On the same day that Flint, Michigan’s Claressa Shields won her second consecutive Olympic Gold medal for the U.S., women’s boxing was given another great platform as Brooklyn’s Heather “The Heat” Hardy (18-0, 4 KOs) earned a majority decision over previously unbeaten Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (18-1, 1 KO) in their 10-round bout.
“This is definitely a win for women’s boxing,” said Hardy. “We kept up a great pace throughout and the fans were invested the whole time.”
The action was non-stop from the beginning, as Vincent charged in early and often looking to close the distance between her and the taller Hardy. Hardy was the more mobile fighter as she circled the ring looking to find the right distance to attack the Providence-native.
“I thought I won the fight pretty convincingly,” said Hardy. “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.”
In the end, the judges ruled the bout a majority decision for Hardy by scores of 99-91, 97-93 and 95-95. Vincent believed she had done enough to win the fight and expressed her displeasure with the judges scores afterwards.
“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.”
All photos by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing