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Boxing Insider Notebook: Braekhus, Chocolatito, Zurdo, Hurd, Stevenson, Chavez, and more…


The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 7th to November 14th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Lina Baker/360 Promotions

Cecilia Braekhus vs. Alexsandra Magdziak-Lopez and Chocolatito vs. Guevara Set for December 8th

Two of Boxing’s Biggest Stars make their highly anticipated return at the iconic Stubhub Center in Carson, CA. on Saturday, December 8 for an outstanding double-header featuring Undisputed Women’s Welterweight World Champion ‘The First Lady’ Cecilia Braekhus (34-0, 9 KOs) and Four-Division Pound for Pound World Champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, (47-2, 39 KOs). The event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:20 p.m. ET/PT.

Fighting out of Bergen, Norway, Braekhus, the Consensus #1 Ranked Women’s Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World will face two-time world title challenger, Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes, (18-4-3, 1 KO), a native of Gilwice, Poland, now based in Marshfield, MA in the ten-round main event.

Former Men’s #1 Ranked Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World, Gonzalez of Managua, Nicaragua, clashes with former world champion Pedro ‘Jibran’ Guevara, (32-3-1, 19 KOs) of Sinaloa, Mexico in a ten-round super-flyweight bout.

Presented by Tom Loeffler’s 360 Boxing Promotions, advance tickets priced at $25, $50, $100 and $150 can be purchased through www.AXS.com starting This Friday, November 9 at 12:00 p.m. The StubHub Center is located at 18400 Avalon Boulevard, Carson, CA 90746. For more information please visit their website at www.StubHubCenter.com.

A press conference was held on Wednesday in Downtown Los Angeles to formally announce the event. Also appearing at the press conference was popular atomweight world title challenger Louisa ‘Bang Bang Lulu’ Hawton, (8-2-0, 4 KOs), of Perth, Australia, who will also be fighting on the non-televised portion of the show.

“I’m thrilled to be announcing my next title defense against Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes,” said Cecilia Braekhus, currently training in Southern California with the renowned Johnathon Banks. “I know Aleksandra very well and this will be a very tough challenge for me.”

“It’s great to be back in Los Angeles, it’s starting to feel like my second home now. Right now, it’s pretty cold now in Norway so the sun and warm weather are treating me very good and I expect a lot of fans from Norway to come to my fight and experience the Southern California sunshine. My trainer Johnathon Banks and I have already started working very hard in the gym.”

“A big thank you to Tom Loeffler and 360 Promotions for putting together this great event. Thanks very much to HBO for putting me on the network again. I promise to deliver another big fight, my last fight was very exciting and this one will be as well, I don’t do boring fights.”

‘I’m defending all the belts as you see in front of me. They represent a life-time of hard work. Hopefully when it becomes time to retire I can do so undefeated, that is my dream, that is my goal. I thank you for all your support and to the fans here in the United States and those attending the fight Internationally.

“It’s been my dream to fight Cecilia and I can’t wait to fight her,” said Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes. “She is the best women’s fighter in the world and has been for many years but on December 8 I will be up to the challenge and come out victorious with her titles.”

Stated Roman Gonzalez, “Thanks very much to God, Mr. Honda, Teiken Promotions, HBO Boxing and 360 Promotions. I know Pedro Guevara very well, he’s a very tough fighter and I will have to be at my very best to continue my pursuit of a fifth world title.”

“It’s an honor to be on the same card as Cecilia Braekhus, we’re very blessed to be here. I was very happy with the knockout victory of my last fight and look forward to fighting in Los Angeles again in front of my fans.”

“Chocolatito was the best fighter in the world not too long ago and that is the fighter I am preparing for,” said Pedro Guevara. ‘It’s an honor to share the ring with him but on December 8 it will be another victory on my path to again becoming a world champion.”

Said Tom Loeffler, “This card truly is a tribute to HBO where the biggest stars in boxing have been made for decades. As we have seen with the ascent in popularity with Gennady Golovkin and as we continue to see with Cecilia and Roman their international popularity and marketability continues to increase with each appearance on HBO.”

“We’ve promoted some outstanding and record-breaking memorable nights of boxing at the Stubhub Center and we look forward to another great event on Saturday, December 8. We hold the record for the 3 largest gates at StubHub Center with GGG in his two fights at StubHub and Chocolatito with his sold out fight there last year.”

“Thanks to Dan Beckerman at AEG and everyone at StubHub Center for their support and for working on this show with us and to the California State Athletic Commission who have always been very fair while keeping the health and safety of the fighters as their number one priority.”

