The combatants did not disappoint as Brooklyn’s Heather “The Heat” Hardy (18-0, 4 KOs) battled Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (18-1, 1 KO) over 10 crowd-pleasing rounds from the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn.
Hardy, who was fighting in her backyard, earned a hard-fought majority decision over the previously unbeaten Vincent from Providence in a matchup that lived up and arguably exceeded the pre-fight hype and certainly gave women’s boxing a big boost.
“This is definitely a win for women’s boxing,” said Hardy after the fight.
“We kept up a great pace throughout and the fans were invested the whole time.”
Indeed, the non-stop pace was impressive as Hardy and Vincent combined to throw 955 power punches much to the delight of the crowd and commentating crew.
Vincent, facing a significant four-inch height disadvantage, came forward throughout the bout and often times walked right into power shots from Hardy.
Hardy used a lot of movement to try to offset the offense of Vincent, but the relentless fighter from Providence was undeterred as she landed numerous clean blows to the head and body.
Going into Round 7, the back-and-forth bout was even on PBC’s unofficial ringside judge, Eric Raskin’s scorecard.
The punch stats reflected the high-intensity style of the fight, with Hardy throwing 752 punches and Vincent throwing 678 during the 10 two-minute rounds.
The official scores were all over the place, with judge Bernard Bruni scoring it a ridiculous 99-91, while Robert Bennett scored it 97-93 and Joseph Pasquale had it 95-95.
The two wide margins obviously didn’t sit well with Vincent, who felt her come-forward style and power punches should have given her the victory.
“I definitely thought I won the fight,” said Vincent. “I was coming forward and I landed the bigger shots. Everyone saw the fight.”
“I got head-butted all night long. I came here and everybody told me I’d get robbed. I’ll take the rematch but I’m not playing by these rules. I want her to come up to Providence,” said Vincent.
Hardy said she felt it was a close fight, though she also thought that she had the edge in most rounds.
“She only really caught me a few times the whole fight. I knew I had to be tactical to win the fight. Judging by the belt around my waist, I would rate my performance a 10,” said Hardy.
Hardy also used her on-air time to congratulate Claressa Shields, who earlier in the day won her second consecutive gold medal for the United States.
Regardless of who you had winning the fight, it’s easy to agree that both women did a tremendous job and earned another shot on television–whether it is against each other in a rematch or versus someone else.
“Women deserve the spotlight and there is so much more to go. There is a sea of female talent,” added Hardy.
— RoundByRoundBoxing (@RBRBoxing) August 22, 2016
All photos by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing
Alejandro "Alex" Burgos is a former Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Round By Round Boxing. He is a professional blogger, SEO Consultant and Marketing Director at Capital Practice Consulting in Washington, DC.