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Gerritsen beach native earns split-decision win in first women’s boxing bout at Barclays

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She won the bout, but Heather “The Heat” Hardy still wasn’t happy with how the first women’s boxing match at the Barclays Center turned out.

“It didn’t end the way I wanted,” she said, “like if Cinderella didn’t find her shoe.”

The Gerritsen Beach native remained undefeated with a, 68–65, 67–66, 66–77, split decision over veteran Jackie Trivilino in the 122-pound division last Saturday on the undercard of a junior welterweight title fight that saw Huntington native Chris Algieri upset heavily favored champion Rusian Provodnikov by split decision.

The ringside physician brought Hardy’s bout to a halt in the seventh round after the third incidental head butt by Trivilino opened up a large gash over Hardy’s right eye that gushed blood down her face. Even with a win, she didn’t want the historic match to end this way.

“I have been waiting for this fight for so long and envisioned a great boxing match,” Hardy said. “It turned out to be dirty.”

Hardy’s eye was black and blue and swollen shut after the fight, and the cut needed immediate stitches.

“This is from the head butts,” she said. “Her punches really weren’t connecting.”

The crowd booed as the decision was read. The large portion of the fans felt Trivilino had won the fight, but this paper scored the bout 67–66 in favor of Hardy.

Trivilino said she came into the fight knowing she would likely need a stoppage to win with the bout being in Brooklyn.

“I thought I could at least get the draw out of that,” Trivilino said. “I don’t understand the 68–65. I don’t know where they got that. That’s just the way it is in boxing.”

Trivilino said that a head butt was never called by referee Pete Santiago, but Hardy said Trivilino was warned about them throughout the fight. Hardy was head-butted in the first and second rounds, which opened up a cut over right eye.

“She caught me once in the first round and then in the second round in the same spot with the head butt,” said Hardy, “and then whenever we were tight she did this funny thing where she rolled her head across my face, which was something I never experienced before. It was super awkward and totally threw me off.”

Still, Hardy said she didn’t think the head butts were intentional.

“She wasn’t doing it on purpose,” Hardy said. “I think it’s just her style of fighting.”

Hardy felt she had done enough to win the fight against the aggressive Trivilino. Her strongest round was the third when she unloaded two left hooks and landed a pretty left-right combo. Hardy showed off her improved defense, bobbing and weaving her way around punches all afternoon.

The cut over her eye started gushing blood down her cheek by the end of the fourth round, but Hardy still took momentum into the fifth where she landed a quick three-punch combo and strong straight right. All of the judges gave her a close sixth round and two of the three award her the seventh.

“As the fight goes on I kind of get loose and make adjustments,” Hardy said.

It was enough to earn her a win in the historic bout — just not in the fashion she has hoped.

The single mother, who had to evacuate her Gerritsen Beach home after Hurricane Sandy, is nothing if not tough, and despite the head butts and bleeding cut, she wanted to see the match through.

“I wasn’t worried,” Hardy said. “I was super distracted and upset by the stoppage because of the blood. I physically felt like I could do the last round.”

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.
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