UPDATE: Heather Hardy has been busy training, as per usual, but she did allot a bit of time on Thursday and Friday answering critics who took issue with her contention that women face more obstacles than men do in climbing the fight sports ladder and that there needs to be more equality in purses for the women.
I touched base with Hardy on Friday, and in between training sessions, she told me some of the critiques she’s been facing online.
“You have to put asses in the seats,” several naysayers have told her.
“I sell between $25k-$35k thousand in tickets per fight,” she told me. “And I hear also about 2 minute rounds versus 3 minute rounds. We aren’t allowed to box three minutes. Some bullshit study was put out by the WBC claiming women are more successively to concussions and head trauma and ruled we fight two minutes. In MMA the girls are fighting 5 minute rounds. I really believe it’s a matter of not allocating more time for the women’s fights on the card. Numerous times my fights were bumped down in rounds (a 10 rounder would all of a sudden become an 8 rounder) because they needed to make time on the card.”
Anyway, some of the discussion we've seen is fruitful, and educational. Some is typical moronic dopiness from anonymous keyboard warriors like this:
Here is the original story, a version of which ran on the RING website:
Was it a coincidence that Heather Hardy took to Instagram on Thursday to lay out a little logic and make her case clear regarding equality in the workplace, on the same day the current crew of the US House of Representatives convened in DC, and showed off the most women in their ranks, by far?
I think not, but let’s ask Hardy herself.
The hitter, who boasts a 21-0 mark, has been busy on social the last few days. It started out when comments were made which testified to the brilliance of the UFC clash between Amanda Nunes and Cyborg. That started a snowball effect, with non-fans of the women’s boxing scene making themselves known in her feeds.
Being a Brooklyn gal, unafraid to pipe up, speak her peace, drop an eff bomb or three in the course of that, Hardy laid out some info which rubbed some wrongly.
The 37 year old, who will likely glove up with Jelena Mrjdenovich next, noted women face more impediments than men, and then that the main event of the Oct. 27 HBO main event, featuring Danny Jacobs against fellow middleweight Sergey Derevyanchenko, drew comparable numbers to Hardy’s bout, against Shelly Vincent, which came on before the featured scrap. And then she laid out the disparity in pay:
Some commenters either didn’t see the stat, or were so married to their POV, they glossed over her point. And some made their case, no real surprise, quite rudely. This is the age we are in, where keyboard warriors hiding behind an avatar, talk rugged while waiting for mom to bring the TV dinner down to their basement hideaway.
Hardy’s promoter is Lou Dibella, and he for the last couple years has been spending more and more of his time signing female talent and working to present those athletes on top tier platforms, while seeking to secure A level purses from platform providers/programmers. Word is he’s planning an all female event which will be the splashiest such a compilation the sport has perhaps ever seen to date. And Hardy is sending out notice that she’d like to achieve something approaching parity in pay. Especially when, hello, TV ratings bear out that her fights, like that sequel with Vincent, can attract interest.
Regarding that posts you see above; there is no shortage of nasty and crude comments beneath the piece. I wondered, did that sort of vitriol surprise Hardy?
“It was surprising,” said maybe the best known female boxer in America. “I didn’t see the post to be overtly “feminist” or “democratic” or “political” yet the responses were so charged with hate. People who unfollowed me. Refused support. Claimed “I used to follow you because you’re a great fighter but stepping into politics is where I have to bow out. Peace It’s a horrible climate for America.”
And, perchance, did Hardy check out any of the coverage of Pelosi’s return to power as House speaker?
In fact, no she didn’t.
“Haven’t turned on my TV, it’s been such a long day.
My three cents: Much news coverage on Thursday touched on gender matters, and touched on the balance of power shifting in the House, toward a makeup that more so reflects the composition of the nation. So, Hardy was simply in a fighting for fairness mode which linked up with the mood in halls of power in Washington. I’d offer Hardy that yes, it feels like a “horrible climate” is affecting we the people in America…but I do think we come out better on the other side. Gains that Hardy is aiming for traditionally only come after a hard fight, and figurative bled is shed.