Unbeaten brawler and Brooklyn-area favorite Heather “The Heat” Hardy (18-0, 4 KOs) will return to the ring to battle former title challenger Helen Joseph (9-3-1, 8 KOs) in a super bantamweight contest that highlights undercard action on Saturday, March 4 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
The March 4 event is headlined by the highly anticipated welterweight world title unification showdown between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, with prime time televised coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
A popular Brooklyn fighter who competed in Barclays Center’s first-ever professional female boxing match, Hardy has become a staple at the arena ever since. On March 4, she will enter the ring at Barclays Center for the eighth time, and seventh time in her last eight fights. In Hardy’s most recent bout last August 21, at Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island, Hardy won a decision over previously unbeaten rival Shelly Vincent to capture the WBC International featherweight title. The entertaining slugfest was shown tape delayed on NBCSN and helped Heather increase her national profile.
By fight night, Hardy will have been out of the ring for six-and-a-half months, her longest stretch of inactivity, which was due to the new insurance regulations put in place by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC), in effect since September. All boxing action in the State came to a halt until last month’s Barclays Center event. Dependent on her boxing income to support her family, Hardy sought out other ways to make ends meet. On January 14, Hardy had planned to make her MMA debut for Invicta in Kansas City, MO, however her opponent suffered an injury in training and the event was cancelled. Returning her full focus to boxing, Hardy is determined to conquer another tough challenge on the way to her first world title opportunity.
“I’m grateful and excited to be back in the ring at Barclays Center next month,” said Hardy. “It will be my first fight since August. I’ve had to hustle extra hard these past few months since the insurance issue shut down the New York boxing scene for the last quarter of 2016. I even decided to take an MM fight in January to help supplement my income and pay some bills. However, my opponent dropped out the day before I was flying to Kansas City for the event. It’s been one disappointment after the next, so I am truly happy to be back at home where I belong, doing what I love.”
Born in Nigeria but fighting out of Ghana, Joseph will fight in the U.S. for the second time as a pro after dropping a decision in Texas against Jennifer Han in her most recent world title opportunity. The 27-year-old had previously challenged Dahiana Santana in the Dominican Republic for a world title in 2012 and had a successful run of victories after turning pro in 2004 that lasted until 2009, when she suffered her first defeat. She most recently scored a second round stoppage of Namely Emilia in November of last year.