He must be a quick learner because after only five career fights, Tommy Hardy has punched his ticket to compete for the national title in the 110-pound weight class.

The Barnstable High School freshman won the New England Silver Gloves Boxing Tournament for the second straight year. This year, however, Tommy moved on and won the Region 1 Championship which represents New Jersey, New York and all of New England. The win earns Tommy one of eight spots at the nationals in Independence, Missouri. That competition begins Thursday, Feb. 1.

Tommy's father, John, says his boy has been training hard six days a week with a professional fighter, Jesse Barbosa from Cape Cod.  A national title win for Tommy would mark the first ever for any youth on the Cape.

What Got Tommy Hardy Interested in Fighting?

Interestingly enough, Tommy's father, John, never fought. So what inspired Tommy to decide to take up boxing?

"I have four older brothers," he said. "We were always fighting. When I was little I used to have boxing gloves and I'd play fight.  I've always wanted to do it. One day I asked my dad if I could box, and he said, 'Yes.'"  Hardy started to train with Barbosa, and began competing last year at 13.

'In the Ring Only!'

"One of the first things his coach told him was that he'll work with him and teach him everything he'll need to win, but this is for 'in the ring only,'"  Barbosa said. "I know all the teachers at Barnstable High and if I hear you've been fighting in school we're going to have a very serious talk."

John Hardy says that he's seen a change for the better in his son.

"Tommy used to be really aggressive, but he's calmed down a lot since he's learned how to box. I know it sounds strange, but my wife and I say it all the time. He's definitely calmer."

Tommy Hardy's Five-Year Plan

"I want to win a couple more national titles, graduate from high school and start training for the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles," Hardy said.

He'll know whether or not he's won his first national title by Saturday night, Feb. 3.  All of the SouthCoast and Cape Cod will be cheering him on.

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