Written by: Shawn Cross
Former world champion Heather Hardy returned to Sunny Hall in Manhattan’s Times Square Thursday night to take on Tina Cardoso in a scheduled eight-round lightweight bout. The Hardy started 23-2 fast and furious at the opening buzzer while Cardoso’s 5-1-0 attempted to tie the Brooklyn native. Hardy resumed her attack in the second while Cardoso proved willing to trade – although the body shots really seemed to take their toll on Cardozo. The fighters exchanged blows in the third. It was an intense pace to keep up with both women.
Hardy continued to push forward with a full blast in the fourth. But former Olympian Cardoso didn’t come to New York to lose. It was an entertaining fight. Cardozo was hitting some good shots, but Hardy’s impersonation of Jack Dempsey seemed to pay off. Hardy’s pace slowed slightly in the fifth, which allowed Cardoso to make a good landing. As Hardy continued to move forward into the sixth round, Cardozo began putting her punches together.
By seven, Hardy had gotten her second wind. Cardoso was playing, but Hardy simply seemed more energetic and perhaps stronger than her fearless opponent. Cardozo rallied to win the eighth game, but Hardy – visibly tired – was determined to keep attacking and swinging. It has become an exhausting issue. The final seconds saw both women shoot each other.
Hardy ended up winning a majority judges’ decision.
“I’m tired, guys,” Hardy joked after the fight. “I’m old. I want to go home now.” However, Hardy indicated that she is once again setting her sights on bigger matches – notably a second round match with Amanda Serrano, who beat Hardy again in 2019.
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