In local New York news, heavyweight Tom Hardwick will sign forms on Wednesday, March 2 to become a professional boxer.
Hardwick’s plan had been to take part in the Golden Gloves open competition and then join the paid ranks, but injury put paid to that schedule.
Hardwick, who had four fights in the open amateur heavyweight class and won them all, was scheduled to fight in the Golden Gloves on February 4 at the New York Athletic Club.
The 2010 novice champion received a bye for that date, but a knock he picked up in his arm in sparring a week or so before that date would change his Golden Glove dreams.
“I hyper-extended my left arm and tore a muscle,” Hardwick told the Irish Voice on Monday.
At first, the 26-year-old tried to train his way through the niggle, but this only exacerbated the issue.
“There was no point in going in there if I was only at 60-70 percent,” said Hardwick.
“I was only aggravating the injury and would not have been able to perform at my fullest.”
After talking things over with his team, he decided to abandon his plan to fight in the Golden Gloves and focus his attention on turning pro.
Hardwick is signing professional forms with Old World Boxing, which is run by Tipperary man Jim Foley.
Tentative plans are for Hardwick to make his debut as a professional in New York City at the Roseland Ballroom in June on a card that will have a strong Irish flavor to it.
The Coolock, Co. Dublin native, who walks around at about 210 pounds, has been spending time at the SportsLab in Midtown Manhattan working on his physical conditioning.
Though he is not far off the cruiserweight (200 pounds and under) division, he aims to bulk with a bit of muscle to take on the men in the heavyweight division.
While he does the conditioning work in the city, Hardwick does his boxing work in Gleason’s Gym under trainer Jihad Abdul-Aziz, Grant Seligson and Big George Mitchell as cut man.
More on the heavyweight’s plans in the coming months.