By: Hans Themistode
Heather Hardy’s personality has always been an effervescent one. The New York native flashed a bright and warm smile whenever she walked into a room which was normally followed by gracious and welcoming conversations. Whenever she stepped foot inside of a boxing ring, however, her smile widened.
For nearly a decade, Hardy had a reason to smile. She gained public notoriety as one of the more prominent figures in women’s boxing, her fanbase continued to expand, and in 2018 – she completed a lifelong dream of becoming a world champion.
But while she officially checked off every box on her boxing wish list, things began falling apart behind the scenes. Her grin was still present but it was all just a facade. Her need to spend almost every waking minute in the gym was suddenly gone.
Hardy’s passion and devotion to the sport had left her and as a result, she suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in her career.
“I’ve been in the game a long time,” said Hardy on a recent press release. “In the last year or so, I realized I was just going through the motions. I wasn’t in love anymore, I wasn’t obsessed. I got caught up in the business of the sport and it made me lose my heart.”
Hardy’s loss to fringe contender Jessica Camara was particularly difficult to swallow, believing she did more than enough to earn the victory. Despite it all, Hardy dusted herself off and began getting back to the basics. With that career reset, came a familiar feeling.
At the newly turned age of 40, and still considered one of the biggest names in female boxing, Hardy slowly but assuredly began finding her way. The former 126 pound titlist now spends most of her time routinely training clients at the famed Gleasons Gym in New York. Consequently, the spark she once had for the sport has returned.
With Hardy’s desire to fight re-emerging, she’s anxious to prove that she still belongs on the biggest stage against the biggest names.
In order to do so, Hardy will walk brazenly into the hometown of former world champion Terri Harper, at Nottingham Arena in the United Kingdom on March 12th. A win in their upcoming showdown will likely place the New York native firmly ahead of the line for another world title opportunity.
With boxing mortality staring directly into the eyes of Hardy, she can hear the dubious voices casting doubt upon her chances against Harper and making another run.
Nevertheless, regardless of the chastisement that’s thrown in her direction, Hardy is well aware that it isn’t every day where a 40-year-old former champion is given another opportunity to return to the spotlight. And for that alone, she’s appreciative but not satisfied.
“I’m genuinely grateful for this opportunity! Not everyone gets a second chance, especially at my age. I get to be on this stage, on this platform, with one more chance to show myself and the world what I can do.”
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