Monday, 12 August 2013

Anthony Hardy Exclusive Interview: "My pro debut went to plan"

No Holds Barred: You made your pro debut on the 7th of July in Sunderland against Matt Seawright. How did your fight go?

Anthony Hardy: More or less to plan, really. Obviously I’d done the research on Matt before the fight so I knew what to expect. I knew he liked to come in low, throw the big right hand over the top, and try to get forward a lot, so I just counter punched him a lot and made him miss.

No Holds Barred: Was Matt as tough as you expected?

Anthony Hardy: Yeah, he was tough but I was well prepared. I won the fight three rounds to one. They gave him the third round because he landed with a good shot, but aside from some good stuff from him in that round, I was in control throughout; I was never hurt or anything. It was a tough debut but I think I came through well.

No Holds Barred: Did you have to adjust at any point?

Anthony Hardy: Well, after losing the third round, I put my foot on the gas in the fourth round. I nearly had him out of there late on in the fight; he held on for dear life.

No Holds Barred: Will you be making any changes to your game plan in the future?

Anthony Hardy: I think it’s just all about improving what skills I’ve already got. I would have liked to have been a little bit sharper on the night, but I just put that down to debut nerves. I think in my next fight I’ll open up a bit more and throw more combinations. I just wanted to be safe and win the fight at the end of the day.

No Holds Barred: Do you know if your fight or the event was filmed?

Anthony Hardy: Somebody was there filming. I’m going to get in touch with the person who filmed it to see if I can get a copy. Not sure if I can put it on YouTube, but we’ll see.

No Holds Barred: Your debut was at welterweight but when we last spoke, you told me you can make light welterweight. How did you feel at the weight?

Anthony Hardy:  I felt really comfortable at the weight on the night. I was actually going to fight lighter on the night, but a week or so before the fight we were told that Matt would come in anywhere from 10.7-10.9 stones so I adjusted my dieting a bit and worked on my strength some more. I walk around at about that weight anyway so it’s not hard for me to make welterweight.

No Holds Barred: Is a drop down in weight on the cards in the future or are you staying at welterweight?

Anthony Hardy: I’d be happy to fight at light welterweight, no problem. I’ll make whatever weight I’m told to. I’m good at getting the weight off so I don’t mind which weight I fight at.

No Holds Barred: Will the weight for your next few fights be decided by who you’re fighting in your opinion?

Anthony Hardy: I think me and the coaches will sit down and have that discussion. We've got a good diet, strength and conditioning program at the gym. We've got a new strength and conditioning coach and she works everything out for us.

No Holds Barred: What did your trainer Peter Cope think of your performance?

Anthony Hardy: He was really happy with it. Like he said, Matt Seawright is a tricky opponent. I know some people think pro debuts aren't all that important, but with the way I’m so tall and with him being a lot smaller than me, it was quite difficult for me to get my shots off accurately and time them correctly.

No Holds Barred: I think people underestimate how difficult pro debuts can be. Juan Manuel Marquez, Bernard Hopkins, Henry Armstrong, and countless others, all lost their pro debuts.

Anthony Hardy: Yeah, exactly. It can be difficult.

No Holds Barred: Do you have a second pro fight lined up yet?

Anthony Hardy: Yeah, it looks like I'll be fighting on the 19th of October at Rainton Meadows Arena. I'm really looking forward to it. I was meant to be scheduled to fight on the 13th of September in Newcastle but it doesn't look like it will happen. I think they had a full bill or something. 

No Holds Barred: What are your immediate future plans?

Anthony Hardy: I’d like to go and spar at the Ingle Gym in Sheffield soon. Aside from that, it’s all very much just keep on with what I’m doing; sparring with Bradley Saunders and training at the gym.

No Holds Barred: Have you changed your goals at all?

Anthony Hardy: I just want to keep busy as much as possible really. I want to keep winning as well, obviously, and then hopefully knock on the door for some small titles soon and then reevaluate my goals as time goes by.

Be sure to follow Anthony on Facebook: and on Twitter:  @Anth_Hardy11

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