Heather “The Heat” Hardy: The Struggle of Female Boxers

BTSI first visited the world-renowned Gleason’s Gym in August 2012. I met Heather “The Heat” Hardy for the first time, and while our conversation was brief, I knew there was something about this Brooklyn girl – she was tough and she demanded attention.

So I came back to the gym to watch her train and then to watch her box at her second fight as a pro. It was then, just moments before she walked out into a cheering crowd surrounding the ring, that I became inspired by her determination and drive to make a name as the world’s best female fighter.

And she’s good. In less than a year she won a national title, and then the following year she won the Golden Gloves in New York. But it wasn’t until she showed me her vulnerable side that I realized I needed to make a movie on her struggle for all female fighters.

Despite having an eight-year-old daughter, Heather didn’t give up on her dream and career of boxing. Yet again, breaking another barrier as a working mother. Heather’s story is a motivation for not only fighters, but females in general who continue to break down the barriers and social constructs that society has carefully manipulated – like “girls can’t fight.”

Upon my further research and conversations with trainers, fighters and promoters in the boxing industry, I realized that while the Olympic debut of female boxing in 2012 brought attention to women in the sport, there is still so much unfairness in the industry. Some of the best female fighters don’t get paid nearly as much as men. And that’s why I am making this movie about Heather:

As a young woman, I want this movie to resonate with both women and men in all industries who continue to fight and break barriers.

Guest contributor Natasha Verma has launched a fundraising campaign on RocketHub to raise the funds necessary to make this film. If you are interested in donating, please visit her RocketHub page. Verma is an 18-year-old journalist and filmmaker in New York City pursuing an MS in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. For more information, please visit natashaverma.com and vimeo.com/natashaverma.
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