By: Sean Crose
Former world champion Heather Hardy returned to Sony Hall in Manhattan’s Times Square Thursday night to take on Taynna Cardoso in a scheduled eight round lightweight affair. The 23-2 Hardy started off fast and aggressive at the opening bell while the 5-1-0 Cardoso tried tying the Brooklyn native up. Hardy resumed her attack in the second while Cardoso proved willing to trade – though the body shots already seemed to be taking a toll on Cardoso nonetheless. The fighters traded blows in the third. It was an intense pace for both women to keep up.
Hardy kept pushing forward full blast in the fourth. Former Olympian Cardoso, however, hadn’t come to New York to lose. It was an entertaining fight. Cardoso was landing some good shots, but Hardy’s Jack Dempsey impersonation seemed to be paying dividends. Hardy’s pace slowed a bit in the fifth, which allowed Cardoso to land well. While Hardy continued to move forward in the sixth Cardoso began putting her punches together.
By the seventh, Hardy had her second wind. Cardoso was game, but Hardy simply seemed more energetic and perhaps stronger than her courageous foe. Cardoso went hard for the win in the eighth, but Hardy – clearly exhausted – was determined to keep attacking and swinging. It had become a grueling affair. The final seconds saw both women firing away at each other.
Hardy ended up being awarded a majority decision victory from the judges.
“I’m tired, guys,” Hardy joked after the fight. “I’m old. I want to go home now.” Still, Hardy indicated she is setting her sights once again on bigger matches – particularly a second go round with Amanda Serrano, who bested Hardy back in 2019.
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