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Boxing Insider Fight Night: 8 Rds. Lightweights – Heather Hardy vs. Taynna Cardoso

Posted on 02/23/2023

Details on the competitors in the eight-round main event lightweight bout between Heather “The Heat” Hardy and Taynna Cardoso, taking place at Sony Hall in New York City on Thursday night.

If you can’t be there, check it out live at this link:


Age — 41
Record — 23-2, 4 KO’s
Height — 5’5″
Weight — 134 pounds
Originally from — Brooklyn, NY
Fights out of — Brooklyn, NY

  • 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.
  • Tonight she dedicates her fight to the memory of Hector Roca, a legendary fight figure in New York who served as her trainer, and who just recently passed away.
  • 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 was on a two-fight losing streak before she scored a six-round decision over Calista Silgado. She got off to a slow start, but came on over the second half of the fight to capture the decision.
  • She’s age 41, 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 twelfth 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.


Age — 34
Record — 5-1, 1 KO
Height — 5’3″
Weight — 133.6 pounds
Originally from — Belem, Para, Brazil
Fights out of — JundiaĆ­, Sao Paulo, Brazil

  • At 34, Cardoso has been relatively inactive in her career. Six fights in a little more than five years.
  • She is not without credentials. As an amateur, Cardoso made it to the quarterfinals of the AIBA World Championships.
  • Chantelle Cameron, currently the undefeated, undisputed junior welterweight champion, had said that when she fought Cardoso in 2015, that was the toughest amateur bout of her career.
  • Made her pro debut in December 2017 with a four-round decision over Caroline Foro Antunes.
  • Only one win inside the distance, that being a first-round stoppage of Jully Jeniffer Costa Silva in June 2019.
  • In November of last year, got into the ring with Beatriz Ferreira, fighting three-minute rounds. It was her first fight outside of Brazil. Cardoso went down twice and lost a 40-34 decision on all four cards. Cardoso could not match the level of “class” that Ferreira displayed.
  • In that bout, Ferreira was making her pro debut. But she wasn’t just any first-timer; not by a longshot. Ferreira, who is also from Brazil, had won the PanAmerican Championship as an amateur, and was a silver medalist in the Olympics.
  • Short and compact, and well-schooled in the fundamentals, don’t be surprised if she comes with a lot of right hand, left hook combinations. She does seem to like throwing the left a lot.

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