Heather “The Heat” Hardy’s still isn’t accustomed to her rising fame.
The circumstances around her continue to change, from more high-profile fights to TV roles, but Hardy and her work ethic remain the same. It is why she still looks forward to doing press, giving back, and attending media events like the one held at Junior’s Restaurant last week.
“I work so hard at the gym,” said Hardy. “I cry in the locker room every day. I do late nights. I train at Gleason’s. I teach people. I’m sparing twice a week, dragging my kid up to midtown Manhattan. This is something I can enjoy. People recognize the hard work.”
Hardy, a Gerritsen Beach native, will get a second chance to fight at Barclays Center on April 11. She joins a Brooklyn-heavy undercard for the nationally televised “Premier Boxing Champions” main card headlined by undefeated Danny Garcia facing Lamont Petterson, and middleweight world champion “Irish” Andy Lee taking on the unbeaten Peter Quillin.
Hardy, who is 12–0, fought the first-ever women’s bout that the home of the Brooklyn Nets when she beat Jackie Trivillino in June 2014. While overjoyed to be going to back Barclays, she said the inclusion of fellow Brooklynites Danny Jacobs and Gabe Bracero on the card will make the day that much more comfortable.
“It feels a little bit more like home because it is more of a Brooklyn card,” Hardy said.
But boxing isn’t the only thing on Hardy’s plate right now. She recently filmed an episode of “Louie” with comedian Louis C.K. and was an extra on “The Mysteries of Laura” starting Debra Messing. Hardy admits she sometimes feels like the ugliest girl on set when filming.
She got to shoot a scene with Louis C.K. and said he was awesome and made her feel extremely comfortable, describing him as “a regular guy.” Hardy thinks she may be as good at delivering a line as she is delivering a jab. She and Louis C.K. joked about how good of an actor he was for a boxer.
“We were joking, ‘Wow you can read. You are good at reading,’ ” she said.
Hardy also finds time to give back through the Give a Kid a Dream program that is run out of Gleason’s Gym. It gives disadvantaged youth a chance to get boxing training, get tutoring, and go on field trips. She has been interviewed for segments about the program for the local news.
It is at times like that, working with kids, or having a microphone or camera in her face, that Hardy realizes how far she and her career have come. Not much else has changed about her tough routine, however, even though the stakes are higher.
“It’s still so surreal to me,” Hardy said. “Like I said. I am still spending every day crying in the locker room, banging on the bag, doing the same thing I was doing when I was training for nationals or Golden Gloves.”