Sometimes we forget, when a boxer is gloving up, and doing their thing center stage, it isn't just personal glory in play. Gyms can often serve as second family units for athletes, and that is certainly the case for Brooklyn native Heather Hardy, who fights tonight (Oct. 27) at the Madison Square Garden Theater, and on HBO. When Hardy thrives, her fellow Gleasonites take pride in the affiliation with her and the gym, their shared space.
Bruce Silverglade owns the fight depot, which has been in existence since 1937. Silverglade talked to NYF about the Hardy scrap, against heated rival Shelly Vincent, and what she means to the gym atmosphere.
“Heather will win a hard fought fight tonight,” the Gleason's bossman told me. “She will stop Vincent in
the second half of the fight.” Hardy and Vincent are renewing acquaintance.
The revered NYC icon continued: “Heather…
…is one of the heroes of Gleason's Gym. Like many in our
history she has had to overcome many hardships in her life. While surviving in a tough New York environment financially and mentally, she has persisted with her boxing career and is fighting on HBO for a
world title. She is an example for others of how boxing can save you. She has followed in the footsteps of others, like Jake LaMotta, Yuri Foreman and Paulie Malignaggi.”
Amen, I say…Hardy is a real-deal role model, in a world in need of such persons. She is unabashed about having faced hardship, and doesn't present herself as someone who has “made it” and therefore looks down on commoners. She's still rooted, grounded, and helping regular Joes and Janes soldier on when they feel like falling down. We root for her continued success, without reservation or apology.