Heather Hardy: You Want to Fight? We Fighting!
To be a successful fighter, let alone one at the top of the field, confidence is a must. In this department, Heather “The Heat” Hardy (22-0, 4 KO’s) is not lacking for anything! The Brooklyn-born WBO world featherweight champion has proven her moxie, grit and mental toughness in both boxing and MMA. Not only is Hardy’s next fight in her own backyard, it’s one that Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano (36-1-1, 27 KO’s) specifically called her out for. Due to this, there was no way that Hardy was going to miss this dance date!
THE WOMEN WANT THEIR DUE
Hardy and Serrano will meet on the undercard of Haney v Abdullaev at the legendary Madison Square Garden. In her estimation, the Heat believes that she and Serrano could have easily headlined. This is because she believes that it was her and Serrano that were responsible for the bulk of ticket sales. Heather Hardy, a self-proclaimed feminist, is no stranger to highlighting the innumerable unfair discrepancies in how male boxers are treated versus female pugilists. Pay and card placement are among the most egregious imbalances.
“I would have to say that me and Amanda are selling out this show and without it seeming like you know, ‘oh, all Heather does is complain about the pay,’ men would be making in the millions for this fight and we’re not even making six figures […] We could have headlined for sure! We’re the ones responsible for all the ticket sales, right? I mean of course we could have headlined.” ~Heather Hardy, WBO world featherweight champion
Yet, at the age of 37, Hardy has resigned herself to the realization that she will no longer be an active fighter whenever equality finds its way to boxing. This does not mean that she doesn’t still push for it, or has lost hope in that day ultimately arriving. In the meantime, the hard fighting single mom is content to make the best of the opportunities that she is supplied.
FOR BROOKLYN PRIDE!
Gender issues momentarily put to the side, Hardy is eager to get in the ring to defend both her belt and her honor. In fact, when it comes to her bout with Serrano, the Heat is more concerned with honor than her belt. Of course she is proud of, and wants to retain, her WBO featherweight strap. However, making the Real Deal regret calling her out is of greater importance. As a youth, Hardy was always taught to stand up for herself and retaliate with whatever force someone came at her with. Looking to uphold these longstanding values, Hardy will strive to prove to Serrano who the real queen of Brooklyn truly is.
“Titles mean nothing to me, I wish that they did but they don’t. When I got my world title, Gleason’s Gym has a history of they hang, and they immortalize you when you win a world title, so I got my banner at Gleason’s Gym. It’ll hang there forever, I did my job! Now this is more like my pride. I’m a Brooklyn girl, you called me out, you want to fight me. Like my mom taught me when I was young: someone pushes you, you push them back. Somebody hits you, you hit them back. Somebody tells you they want to fight, we fighting!” ~Heather Hardy, WBO world featherweight champion
A REAL DEAL INCENTIVE
If successful on September 13, Hardy would theoretically be staring her biggest pay date in the face. This is because the winner of Hardy v Serrano will likely to get a crack at WBO, WBA, IBF and WBC world lightweight champion Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KO’s). Heather Hardy fully realizes that a match against Taylor would ensure the largest purse of her professional career. With a kid on the edge of heading away to college, this is payday that Hardy can hardly afford to miss!
“Well the winner of this fight has to fight Katie Taylor in the next six months, which is a six figure payday. So that’s my incentive. I’m single mom, I have a kid going to college in two years, I need to pay that tuition! Outside of that, I would like to unify my division at 126.” ~Heather Hardy, WBO world featherweight champion
Yet, Hardy will be mindful to keep first things first. Before there can be any lucrative outing against Taylor, she must first best Serrano. And this is obviously no easy task! The Heat would be one of the first to tell you that the fight with the Real Deal will be no walk in the park. In fact, Hardy willingly labeled her as one scary boxer who has time and time again proven that her skills and punching power are legit. Yet, if successful, this is exactly what will make her victory over Serrano that much more sweet.
Guess we will all just have to wait and see how this intriguing battle will play out. The one thing that is not up for question though, is that this fight will be high class, high speed and almost undoubtedly bloody! Make sure that you check it out!
By: Bakari Simpson