slideLast night I had the pleasure of sitting down with Heather Hardy. We discussed her career, and the film documenting her life, named “Hardy”, which will be released later this year. Before we get started with the interview, let me give you some information about her. Also make sure to follow Heather on twitter! @HeatherHardyBox

Heather Hardy, an Irish-American, was born on January 25, 1982, in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Stella Maris High school in Queens, NY, where she played softball, and soccer. She attended college and graduated with a degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2005. In addition to her career as a professional boxer, she currently works as a boxing and fitness trainer at Gleason’s Gym, and is the mother of a 9yr old daughter, Annie. In May 2010, Hardy entered Gleason’s in Brooklyn where she met Devon Cormack. After 11 months of training with Cormack, Hardy won the 125lbs 2011 Metro and Regional Titles, then went on to win the USA Boxing 2011 National Title. In 2012, she won the 125lb Golden Gloves Featherweight title. Her overall amateur record was 16-5. Her trainer/manager Devon Cormack gave her the name “The Heat” because of her aggressive boxing style. On August 2, 2012, Hardy won her pro debut by UD at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC. Currently signed with NY based boxing promoter, Lou Dibella, and Dibella entertainment. On July 24, 2013, Hardy defeated Cassie Trost by TKO. Now that you are more acquainted, here’s what you’ve been looking for, the interview!

Tiffanie: Ms. Heather Hardy. Please tell me what a gorgeous, college educated, mother is doing boxing?

Heather: I started boxing a few years ago. Before that I started going to a Kickboxing school by my house. I figured I would go there and get in shape. Within 3 weeks, the girl who was teaching these cardio classes said that I could have a fight. I’m like a really shy, quiet kind of a person, but for whatever reason I thought it would be a good idea. I went and I fought in front of like a thousand people, and I won. It was like the greatest feeling ever. And I just haven’t stopped since then.

Tiffanie: What other influences did you have to get into Boxing? Did someone introduce you to the sport?

Heather: I didn’t really have any other influence to get involved in boxing, other than I was good at it, I loved it so much, and I love being in the ring. It just makes me want to do more. I want more.

Tiffanie: So Like you said, you only have been boxing for a few years, what have you learned about this pugilistic sport?

Heather: Well with kickboxing it was more of like a karate school that I was in, so the focus was more on discipline, being tough, being strong, and working hard. On the side of boxing it’s more the science of it. Now I go to the boxing gym it’s more like school or class, learning how to do certain things. So now that I know more about the sport, I can appreciate how hard it is. It’s easy to just go in and be tougher or stronger than the next girl, but being smarter is what I really learned to appreciate.

Tiffanie: That’s a great point that you bring up about using the science of boxing, and using your intelligence in the ring. Do you have a favorite boxer right now, by the way?

Heather: I follow the girls more than I follow the boys to be perfectly honest. I have girls that I look up to like Alicia Ashley, Fernandez, couple of friends of mine. I see how hard they work and how dedicated they are. Those are the boxers I aspire to be like and try to emulate. But If I had to pick somebody, I love the way Canelo Alvarez punches. I really respect his punches. I’m also a huge Mike Tyson fan.

Tiffanie: How did you get hooked up with Lou Dibella?

Heather: I was training in the gym, and one of the guys approached me. They were getting ready to have a fight. The guy knew that after I won the Golden Gloves, that I wanted to make my pro debut. As I’m sure you know, it’s really hard for a female to get that debut, or for someone to give her that shot. Unless you’re planning on traveling and being an opponent somewhere. So one of the guys who actually works the corner now, went to Lou. He tells Lou: ” Lou I got this kid, she’s really good, she’s really tough. Nobody works harder than this girl, and she can sell a ton of tickets.” So he kind of got me in the door with a promise in itself to sell a ridiculous amount of tickets, which I did. That’s how I got my start, that’s how I got my chance.

Tiffanie: What makes you stand out from the other professional women boxers that are out now?

