4 Female Fighters

HEATHER “THE HEAT” HARDY

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“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!”

 
My whole career has been fighting for this

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

There was a time when I didn’t even have two eggs to make my kid food . . . and that feels like you can’t win . . . like you don’t have a chance. 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”

It’s possible that if the once-in-a-generation talent in Shields had never come around, or at least hit the scene a few years later, that Crews would enjoy similar fanfare to that of her rival. Prior to the 2012 Olympic Trials, where she first met Shields and dropped a split decision, Crews was the darling of the national program – a five-time U.S. champion by that point and a public relations dream.  Crews is an engaging, bright, charming personality. Known as “The Heavy-Hitting Diva,” Crews looks and behaves differently than her contemporaries. The typical amateur boxer in the national program is almost programmed to not stand out, putting their team and their country first. As likable and patriotic as she may be,  Crews is always very much herself, often performing the national anthem before tournaments, and always training in gear just a tad bit flashier than her teammates’.

It’s possible that if the once-in-a-generation talent in Shields had never come around, or at least hit the scene a few years later, that Crews would enjoy similar fanfare to that of her rival. Prior to the 2012 Olympic Trials, where she first met Shields and dropped a split decision, Crews was the darling of the national program – a five-time U.S. champion by that point and a public relations dream.

Crews is an engaging, bright, charming personality. Known as “The Heavy-Hitting Diva,” Crews looks and behaves differently than her contemporaries. The typical amateur boxer in the national program is almost programmed to not stand out, putting their team and their country first. As likable and patriotic as she may be, Crews is always very much herself, often performing the national anthem before tournaments, and always training in gear just a tad bit flashier than her teammates’.

2018 WBC Female World Champions - Franchon Crews, Super Middleweight, USA

2018 WBC Female World Champions - Franchon Crews, Super Middleweight, USA

 

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

 
“My start in boxing with Toughman contests isn’t considered respectable amateur experience compared to USA Boxing tournaments, Golden Gloves, etc.,” she said. “Twice, I was offered a chance to fight in Vegas against Olympian Savannah Marshall from Great Britain. The first opportunity, they chose a girl with more professional experience and the second time, the Nevada (Athletic) Commission denied me against her because of my background and lack of amateur fights, especially compared to someone like her.”  But Pill is a fighter in every sense and she will prove her abilities.  “ I have to keep pushing forward and training pro, trying to prove to anyone I deserve to be fighting in these ranks ,” she said.

“My start in boxing with Toughman contests isn’t considered respectable amateur experience compared to USA Boxing tournaments, Golden Gloves, etc.,” she said. “Twice, I was offered a chance to fight in Vegas against Olympian Savannah Marshall from Great Britain. The first opportunity, they chose a girl with more professional experience and the second time, the Nevada (Athletic) Commission denied me against her because of my background and lack of amateur fights, especially compared to someone like her.”

But Pill is a fighter in every sense and she will prove her abilities.

I have to keep pushing forward and training pro, trying to prove to anyone I deserve to be fighting in these ranks,” she said.

“I really hope that [my daughter] will learn from it, and my son as well,” Pill said. “Growing up as a tomboy,  I’ve never limited myself to anything because I was a girl . I hope that she can see when she’s older and has kids that she can still be strong and powerful. Whatever she hopes to achieve, I hope she does.”

“I really hope that [my daughter] will learn from it, and my son as well,” Pill said. “Growing up as a tomboy, I’ve never limited myself to anything because I was a girl. I hope that she can see when she’s older and has kids that she can still be strong and powerful. Whatever she hopes to achieve, I hope she does.”

 

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.”