Jesse Hart is looking for another world title shot; Mike Gavronski says he’s better
On Saturday, August 18, live from from Atlantic City, Philadelphia natives Bryant Jennings and Jesse Hart (in separate bouts) will headline a night of boxing on ESPN.
Jennings, 23-2 (13), will take on veteran Alexander Dimitrenko, 41-3 (26), in the 12-round heavyweight main event.
Super middleweight contender Jesse Hart, 24-1 (20), will face Mike Gavronski, 24-2-1 (15), in the 10-round co-feature.
The card will also feature undefeated 2016 Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson, former WBA junior lightweight titlist Jason Sosa and undefeated Philly banger Christian Carto.
Hart, 29, is looking to work his way back to a title shot after dropping a decision to WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez, in his first title foray last September.
In his first world title try, Hart did get dropped by Ramirez early in the fight, perhaps due to some early, title-fight jitters, as he hadn’t loosened up yet? Hart did battle his way back into the fight and remained competitive throughout the remainder of the contest, even hurting Ramirez in the 11th round.
In the end, Hart lost by the scores of 115-112 twice and 114-113.
While the scores indicate Hart put in a competitive effort in his title shot, a “competitive effort” wasn’t the goal. The goal was a world title and he wants another crack at the crown as soon a possible.
Hart, the son of Philadelphia boxing legend Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, has won two straight since his title attempt and he’ll enter the ring in Atlantic City coming off an April stoppage win over Demond Nicholson.
While Hart certainly enters the bout as the favorite, he is facing a motivated fighter in Gavronski, who knows a win over a contender like Hart sends him to the front of the super middleweight line.
In a recent interview, both the Tacoma, Washington-based Gavronski and his promoter Brian Halquist expressed confidence heading into the Atlantic City battle.
“This is what you live for,” Gavronski said. “Hart is a tough guy who can do a lot of nice things. I just think I can do them a lot better. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I am willing to fight anybody. I love the challenge.”
Halquist added that his charge knows this fight can basically be looked at as a world title eliminator, as the winner will more than likely see himself in a title fight before too long.
“This is a huge test for Mike but it’s one we believe he’s ready for,” said Halquist. “The winner of this fight places himself in a great position to fight for a world title the next time out. That has been what Mike has worked his whole career towards, to have that opportunity to challenge for a world title and it’s now right there in front of him.”
Hart would love another shot at Ramirez but would welcome an opportunity at any of the other champions at 168 pounds including WBA ruler David Benavidez, England’s WBC champ George Groves or IBF boss Jose Uzcategui.
However Hart, who turned pro under the nickname “Hard Work” and now goes by the moniker “Hollywood,” knows if he wants boxing’s brightest lights shining on him, it means winning and looking good doing it. Working toward that goal continues on Saturday night, on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.
“I’m excited to be back in Atlantic City,” expressed Hart in a recent interview. “I know that my hometown fans will show up and I will put on a spectacular performance. Gavronski is a good test. He’s durable and I know this fight will be great for boxing and boxing fans.”