Heather: It’s so hard for me to say, I don’t want to be disrespectful to another female in the sport, because honestly I’m working so hard on trying to make me better. I really don’t know what anyone else is doing. I don’t see myself as being any different than anyone else out there. Everyday for me is getting up, doing my work, doing my training. Ensuring to get it all in, in one day. Trying to focus on someone else and what they’re doing is not my style.

Tiffanie: So I know you said you don’t focus on other fighters and what they’re doing inside the ring, but there’s another fight going on outside the ring. There are a lot of female boxers out there fighting for equality for women’s boxing? Where do you fit in with all of that? Do you have any solutions or ideas?

Heather: Not to say that it’s an idea for anyone else. What seems to be working for me now, which is different from 10 yrs ago,we have social media. It allows us to interact with the public, in such a easy way. It can be done from your phone waiting for the bus. Also to keep putting ourselves out there, letting people see us. Some of the girls made it to the Olympics last year. There was a small wave of attention for female boxing, not just on the small group that was going, but on all of us. There was always people in the gym asking questions, looking at you when you are at tournaments fighting. So there’s a small window where people are interested, the fight is to make sure that the little small opening, that someone kicks it in, and it never shuts again. So the point is, when you have people questioning, you always have to be there to answer. I try to make my fights so exciting that my fans want to come back to see me. So that all the reporters who talked to me before, are looking to talk to me again. I want to give people a reason to want to come back.

Tiffanie: I’m sure people are hearing about the “heat” you’re bringing in the ring, it’s only a matter of time when they will be knocking down your door to fight you. What are your plans on how to keep your composure, so that you can make smart business decisions.

Heather: I’ve been pretty fortunate that I have a great manager. From day one when I had my first amateur loss, I came back with my head hanging, he’s always looked out for my best interest. I trust that he will make the business decisions for me. Right now my job is to keep working, keep training, and keep my mouth open. Keep spreading the word that “The Heat” is here.

Tiffanie: You are 6-0, the last by fight knockout a couple of weeks ago, what are you doing now? Are you training, staying in shape for your next fight?

Heather: I’m training like I got something in 2 weeks. That’s always how I am, because I started in the game so late. I have so much ground to cover, so much to make up for. I really don’t play. Alicia Ashley is my stable mate, and also the WBC champ in my weight class. So I get to see everyday, how much further I have to go to get where she is. It’s just motivation to constantly be in the gym and train. On the day after my fights, I’m back to the drawing board.

Tiffanie: When are you planning on fighting again?

Heather: Not really about my plans, because if it was up to me I would fight once a month. It’s when they let me go. I kind have to wait until there’s a show available for me to fight on. No date is set, but I train like he’s going to tell me that I have a fight in 2 weeks.

Tiffanie: So Natasha Verma is directing a film/documentary about you, called “Hardy”. That must feel amazing! Give me your perspective of the film and what kind of waves you think it will send through the boxing community.

Heather: I think it’s phenomenal and I’m so excited for it to be released. Natasha came to me about a year ago, and she pitched the idea so that people could see the inequalities in the sport, and how tough it is for the women. I think the trouble is, that people just don’t know. Like for me after my fight, from my first fight until now. After my fight, I’m outside shaking hands and signing autographs for like two hours. People are so surprised that they just witnessed two girls fight like I fight. So I don’t think it’s a matter of changing people’s minds, just making them aware of what goes on. How hard we fight, how hard we train, how entertaining we can be. People think of girl fights, they think of a big pool of jello and bikinis. The real people behind the scenes, coaches and trainers, they give us the same respect as the men. They do, because they know of the work we put in, even if it just sparring. I’m so honored that she would use me as an platform to get this out to the world.

Tiffanie: Well that concludes my questions. Do you have anything you would like to add or say to your fans?

Heather: I am so thankful for their support. I promise you I work sun up to sun down to put on a good show for you.

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