Heather Hardy with trainers Martin Gonzalez (left), Henry Deleon and the late Hector Roca, to whom she dedicated her Sony Hall fight. 

BOXING: Hardy gets points win at Sony Hall

Brooklyn’s Heather Hardy, a former world featherweight champion, eked out an eight-round majority points decision over onetime Brazilian champion Taynna Cardoso at Sony Hall in Times Square, mid-Manhattan last week.

One judge scored it a draw [76-76], while the other two had it for Hardy [78-74 and 77-75].

The Irish-American, who’s 41, improved to 24-2. She had dedicated the fight to the legendary Hector Roca, her trainer who died on Jan. 3 at age 82. 

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Cardoso’s record dropped to 5-2.

Hardy won the vacant WBC International super bantamweight title in 2014, and two years later bagged the WBC International featherweight title. She became world champion on October 27, 2018 when she defeated Shelly Vincent on unanimous points at Madison Square Garden for the WBO featherweight title.  

She lost the title the following September in a unification match with WBC World Champion Amanda Serrano.


The flu forced undefeated Dubliner Ryan O’Rourke out of his scheduled eight round welterweight contest with Dashaun “Too Sweet” Johns in Jersey City, New Jersey last weekend.

Tony Palmieri, VP, operations for promoters Star Boxing,  told the Echo that they hoped to reschedule the fight “within the next two months.”

Nicknamed “The Silent Assassin,” O’Rourke was to put his unblemished 9-0 [2 KO] record on the line against Jones, a Bronx native and former amateur standout with a [4-2, 2 KO] ledger. O’Rourke, who’s 23, was planning on using the fight as a stepping stone to the next stage of his career. 

Harley Burke in action, left.

Harley Burke in action, left.


Galway-born super middleweight Harley “Heavy Hands” Burke, the other Irish fighter on the Jersey City card, also had his bout scuttled after his opponent, Joseph Aguilar [4-1-1, 2 KOs], was injured in camp. A KO specialist, Burke is 7-0 with six KOs.


Connor “The Kid” Coyle defends his North American Boxing Association [NABA] middleweight champion title in the main event of Reyes Fire Fist Boxing’s “Fire on the Bay” show on Saturday, April 29 at the Hilton Carillon in St. Petersburg, Florida. His opponent in the scheduled 10-rounder will be named later.

Now ranked #4 in the 160-pound division by the world Boxing Association [WBA], Coyle is 18-0 with eight knockouts. The Derryman fights out of Pinellas Park, Florida.

In the co-feature, lightweight contender Willian “Babyface” Silva will appear in an eight rounder against an opponent to be determined. On October 29, Silva stopped Carlos Gaston Suarez in two rounds. Silva, 29-4 (15 KO’s), fights out of Florida and is a native of Sao Paolo, Brazil.

The undercard features Joseph Fernandez, Imran Haddabah, Rodrigo Coria, Gabriel Morales, Luke Iannuccilli, Khiry Todd, Marqus Bates, Mike Misa, and Harry Gigliotti, all in separate contests.

“This is the first of three we’re promoting this year in St. Pete,” said Jody Caliguire of Reyes Fire Fist Boxing. “Fire on the Bay” features Connor defending his title, and a world class boxer in Willian Silva. We’re pleased to feature other local favorites such as Imran Haddabah and Joseph Fernandez, along with some really talented fighters from the New England area fighting here for the first time. Mike Reyes and I have worked hard to put together this event and the fans will definitely enjoy a great evening of boxing April 29.”

Tickets are on sale at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fire-on-the-bay-tickets-556587025777. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the opening bell is scheduled for 7 p.m. The card will also be broadcast live on Reyesboxingtv.com.