Undefeated brawlers and rivals Heather “The Heat” Hardy and Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent hosted a workout at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn Friday as they near their anticipated showdown featured on Sunday, August 21 from Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn.
Also in attendance Friday and competing on Sunday’s undercard were a trio of local prospects: cruiserweight Joseph Williams (9-0, 7 KOs), welterweight Julian Sosa (5-0-1, 2 KOs) and welterweight Chordale Booker (2-0, 2 KOs).
The two undefeated brawlers Hardy and Vincent are expected to bring fireworks in a matchup that has been building since Vincent showed up at Hardy’s second pro bout looking to get in the ring with the popular Brooklyn-native.
“This is a huge step up to be on television. It’s not the top of the ladder. There’s still room to go but I’m really excited, happy and proud to be on this stage. It proves that all you have to do is be super determined, open your mouth and good things can happen.
“A lot of people have been waiting for this one. She’s done a lot of talking and I’m pretty quiet back to her. My fans know I’m going to do my talking in the ring, so there is definitely a lot of excitement leading up to this.
“I’m going to be fighting closer to home than ever. It’s an honor to be able to represent Brooklyn on the first show at the Amphitheater in Coney Island.
“When I spar, I don’t look to focus in too much on my opponent. I just want to get better. We’ve had really diverse sparring. If I improve my techniques, there is no one who can beat me and that’s the truth.
“You can prepare as much as you want, but I don’t like to over plan. We’ll go in there and figure her out in the first round. We’ve done the work that we need to.
“A lot of people have criticized some of the opponents me and Shelly have had, but we’ve honestly always had an eye on preserving our records and making sure this fight happens on television. This fight is not about my wins, but it’s about giving women boxers the opportunity to be showcased. Win, lose or draw, we’ve both opened the door for other women and that’s what’s most important.
“This fight means everything to me. This is for everything I’ve ever stood for. I came up from nothing. I’ve spoken up about my past so that people who have walked a similar road will know what is possible with hard work and dedication. I’m here because I wanted something so bad and I wouldn’t let anybody tell me I couldn’t have it.
“I’ve fought so hard for everything and it inspires me to keep going. This is only one step. There’s so many more doors I want to open before I end my career.
“I would like to treat everyone to a boxing clinic this Sunday. Shelly is going to get a free boxing lesson from me this Sunday. Not many people can say they get that.”
“This fight is going to be non-stop action. Don’t blink.”
“She’s a busy fighter. I’m smaller than her, but power-punching comes from your legs. It won’t matter. I’ve fought tall girls and I’ve fought small girls and it’s the same thing, I won. The only way I leave without a victory is if I get robbed.
“I’ve been working hard. Even harder than usual. I’ve run, biked, swam miles and miles preparing for this. We didn’t leave any stone unturned getting ready for this.
“I’m not going to look for the knockout. If it comes, it comes. I’m looking for the victory. I want to attack her body. It’s there for me.
“It feels great to finally be almost time to fight. This fight couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s a great opportunity. We both worked hard for this. I don’t take away from what Heather does for the sport, but I’m excited to get the victory.
“I love New York. It’s always great being here and I hope I can fight here more after I win.
“I was trying to find a way to channel my anger when I was younger and it ended up being a release for me. Eventually this sport turned my whole life around so that I could help others who are like I was.
“This is great for our sport and I want it to give hope to the little girls that are coming up in the sport. I’m winning, but our sport will be the real winner. It’s an honor to fight for all the girls who came before me and didn’t get this opportunity.
“Training camp was very good. I feel strong and I’m ready to get in the ring on Sunday. I’m sharp and really ready to fight.
“I’m a versatile fighter so I’m ready for anything. Early in the first round I’ll figure him out and start breaking him down.
“The venue looks like an amazing place to fight. If you’re coming to watch me, get there early. You don’t want to miss it.
“I want to keep working towards a title. I want to get my way down to super middleweight and I’m going to keep working every day to get a world title shot.
“Me and Errol Spence Jr. have some history. I was the 2012 Olympic team alternate, so I’ve been following his career and I’m rooting for him. It will be a good night for boxing because I definitely expect him to put on a show.
“My coaches have watched my opponent. I’m ready to adapt to anything. I trust my team and they tell me how to attack. I’m strong and ready to fight.”
“I’m very humbled to be on a big card again, with an opportunity to showcase my skills. I have to show how thankful I am by working hard and looking very good that night.
“Being the first boxing show at this venue means I’m a part of history. I have to make sure that my performance is memorable.
“This was the best training camp I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to display the hard work that I’ve put in the gym.
“The fan support I have means a lot. It’s really nice to have all my friends and family together and able to see me do what I love to do. There’s no better feeling than that.
“My opponent is a very aggressive fighter. The first couple of rounds we’re going to try to work the body. As we go to the later rounds, I’m going to take the knockout if it presents itself. But I’m happy to put on a beautiful boxing clinic.”
“Sparring has been really good for this fight. I’ve been going hard. I don’t take it easy on anyone during sparring because I need to be ready to fight.
“It’s really big to be a part of this kind of fight. Especially being a welterweight and with the main event being a title eliminator. I’ve looked up to Errol for a while. He’s a guy I’ve tried to pick up different things from Errol since we’re both southpaws.
“I want everyone to get there early. I’ve got power and I’m looking for a knockout.
“It means everything to fight in front of the fans in Brooklyn. I’m just really excited. My family and friends are from Brooklyn, Flatbush specifically and I’m expecting a lot of support.
“I’m excited to be boxing as a pro for the first time in my hometown. It’s even better that it’s at a new venue. It’s going to be big for me and something that I remember forever.”