Jesse Hart: ‘I am the future of boxing’
The night before Floyd “Money” Mayweather goes for his 49th straight win when he meets Florida’s Andre Berto at the MGM Grand, a couple of other famous names in boxing will clock into work in Las Vegas.
Super middleweight prospect Jesse “Hard Work” Hart, 17-0 (14), the son of Philly boxing legend Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, faces Aaron Pryor Jr., 19-8-1 (12), the son of Hall-of-Famer Aaron Pryor, tonight at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, in a 10-round bout for Hart’s USBA and WBO NABO titles. The fight will be televised live on truTV’s “MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout.” The fight will be the chief support bout to the 10-round main event featuring undefeated, featherweight prospect Oscar Valdez versus Chris Avalos.
Hart comes into the fight fresh off dispatching unbeaten Mike Jimenez on May 2. The 6-foot-3 Philadelphia banger also comes into the bout having stopped his last four opponents bringing his stoppages to 14 out of 17, impressive numbers in the power department.
Pryor comes into the bout with experience in his favor but he is also 37 years old and has come up short in eight of his 28 pro bouts. However, he climbs through the ropes knowing that despite his opponent-like numbers (as compared to Hart’s glossy record), a win would be huge at this stage of his career and could possibly open some doors to future opportunities.
Top Rank Promotions boss Bob Arum has high hopes for Hart and is more than familiar with the Hart name and its legacy in Philly boxing. Arum, who has known Eugene Hart for decades, hopes the son can continue in the great, Philadelphia fighting tradition of his namesake.
In a recent interview, Arum said, “[Jesse’s] one of my favorites. I really, really like the kid. He’s such a gentleman. I love the kid. Every fight he has, he calls me up and he thanks me. Who does that?”
Accolades aside, however, Jesse knows he has to keep delivering and the next assignment is tonight. In a recent chat, he said he feels that, at age 37, Pryor has had his shot and it’s now time for the next generation of Harts in the “City of Brotherly Love” to make its mark.
“I think it’s great,” Hart said of fighting Pryor. “I’m looking for the knockout. Yes, that’s one thing I’m looking for. I’m going to box smart but just know: I’m looking. If I see any opportunity, I’m going to take it. And that’s just what it’s going to be. I’m not going to let up until I have it. I don’t care whose son he is and I don’t care what his name is. That’s one thing about that ring. When I get in there, all that’s out the window. Hit you with one shot and that’s what it is: I’m going to do it smartly. I’m going to set it up – we’re definitely going to set a lot of shots up – but I’m looking for the knockout. This is the battle of fighters’ sons. We will see who is the better fighter’s son inside the ring. I am predicting it won’t go past four rounds.
“Pryor is an OK fighter but he is old news and I believe I am the future of boxing, so he has to go.”