Heather is the FIRST woman to be signed to a long term contract by DiBella Entertainment. The FIRST woman to box in the Barclay’s Center. The FIRST female to be featured on a PBC undercard and the FIRST female to be televised on a PBC undercard.
Heather is definitely a FIRST LADY and when you hear her story you will want to drop what you are doing, go seek out your purpose, look complacency in the face and kick it’s butt! Heather was told that she couldn’t fight, she was too pretty, too small, too this, too that and she responded NO, believed she could and did!
I chose to interview Heather because she inspires me on a personal and professional level. Working out/exercising is the bane of my existence. A few years ago, out of curiosity, I signed up for a boxing class with Heather and LOVED it! Bootcamp and people screaming at me does not work for me but there was something different about Heather, she pushed me to push myself and she did it with such boldness that I had to comply. When I decided to make August the month of boldness and learned about how dope she was, I had to feature her!
Heather, tell us your life story
“I’m Heather Hardy and I am 34 years old. I am a divorced, single mom of my 12 year old daughter, Annie. I started boxing at 28, while I was right in the middle of my divorce, living with my sister and both of our kids. We were two single moms, not getting child support, doing what we had to do to get by. At one point I had worked up to 6 jobs, while my sister stayed home and cared for both of our kids.
They opened a little karate school in my neighborhood and my sister urged me to go. Within three weeks I had my first fight, and it was like I knew what I was meant to do for the first time in my life. It was the first time I was good at something. Haven’t been able to get me out of the ring since. In eighteen months as an amateur I won eight titles- including the USA boxing nationals as well as the NYC Golden Gloves. Since turning pro, I am 18-0 and a two division WBC international champion.”
Walk us through your life before boxing. What did you have to overcome?
“I am a fighter who has fought through adversity. I’ve lived through rape, poverty and homelessness. I’ve had days where I was working around the clock, only to come home and open an empty refrigerator where I didn’t even have two eggs to crack to feed the kids. But I fought through, and we NOT ONLY survived, but THRIVED. I never gave up.”
Her new record is 18-0. Undefeated
How did you feel the first time someone told you that you were too pretty or feminine to fight? Does it affect you now when you hear it?
“It turns my stomach whenever my appearance is a factor in my job. It has no bearing on my boxing skills, and whether people say I’m too pretty or not pretty enough, it takes the focus off what I do.”
How do you balance work and raising your daughter?
“I balance it like every other single mom on the planet- I do it because there’s no other choice! I have a baby who needs me (well, a pre teen who is MY baby), and I do what needs to be done. We find time.”
Where do you find inspiration?
My daughter inspires me to keep fighting. I fight to be an example for her, to inspire her to be a strong woman who follows her dreams- no matter what. My favorite quote is from Sally Ride “young girls can’t be what they don’t see.”
What are some of your greatest lessons learned? What advice do you have for women in general and women who want to branch out into male dominated fields or were told they couldn’t do something simply because they are a woman?
I’ve learned that life isn’t always fair. Sometimes we are dealt a hand and put in a situation where we don’t win. Like the days when I was working around the clock and still couldn’t feed the kids. The best advice I can give- never stop fighting. Never quit. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t. I think we have to prove that we are worthy of getting over the hump, with hard work and dedication. Eye on the prize and you can’t go wrong.
How to connect with Heather: Instagram @heathertheheat
So even in 2016 there is still gender inequality, male boxers earn more than females. When was the last time you saw a women’s boxing fight? Heather says that “there are great fights happening all the time in women’s boxing that are forever gonna be missed by the public because they are not networked.” It was rare to see a woman on TV until this rare ruby came on the scene.
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