ONLY just turning 22 years old Harvey Horn crammed a lot into his career. He is now looking turning professional and will leave the amateurs behind.
“I feel like the longer rounds are going to suit me a bit more, where I’m boxing and taking my time, I’ll be able to suss my opponent out,” he told Boxing News. “I’m starting to get a bit stronger as well. I’ve gone up a weight. So hopefully I’ll knock someone out.”
He impressed in the pro-style World Series of Boxing format, losing to Mexico’s top notch Joselito Velasquez but beating the USA’s Nico Hernandez in America. Hernandez would go on to win a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.
“The first ones are going to be four rounders and the way I’m looking at it, I’ve already had four pro fights. Five rounders,” he said. “The first [WSB at York Hall], against Mexico, I think I brought 300 people. That didn’t go too well, did it?”
He continued, “There was definitely a bit of pressure. I think it was more the fact that I was only 19 against a seasoned Mexican. He’d been all over the world, I think he was 23, at that age. It was boy against man and it showed. The first round went alright and from there he dragged me into a dogfight.”
Velasquez, highly ranked in world boxing, is one of the best Horn has boxed. He adds, “The Indian [Devendro Laishram], the Commonwealth silver medallist was definitely up there. He’s very strong. He hit me and I didn’t know what’s going on for about 30 seconds. But he was dropping everyone in the Commonwealths. He put Ashley Williams down, Aqeel Ahmed down, he was very strong. But he just had one shot, it was a left hook over the top.
“He was up there, [Vasili] Egorov was up there. I boxed him twice. I drew him in the Worlds, in the second round. The first one, the European final, I did myself a lot more justice. I’d fought three days on the trot, I’d had a massive cut, it was my first proper cut, so I didn’t know how to take it that well,” he said. “I went out on my shield, I had a go. I won the third round and lost the first two.”
A European silver medal and winning the ABA championships at just 18 are highlights of a fine amateur career. But the lowest moment for Horn was missing out on selection for Olympic qualifiying last year. “Because I knew the quality of me and Galal [Yafai] I knew whoever went to that first qualifier would qualify. As soon as I knew I wasn’t going, I knew the Olympics was gone,” he said.
He didn’t get to go to Rio but he could take some comfort noting the Olympians he’d beaten in the past. “I was buzzing that [Hernandez] won that [bronze] because it did show my quality. But then again I was thinking if he’s done it, why haven’t I done it. I beat a few of them. I beat six Olympians. Hernandez got the furthest,” Harvey reflected.
He is preparing himself for a new start. “I have been settling my feet a lot more, I’m punching through with my shots more, so they’ve got a bit more venom,” he warns. “It’s been coming along really well.”