ireland’s ‘Hunter’ falls to 5-2(4KOs) while Diaz improves her record to the same, although her stoppage of Harvey was her first in the pro ranks.

Harvey, wide-eyed and intent on causing hurt, stalked forward at first bell, getting off a fair few shots in anger before Diaz could draw so much as a murmur from her home support.

Twice or three times in the opener the Cadiz native found minor success, but the naturally larger Harvey — who outweighed her host by a pound and a quarter on the scales (105lbs to 103.75) — continued to march Diaz around the clock, applying as much mental pressure as she was that of the physical variety.

The Kilbarrack native had sucked the air out of the packed arena early and landed a couple of thumping straight rights to begin the second phase, jarring Diaz’s head backwards. The Spaniard eventually fired back in anger, perhaps salvaging the round with some neat work in close as she began to curtail Harvey’s march.

Diaz cracked Harvey with a right of her own mere seconds into the third, following it up with a solid left uppercut as the taller Harvey was caught static.

Harvey seemed unperturbed but found herself in genuine bother soon afterwards: she was lit up at the end of the round, Diaz landing a four- or five-punch combination, the rubber-stamp right hand of which dropped her like a sack of spuds and brought the sizeable Spanish crowd to its feet.

Harvey beat the count and saw out the last few seconds of the round, but she scarcely looked rock-solid as she retreated to her corner.

Incredibly, the Irishwoman came out seeking war in the fourth. The problem was that this was the wrong decision, and she duly got it.

Again, Diaz teed off on her come-forward foe, landing cleanly off either hand and winning the round conclusively. Harvey’s legs still didn’t look right, and while there could be no questioning her ticker, further trouble seemed inevitable.

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Diaz, to her credit, brought it in spades a round later. Her right hand especially potent, she detonated an overhand on Harvey’s temple, sending the Kilbarrack woman to Funky Town. Diaz pursued her dance across the ring to the Irish corner beside which Harvey found a brief solace on the ropes before the Spaniard poured on a shellacking.

With Diaz’s punches raining down and the Dubliner slumped, slouched and semi-defenseless, referee Fernandez called a halt to proceedings.

The arena erupted, as did Diaz, the new European champion who may have even looked a touch surprised.

Harvey received for her efforts a hearty congratulations from the Spanish corner as well as the home crowd, but it will be of scant consolation for a proud fighter who went on the road in pursuit of the blue belt and nothing else.

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