EXCLUSIVE: Heather Hardy Compares Fighting At MSG And Barclays

At Bellator 222, Heather Hardy is back at Madison Square Garden, taking on Taylor Turner in her MMA return.

A veteran of fighting in New York, Hardy has spent her whole professional boxing career performing in her home-town city. That includes New York's two most famous fighting venues as well: Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center. When asked about any preference though, Hardy told Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp that in truth, there's no need to choose.

“Well, I’m the first lady of Brooklyn Boxing. I’ll say that first and foremost. Barclays became my home, I was the first female to ever box professionally at the Barclays Centre . . . I would never consider myself not a Barclays girl. It’s less than a mile from my house, I can jog there. But New York City is my home, you don’t have to pick one and that’s the beauty of it. I’m really fortunate and almost spoiled to be able to say that I’ve had such an illustrious career, fighting at both of the biggest venues in the city.

You’re talking about the Mecca of boxing: Madison Square Garden. And then Barclays Center, I was riding the trains watching them build it. I lived in New York before it was there so I remember when they were building it. I remember seeing signs up, Paulie Malignaggi was gonna headline the first card there, thinking like ‘wow, I wanna fight there. I want my posters up’ . . . six or seven years later, that actually came true so the Barclays Center actually has a really, really special spot in my heart.

However, two of Hardy's three MMA bouts have taken place in Connecticut instead. When asked about the impact of that, Hardy had an earnest response. “Because I have so many fights in Brooklyn and in New York City, I got used to the weight-cut, the travel, where the weigh-ins would be, where I get to eat after. Things like that. The comfort of being able to do everything from home but in my own defense, I earned that right because I sell so many tickets.

"It’s always beneficial for the promoters to leave me here because I’m gonna fill 150-200 seats easy so it wasn’t that I didn’t wanna go to another place because that was this huge adjustment. But it was definitely a noticeable difference to not be able to sleep in my bed the night before my fight.”

Nonetheless, Hardy will be back in New York City at Bellator 222, looking to remain in the win column against Turner. That event takes place on June 14th at Madison Square Garden and airs on DAZN. It's currently headlined by Rory MacDonald's title defense against Neiman Gracie.

For Fightful's full interview with Hardy, check out the video above.

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