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Hardwick has a go at MSG

In time, the Dubliner would join the long line of Irish emigrants who've decided to have a go in competition at the ground floor level - the New York Daily News Golden Gloves. And, so far, it's worked out very well for the heavyweight.

Tomorrow night Hardwick, a native of Coolock in Dublin City, gets into the ring at Madison Square Garden for the final of this year's Gloves.

"I am getting enormous support," said the 25-year-old bricklayer. "Even lads who don't know me are getting behind me. It's a huge lift."

Hardwick dedicated his victories in the novice category in February to his friend best Warren O'Connor who was fatally stabbed in Dublin the previous month when he asked people to turn down the noise at a neighbor's party.

The Yonkers resident was one of 50 who signed up to compete in the heavyweight division.

"I wanted to keep busy," he said of his decision to keep training after his shoulder injury had healed. "And I enjoy doing it. You can hit a bag and relieve stress.

"I do it for overall fitness and to keep myself off the streets," Hardwick added.

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