But other topics included why he took himself off a Feb. 27 card in New York to headline his own card in Philly – “I did what I wanted to do,” Hart said – and the realization that he’ll likely be the mandatory challenger for the World Boxing Organization’s super-middleweight title, which is being defended in an April 9 bout by champion Arthur Abraham against No. 1 challenger, Gilberto Ramirez.
Jesse Hart (19-0, 16 KOs) 26 yrs Comes Back Home to Philly, on Road to Title – Watch Him Fight Tonight Live on GFL.tv
Hart, “Its may duty to fight in Philadelphia … the mecca of boxing.” WATCH HIM FIGHT BY CLICKING HERE
Hart, 26, talked mostly about the subject of the workout: his March 18 fight at 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia against Dashon Johnson of Escondido, Calif.
Hart said Carl Moretti, vice president of boxing operations for Hart’s promoter, Top Rank, came into Hart’s dressing room before Wednesday’s workout and said a title fight could be looming next.
Behind closed doors, free of cameras and microphones, Hart, his management team and his father/trainer, former fighter Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, will talk about what’s next after Hart’s likely defeat of Johnson, who is on a four-fight winning streak after earlier dropping 14 of 16 decisions.
“I don’t care who wins, they gotta see me,” Jesse Hart said of the April 9 title fight.
Opinions differ, however, between father and son, as to how soon Jesse should fight for one of boxing’s four “major” belts.
Hart (19-0, 16 KOs), the current USBA and WBO NABO titleholder at 168 pounds, who says he hasn’t lost a round in professional boxing, wants to bring a championship back to Philadelphia as soon as possible. Hart, who fought on the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao undercard, spoke with pride about fighting within the city limits for only the third time in his professional career.
But moments after his son climbed into the ring to start working out, Eugene said there wasn’t a rush.
“I know that once we get him seven more fights, get his feet right and hands right, we’re ready for anybody,” Cyclone Hart said. “I want him to get it and hold it, not get it and give it up the next year.”
Seven more fights?
In the ring, meanwhile, Jesse – nicknamed “Hard Work” – was putting on a show for the cameras around the ring, throwing powerful combinations at the mitts on Danny Davis’ hands in preparation for next week’s card, which is being co-promoted by Top Rank, J Russell Peltz, Bam Boxing and Joe Hand Promotions.
Hart said he plans on bringing championship professional boxing back to his city, a task that’s easier said than done. He said he took a pay cut by taking himself off the Feb. 27 card in New York to fight at home.
What separates him from other Philly champions, such as Danny Garcia and Bernard Hopkins, is that he’s “here to make a Philly stand.” He also doesn’t quite have a world title yet, and fighting at home for a world championship in the current boxing economical landscape isn’t the easiest thing.
Behind a training table where Hart sat were posters of George Benton and “Gypsy” Joe Harris, a reminder of a Philadelphia boxing era that’s gone long by the wayside.
Hart, a throwback of sorts, wants to join that list of Philadelphia legends, just like his father. How soon is up to a lot of factors.
But first comes the bout against Johnson (19-18-3, 6 KOs).
“My dad always said, ‘You can’t look ahead. You gotta look at what’s in front of you,’ ” Hart said. “That’s where guys lose. They start looking ahead of themselves, they start getting ahead of themselves and not looking at what’s directly in front of them.”