Editorial By John Gatling, Real Combat Media NY Boxing Correspondent
Brooklyn, NY (August 4th, 2016)– “I won’t say this is the fight of my life, because there’s still so much more I want to do in this sport. This is a step forward for me, a step up and over just like my last 17 fights. I will give it no less than the 110% I’ve given every other girl I step in there with.”
Heather “The Heat” Hardy, on her August 21 showdown with Shelly “Shelito” Vincent @Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island.
That comment appears on Hardy’s Facebook page against the backdrop of a pretty picture which features her in TITLE headgear and ponytails clad in pink. She doesn’t just appear to be a woman of grace- she is.
Her words were recaptured and framed in Michael Wood’s stellar portrait of a fighter “Ready to Rumble” with life and the ring, knowingly using her dangerous occupation to pioneer and advance women, in a science too often considered bittersweet to them.
This is not Hillary Swank from “Million Dollar Baby”. No. But on August 21 at Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island, the former “Badass in Brooklyn” subject, will star in a movie-like fight for women’s boxing co-starring Shelito Vincent. The script is straight forward: “Kick her ass.”
On a frigid morning in March 2014, I journeyed to Brooklyn’s famed Gleason’s Gym to meet up with Hardy to discuss a powerful student project-turned-documentary on her life called “Hardy”.
She was 8-0, and was personally selling tickets – like she always does – for an upcoming fight with Nydia Feliciano at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn.
I’d heard about some tough talk with Rhode Island’s Vincent, and upon merely mentioning her name, Heather shifted dark, eager to chop up the beef and throw it in the pan.
“Look, we can do this,” fired “The Heat” (now 17-0). “She shows up at my events talking all this sh*t about what she’ll do to me and all that I’m not. I’d love to show this bitch exactly who I am.”
I’ve been holding on to that qoute for over two years, in the hopes they’d one day meet. Both still undefeated (Vincent is 18-0), this is a can’t-miss fight on NBCSN that could score big for women’s boxing. All because of Heather’s iron will and determination to rise above incredible odds in a male dominated industry.
Shelito will have to overcome a woman who has turned the tables on physical abuse and super-sized life trials– while dealing with her mouth, as the new “Dove” commercial star looks to clean up the grimey Vincent for win #18.