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The morning after going through a grueling 16-round marathon sparring session, Heather Hardy is worn but ever chipper, skipping rope in a sparse area at the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn Heights. Hardy is preparing for her upcoming bout with Renata Domsodi at the Barclays Center on April 11.

By Sarah Kwak
April 10, 2015

The morning after going through a grueling 16-round marathon sparring session, Heather Hardy is worn but ever chipper, skipping rope in a sparse area at the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn Heights. The floor is buzzing with activity and chatter over the bell that rings on an endless three-minute, one-minute cycle. Hardy has already put in three hours of training private clients before turning focus to her upcoming fight on April 11 at the Barclays Center. It will be her second appearance on what she considers her home court. 

Last June, Hardy, a native of Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, defeated Jackie Trivilino on a majority decision in the first professional women’s boxing match at the Barclays. At 5’ 5” and weighing in at 122 pounds, “the Heat” will face Renata Domsodi on the undercard of a main event between light welterweights Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson.

Hardy’s path to the ring would be considered unorthodox. Going through a divorce in 2010, she walked into a neighborhood gym to try out a kickboxing class. Three short weeks later, she was in the ring winning her first fight and falling in love with the exhilaration of the crowd and the lights. She caught the attention of Devon Cormack, a trainer at Gleason’s who guided his sister, Alicia Ashley, to a WBC World Title, and Hardy quickly made her mark on the female boxing scene, going pro in 2012.

Sarah Kwak for Sports Illustrated
A single mother to a 10-year-old daughter, Hardy has long juggled jobs to make ends meet, to fuel her new passion and give Annie a better life. With a roster of about a dozen clients—boxers for fitness, mostly—she makes time to train, hoping to capture a world title.

Hardy walked us through a typical training day at Gleason’s, which she supplements with a rigorous strength and conditioning program three times a week.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)