Details on the competitors in the six-round main event lightweight bout between Heather “The Heat” Hardy and Calista Silgado, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Thursday night.
If you can’t be there, check it out on PPV at Bxngtv.com: https://bxngtv.com/newbeginnings101322/
HEATHER “THE HEAT” HARDY (22-2, 4 KO’s) figures she still may have a couple of chapters left to write as she cements her legacy in women’s boxing.
Unlike a lot of the fighters we encounter, Hardy’s boxing journey got started very late. At age 28, with a daughter, going through a divorce, without child support, and working as many as six jobs at once, she decided to walk into a martial arts gym in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Dumbo and began boxing. A few weeks later, she had her first amateur fight. Perhaps there was apprehension, but in her words, “for the first time in my life, I felt like something was all mine.” After that she shifted over to Gleason’s Gym, and that is where she really learned his craft.
Within a year’s time, Heather Hardy was dominating the amateur ranks locally in New York, and ascended to the #1 ranking nationwide, winning the 2011 U.S. Women’s Championship at Colorado Springs.
Still, there was that struggle to pay the bills. Her various jobs included delivering books to high schools and answering the phone at Gleason’s, in addition to teaching exercise classes on a freelance basis. Everybody told her that there was no money to be made in women’s boxing, and for the most part, they were right. But she wanted to do it anyway.
As she recounts it, promoter Lou DiBella told her that if she could sell $10,000 worth of tickets, she could earn a place on one of his shows. At first she didn’t know how she was going to do it, but she did it anyway – above and beyond all expectations – selling $13,000 worth of tickets. That pro debut was a four-round decision win over Mikayla Nebel. From there, it was just a matter of working her way up. But she could sell tickets, and that was not insignificant.
Went ten rounds for the first time in October 2014 when she scored a decision over Crystal Hoy for the WBC International super bantamweight (122-pound) championship. The scoring was odd; one judge had her winning by a shutout (100-90), while another had her winning by nine points and a third scored it a draw.
In August 2015, stopped Renata Domsodi in six rounds in what was a rematch of an earlier no-contest (which was due to accidental head butt).
Reached a major benchmark in her career a year later, when she won a ten-round decision over Shelly Vincent to win the WBC International featherweight title. The action-packed clash was shown on NBC Sports Network.
The rematch with Vincent, taking place in October 2018, was held at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, this time with the WBO world featherweight championship at stake. And Hardy reached another milestone in her career when her hand was raised as the ten-round decision winner and new world champion.
In September 2019 it was back to the Hulu Theater as Hardy put her title on the line in a unification bout against the great Amanda Serrano, who had a 36-1-1 record and held the WBC version of the championship. She lost a ten-round decision by scores of 98-91, 98-91 and 98-92. It was her first loss as a professional.
The pandemic came and wreaked havoc on the boxing game. So Hardy was out of the ring for 20 months before traveling to Murfreesboro, TN to take on Jessica Camara. Heather scored a knockdown in the first round, but Camara was able to weather any storms and came out on the winning end of an eight-round decision. So now Hardy is on a two-fight losing streak, with no victories since 2018.
She’s age 40, but this is by no means a “seniors’ tour.” She has every intention of putting herself in a position to challenge for a world title again as she mounts “one last run” and maybe even more.
This will be Hardy’s eleventh fight in the borough of Manhattan. She has fought 13 times in Brooklyn, once in Queens and once in Tennessee (this total includes her no-contest).
Hardy has also had a career in mixed martial arts, fighting for Bellator. This started in 2017, and she compiled a 2-2 record.
She remains active in a number of different pursuits, and that includes training other women from all walks of life, with tremendous results.
Hardy was the subject of a rather remarkable documentary entitled “Hardy,” which focuses on her career and explores the battle women have had to be accepted as professionals in the ring. It was directed by Natasha Verma, who at the time was an 18-year-old film maker working on her Masters at Columbia University.
She is also a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, majoring in Forensic Psychology.
Weight: 132.8 Pounds
CALISTA SILGADO (20-15-3, 15 KO’s) is one of the more experienced and well-traveled competitors in women’s boxing, and could present a challenge for Heather Hardy.
When the bell rings on Thursday night, it will be Silgado’s 200th round of professional boxing. And 61 of those rounds have been in world championship bouts – well, 71, if you look at the WBC “Silver” title as a world championship. And if you do, that makes NINE different times she has challenged for a world title. So far, she hasn’t been able to come away with any hardware.
A native of Colombia, she turned pro in November 2011 with a first-round TKO of Maria Zavala. She won her first five bouts and had a 9-1-1 record after her first eleven.
A world title shot came her way in April 2013, when she was stopped in five by Alejandra Marina Oliveras for the WBO featherweight crown. There have been plenty of title opportunities since; Silgado has fought championship contests at 118, 122, 126 and 130 pounds. In six of these bouts she’s gone the distance.
“Calli” has fought the newly-famous Amanda Serrano for the WBO’s featherweight title in July 2016. But she was stopped in the first round. In December of that same year, she fought Amanda’s sister, Cindy Serrano, for the same title after Amanda vacated it. This time, Silgado went the ten-round distance.
Four of Silgado’s last five fights have been in the United States. This will be her fourth fight in New York City. in her last bout – on September 16 – she lost a six-round decision to world-class Melissa St. Vil in Brooklyn.
She’s been beaten inside the distance three times, all of those in world title fights.
Endurance should be no problem in this scheduled six-rounder; Silgado has been to the tenth round on six separate occasions.