Following an unexpected hiatus the ‘Horden Hitman’ Anth Hardy returns to the ring this Saturday at Hardwick Hall Hotel against the visiting Andrej Cepur.
Originally scheduled to face namesake Nathan Hardy, Anth, who had an unexpected spell on the side-lines due to the need of eye surgery, finally gets to lace up the gloves for the first time in near fourteen months.
Up until the hiatus Hardy had appeared ten times over a three year spell, challenging for the English title against Joe Hughes in Bath back in July 2015, but, following the shock stoppage loss to Sam O’Maison seven months after, it’s been more about re-building than boxing.
“Although Cepur isn’t ideal for me with the weight, I’ll just relax a little more with my intake and when I’m in there I’ll put my foot on the gas and showcase some skills,” Hardy began.
“(Nathan) Hardy unfortunately had to pull out with a hand injury but I’m still looking at this one as a good step then I’ll probably hit the road and face some up and comers to get some rounds under my belt.
“When I first started out I had some time-frames in mind but you soon realise you can’t plan for what’s around the corner so I’m just looking at keeping busy and get maybe four fights in this year, that’ll be perfect, realistic for me.”
Having had successful eye surgery, and potential fights either side of that falling through, including twice with Lee Mould, Hardy recently took in a spell on the commentators table alongside Andrew Buchanan at the Walker Dome. The pair putting out their own ‘version’ of Ant & Dec.
That alone showed that, as is the case with Buchanan, and in Hardy’s eyes, they’re around for some time to come in one form or another.
“The eye surgery certainly got in the way of things but I’ve not stopped and been working hard behind the scenes,” he continued.
“I’ve not really been out the gym (Gus Robinson’s in Hartlepool with Peter Cope Snr and Alan Temple) bar the three week period that was on doctor’s orders. Anyway, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a fit professional athlete anyway.
“As for the commentating, alongside Andy, at the Walker Dome, I’d definitely do it again.
“It’s much easier on that side of the ropes for sure. Being in there and doing it is an entirely different concept but I’d like to think that the commentary was honest and fair.
“I’ve known Andy for a long time now and fought on a few shows together; he’s good crack and I know that people like us will be in the sport for a long time.”
One of the first things any boxer will tell you is that they’re blessed, lucky, to get anywhere in this sport the sponsorship and a relatively decent fan-base is required. In Anth’s case he’s had both from the start with his grandfather’s business, Eddie’s Tattoo Studio, playing a vital role in the early stages of his career.
“My uncle has been there from the start, helped with those early bills etc and it’s the small businesses that don’t get thanked enough for the support they give; the same with those that helped me with the recent surgery costs,” added Anth.
“I’d personally like to thank everyone who has had faith in me and supported me through the past twelve months, the surgery and rehab so I hope I can repay them on Saturday night and put in a good performance.”
Anth Hardy, 8-2, appears at Hardwick Hall Hotel this Saturday night opposing Andrej Cepur, 8-33-2, over four rounds on the undercard of Daniel Cope vs Billy Snaith (Northern Area title) and Jeff Saunders vs Chris Truman (British Challenge Belt).