Heather Hardy (7-0, 2KOs) won her first belt as a professional boxer when she beat Laura Gomez by second round TKO at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn on Saturday night to claim the UBF junior featherweight title.
Gomez was no match for the fitter, stronger, and more athletic Hardy, who landed at will from the first bell. To her credit, Gomez did not stop coming forward, but she led with her head, which was a stationary target for Hardy to aim at.
Hardy’s shot-selections during the short fight were impressive. She was not hesitant to lead with uppercuts that set up three- or four-punch combinations, and she worked the body of Gomez very well, particularly in the second round. She also flipped out a sharp jab at times, which worked well to open up her opponent.
The onslaught of Hardy attacks continued in the second round until the ringside doctor instructed the referee to call a halt to proceedings with 1:44 gone in the stanza.
“My punches are getting more accurate, and my form and my technique are getting better. I have a huge heart, but sometimes my technique is not what it should be,” Hardy told the Irish Voice on Monday.
“I was able to see things, and I was focused on placing my punches where I wanted to place them.”
Hardy went on to say that the top level of sparring that she enjoyed in preparing for this fight (she worked with the current WBC super bantamweight champion Alicia Ashley among others) stood to her on the night, and that she was able to dominate Gomez because she was nowhere near the level of her training partners.
Hardy added that her trainer, Devon Cormack, was delighted with her showing. “He said it was my best performance so far. When my coach is happy then I am happy,” she said.
The 31-year-old was back in the gym on Monday to begin the grind again and start preparing for her next challenge.
Earlier on the same undercard, light heavyweight Joe “The Irish Bomber” Smith, Jr. (13-1, 11 KOs) had a more difficult night than he anticipated when he won a split decision over Lamont Williams (5-3-1) in a six-round contest.
While Smith did enough to win the fight, the manner of victory was underwhelming, though the awkward style and survival mode that Williams employed during the fight made it difficult for Smith to look good.
Finally, light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan (19-0, 12 KOs) confirmed on Twitter that he would be back in action early in 2014.
“I’m fighting Jan 25th at Madison Square Garden, my opponents (sic) not set in stone,” he tweeted (@SeanieMono).
Monaghan, who is now promoted by Top Rank, was last in action when he defeated Anthony Caputo Smith in Las Vegas on October 12.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore