Heather Hardy: We Risk Our Lives Fighting, We Need the Reward to Match the Risk
Everyone keeps asking me what I’m going to do next…. boxing or MMA.
In this stage of my life (not just my career), fights have to do two things… make sense and make me money.
Boxing and MMA are dangerous sports. In ten years, I’ve had over 60 stitches in my face and multiple concussions.
I've had nights I almost passed out in the steam room trying to make weight. I’ve spent vacations covered in black and blues, missed birthday parties and holidays.
Man, I love to fight.
But I know too much about this business to fight for nothing… pennies compared to what the boys are making. Because if I get walked out of the ring or the cage on a stretcher, who is gonna worry about Annie? Not boxing, that’s for sure!
It just feels like being offered $20-$30k for a world title fight is insulting.
And the excuse that “there’s just no money in women’s boxing” is bullshit. These wheeler-dealers are walking around with watches that cost more than they’re willing to pay for a 10 round world title fight. Do I want to put my life on the line for $25k? If I dropped dead in the ring, would that sacrifice be worth it?
Would anyone look out for Annie?
Listen, I respect if people want to say I’m not worth more money.
I’m old, I’m coming off a loss.
I’m not valuable. I'm not someone any promoter wants to invest in, I didn’t go to the Olympics, only had 24 amateur fights, I’m not that good…. I should be grateful that I have a winnable fight and a shot to get back on top.
All well and good, but at the end of the day I have to look out for what’s in mine and my family’s best interests. I know this business too well. I don’t mind getting eaten up for the right payday, ok? But I worked too hard my entire career to go out making $25k….because I’m not that desperate.
So here's the bottom line. I get that, I understand the risks. But do the people who put the fights together understand?
I have chosen this path, but yes, I do want to live to see my grandkids and be able to remember their names. That's not a given; so, knowing that, I just want what every fighter deserves…to be fairly compensated for putting my life on the line.