Brooklynfights.com caught up with WBC International Super Bantamweight title holder, Heather “The Heat” Hardy (12-0-0), at Brooklyn’s Gleason’s Gym, for an exclusive training camp interview. Hardy is preparing for a May 29th bout where she will face off against Florida’s Noemi “NoNo” Bosques (8-2-2) at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, on the Khan-Algieri undercard. The fight will be streamed live on SpikeTV, and promises the trademark action-packed excitement for which The Heat is known.
“I never get nervous if I am going to win or lose, because I know if I am going to die, I am going to die in there winning.”
Tell us about your training camp regimen in the run-up to this fight.
I’m sure as you know when you’re a professional fighter, you’re also part professional runner, part professional weight trainer. Because I just started boxing, when I’m in the gym with my coach, it’s more like school. It’s not always such a physical workout. So in addition to 1 to 2 hours of skill training everyday, I am doing about 4 miles alternating sprints, a couple days weight training, and I do my conditioning myself.
What are your thoughts on Noemi Bosques as a fighter and opponent?
I think she’s really great. I think she’s really great for women’s boxing. She’s an exciting fighter. She does a really nice job promoting herself, and I think her and I are on the same page as far as what it’s going to take to get this game for women advanced. And that’s being a presence–you have to be relevant, and she’s doing a really good job of that.
When I was talking to my team about who’s a good opponent for this fight, they asked me if I wanted to bring back the last girl, and I really, I’m not looking for fights with people who don’t want to fight and don’t want to promote the sport. I think it’s so much more than just winning. It’s winning and telling everybody we’re here and I thought Noemi was a really good fit for that.
What’s your prediction for how and when the fight ends?
I think it’s so disrespectful and cocky for that, and I would never say that. I know what I think but I wouldn’t say it, because first of all I can’t underestimate the skill of my opponent. And second of all, even if I did underestimate her skill, you can’t prepare for someone’s will inside the ring. And to come and step up and fight me in New York City is a different beast than maybe anyone she’s ever fought before. And I am fully prepared that someone of her calibre is going to use that to elevate where she wants to go in the sport.
So I am totally expecting a hard fight, but having said that, I am so prepared for anyone. They could throw a tiger in there with me…I never get nervous if I am going to win or lose, because I know if I am going to die, I am going to die in there winning. Really what I am judging right now is “how much is it going to take out of me to win this fight?”
Your last fight, in April against Renata Domsodi was stopped as a No Contest due to an accidental headbutt. You felt like the fight should’ve continued. Give us your perspective on that whole thing.
As far as the headbutt goes, I am not sure if you saw the fight, but I was really, really taking it to her, really cracking on her the first couple rounds. So her head was going down because she already had a cut on her face, I think just to protect her face. She was kind of wailing at me from overhead shots. When it happened, the accidental headbutt, everyone knows I am standup fighter…most people, when someone is charging at them, they step away, and I kind of sit there and wait so I can tee off. So that’s what happened with the headbutt.
But I mean anybody who was there saw, I took the fight out of her within 30 seconds into the first round, and that was just a great way for her to get out. It was more disappointing than anything for me. Because in women’s boxing, records aren’t like men’s boxing. In men’s boxing, if you have a loss, you’re already considered an opponent. Women, there aren’t as many of us, so a lot of the greatest fighters have losses.
And this was a girl coming from Budapest who was 12 and 6. All of her 6 losses were in world title fights in other countries with the top ranked girls. So this was not somebody who was supposed to be a walk-over. She held 4 titles in Germany. So when we took this fight, this wasn’t like “Oh let’s just take an easy fight.” This was supposed to be a veteran, someone who was tough, who had been in the trenches and come out before. And she didn’t fight like that, so it was extremely disappointing.
You hold the WBC belt in your weight class, while Shelly Vincent holds the IBA and UBF belts. Is a match between you inevitable?
There’s a lot of talk online and I choose not to answer a lot of it, because there’s a lot of nonsense. People who just want to pick a fight…and I honestly don’t have time for that.
I have a promoter and she has a promoter. Her fights are in Rhode Island. Mine are in New York. Boxing is a business and my promoter doesn’t want me to go and have a fight in Rhode Island where he’s going to make money for the other promoter, because I am a huge ticket seller here in New York. And in the same hand, her promoter doesn’t want her to come here. And if he gets her the fight over here, then he wants money from Lou [Dibella], that Lou’s not going to give him. So this is more of a conflict of business than it is with her.
If anything–and you see me in the gym–I’ll go in there with anybody. I’m not a fighter who is afraid…I don’t necessarily feel like this would be the greatest fight in the world, because I do feel like I’ve fought girls who are better than she is.
They had offered me a fight up there for half of what I make fighting here. So it’s like, “You know what–if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense,” and that’s pretty much what all four parties are agreed upon.
But her hook for the media is Heather Hardy…It’s me that keeps her relevant. I just ignore it because if it’s going to keep women’s boxing alive, then let her use me and say what she does.
What’s next for Heather Hardy in boxing?
I really hate to look at what’s next because I really have a tough battle ahead of me. When I first started, I really wanted a World Title. I wanted to hang it in my office, I wanted to take it home. And now it’s so much more for me than that. I want to know that I have the ability to be networked like the guys do…promoters make their money on any guy they sign once they get on TV. So they look at a prospect and they go “OK, I can groom this person, get them ready, then make all my money back on that investment in 3 or 4 years.”
Now, ESPN, Showtime, HBO, Pay-Per-View all have anti-female boxing policies where they won’t let females fight. When a promoter looks at a woman, they see a dead end. There’s no way to make back capital that’s invested. So my strategy was to be a short term investment, so he’ll run with me … my last fight I sold $30k in tickets, so that became attractive to [Lou Dibella]…so he just kept riding with me and this vision came and he was like “I am going to get you networked, because there is a chance to make money off women.”
There has been progress. This fight is going to be streamed live on SpikeTV.com. It’s not the first female fight that’s been streamed live, but it’s a pretty recognizable station. And it’s PBC, it’s Al Haymon. And I’ve already gotten the attention of Al, not to say anything other than my promoter has told him about me. So I feel like we’re taking little steps.
Having that door opened where networks will consider females fighting, so she’s given a shot…I think we have a real chance riding on what Ronda Rousey is doing. Dana White wouldn’t have given her a shot if it wasn’t for money, and I’m trying to prove that women put asses in seats. So that’s really my mission going forward, to just keep doing what I am doing and get the attention…