HEATHER “THE HEAT” HARDY
“It wasn’t until 1995 that women were even allowed to compete in the Golden Gloves, or 1997 until the first national championships for women were held in the USA,” she says. “Women weren’t even allowed to box in gyms until the early 1990s. Bruce Silvergrade, who runs Gleason’s, often talks about having to close the gym down and let women in at night to use the boxing ring to spar.”
Despite those barriers, however, Hardy says she had no hesitation in making the transition: “When I was turning pro [in 2012] it was the first year they were letting women box in the Olympics. So my choices were: stay in the amateurs for another four years and train for the Olympics, or go pro.
“I was nearly 30, and while I knew the pay wasn’t going to be equal, I thought that was going to be the second part of my job: not just to fight and win and beat up the girls, but to fight and win and get recognition for women’s boxing, get money for it, get on the big stage for it.”
It’s for me to show the boxing executives that women belong on the big stage
“I’m SO happy right now . . . I just worked SO hard . . . a lot of people thought I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t do it but I did it!”
WBO World Featherweight Championship fight live on HBO
On Oct. 27, 2018, Heather Hardy fought Shelly Vincent in a featherweight boxing (re-)match at MSG. Hardy made a personal plea to HBO Sports executive vice president Peter Nelson to televise her fight on HBO - the last boxing card to be televised on HBO.
It’s admirable on the way out HBO reversed course. A lot of these ladies out there, Heather is a perfect example . . . of women beating the drums, saying ‘give us an opportunity, this is the 21st century, let’s create platforms for women.’
When I fight I always have a chance
FRANCHON “THE HEAVY HITTING DIVA” CREWS-DEZURN
Simon Cowell to Franchon Crews-Dezurn on American Idol: “You can’t be good at everything”
WBC Super Middleweight World Championship Fight live on ESPN
“I hope this inspires male and female boxers . . . if you have a goal, stick with it . . . believe in yourself and just go for it.”
I feel like Cinderella . . . I feel like everything I went through is worth it.
MARICELA “LA DIVA” CORNEJO
“Boxing is a jealous sport — if you stop paying attention to it, you start suffering in the gym.”
There’s no way I’d be able to look myself in the mirror knowing I had that opportunity and didn’t use it
“We go out there and we fight because we know we have something to prove. They already doubt us because we’re women. Boxing IS hard. It’s very painful and it’s lonely.”
Golden Boy On ESPN: Maricela Cornejo vs Samantha Pill
SAMANTHA “LEGGZ” PILL
To defeat her would be super awesome, but if she happened to get beat by the No. 2-ranked super middleweight pro in the world, that wasn’t so shabby either.
“With patience, persistence and never knowing what changes we get in life – the best path is to follow your gut and to take it,” she said. “I never thought I would have a fight like this or a televised one and now I believe it will not be my last either.”