Heather “The Heat” Hardy ‘s last boxing match took place on May 14th, 2021, a unanimous decision defeat to Jessica Camara in Nashville, Tenn.
But Hardy (22-2, 4K0s), a lightweight, made her triumphant return to the ring on Thursday night at Sony Hall, in the heart of Times Square, mid-town Manhattan, scoring a unanimous decision over Calista Silgado (20-15, 15 KOs) in a six-round main event fight of a five-bout card stacked with local boxers.
Now 40 years old, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Featherweight Champion admitted that she needed to work off the cobwebs against a tough combatant who is a battled-tested veteran. But the Brooklyn native worked tirelessly to emerge victorious.
Now, Hardy said she will decompress for a few days before making any major future choices, she noted.
“Silgado is a veteran who has fought everybody,” Hardy said in a press release. “I expected this kind of fight, and I prepared for it. I had a lot of rust to shake off.
“I’m going to take the weekend to unpack the emotions surrounding the fight,” she continued. “It was a lot to digest, being my first one with a new team, my first one since turning 40 and my first one with no kid at home. I have decisions to make moving forward but they can wait until Monday.”
The Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) currently ranks Hardy at N0. 12 in the lightweight division. In MMA, Hardy faced Taylor Turner at Bellator 222 on June 14, 2019. She lost the fight via a first round TKO.
Hardy, a graduate of John Jay College in Brooklyn, began boxing in the gym at age twenty-four and made her professional debut in 2014 at the tender age of twenty-eight.
In 2013 she won the vacant UBF International super bantamweight title and in 2014 won the WBC International super bantamweight title, which she successfully defended five times. On October 27, 2018, Hardy became world champion, winning the WBO featherweight title with a unanimous decision win over Shelly Vincent at Madison Square Garden (MSG). Heather lost the title the following September to Amanda Serrano in a clash of women boxing stars.
— Jerry Del Priore
Photos Courtesy Ed Diller, DiBella Entertainment