Fighting for the first time in Russia, Cecilia Braekhus won a 10-round unanimous decision over junior middleweight world champion Inna Sagaydakovskaya on July 21, 2018 in Moscow. The victory took place in front of over 25,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium and an international televised audience. Prior to that, Braekhus was victorious in the first women’s bout televised by HBO in their 45-year history on May 5, 2018. Defeating Kali Reis by unanimous decision at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, the fight drew an average of 904,000 viewers in the United States, the second highest viewership by the network for boxing in 2018.

Braekhus is currently ranked the #1 Pound-for-Pound Female Boxer by Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America. She was presented with the first women’s Ring Magazine Pound-for-Pound Title belt in Las Vegas on September 15, 2018. Since September 2014, Braekhus has held the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Welterweight World Titles and was just awarded 3 Guinness Book of World Records Awards this year at the WBC Convention in Kiev, Ukraine.

Magdziak-Lopes has twice previously challenged for world title. On September 17, 2016, she traveled to Gdansk, Poland to face Ewa Piatkowska for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title, losing a hard-fought ten-round decision. In 2014, Magdziak-Lopes battled Mikaela Lauren in her hometown of Rocklunda, Sweden for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title. At the end of a highly competitive ten rounds, Lopes would come up just short losing a majority decision to Lauren.

Magdziak-Lopes is unbeaten in her last 3 fight, including victories over Paty Ramirez and Lisa Noel Garland.

Returning to battle less than three months after a knockout victory, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez looks to continue on his path towards a fifth world title. On September 15, 2018, the hard-hitting Nicaraguan dismantled Moises Fuentes with a ‘Knockout of the Year’ stoppage in the fifth round on the HBO Pay-Per-View® Undercard of the World Middleweight Championship between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

Gonzalez has held world titles in four weight divisions; minimum weight, junior flyweight, flyweight and super flyweight. From September 12, 2015 to March 18, 2017, he was the Consensus #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World.

The 29-year-old Guevara first became a world champion on December 30, 2014 with a seventh-round knockout of Akira Yaegashi in Tokyo, Japan, winning the vacant WBC Junior Flyweight World Title. After making two successful defenses in Mexico, Guevara would return to Japan losing a split-decision to Yu Kimura on November 28, 2015.

In 2018, Guevara has recorded two stoppage victories, an eighth-round knockout of Angel Guevara on May 18, 2018 followed by a tenth-round stoppage of Roberto Sanchez on September 1, 2018.

Revenge or Repeat? Zurdo-Hart 2 Set for December 14th in Corpus Christi
It was one of the best fights of 2017. WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez had Jesse “Hollywood” Hart down and nearly out in the second round, only for Hart to come back with a furious late-rounds rally. Ramirez ultimately prevailed via unanimous decision that September evening in Tucson, Ariz., but Hart, the Philadelphia native with the legendary last name, had rematch on his mind immediately after the decision was rendered.

His wish has finally come true.

Ramirez will make the fifth defense of his world title against Hart, Friday, Dec. 14 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ramirez-Hart 2 and a soon-to-be announced co-feature will stream live and exclusively at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the United States— the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zapari Boxing Promotions, tickets to the Ramirez-Hart 2 world championship event will go on sale Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. CST. Priced at $100, $65, $45, and $30, tickets may be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, at the American Bank Center Box Office, Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

“This will be a good fight. I feel better prepared than the first time and even more convinced that I will finish him,” Ramirez said. “I’ve always said that I wanted to be the king of the division. I’ve been waiting for unification fights, and I’m still patient. I’m at my best, and against Hart, I want to show why I’m the best.”

“I’m very grateful and humbled for this opportunity,” Hart said. “I just want to go out there and perform to the best of my ability. I have nothing derogatory to say about Gilberto Ramirez. At this point, I just want to go out there and perform.”

Ramirez (38-0, 25 KOs), the first Mexican-born super middleweight champion, will be defending the title he won from Arthur Abraham via shutout decision on April 9, 2016. A hand injury put Ramirez on the shelf until April 22, 2017, but he didn’t miss a beat, dominating Max Bursak en route to a unanimous decision victory. In his most recent outing, June 30 in Oklahoma City, Ramirez used his boxing skills to win a unanimous decision against Alexis Angulo. Ramirez, from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico, is a nine-year pro who is no stranger to Corpus Christi. He headlined a show at the American Bank Center on Feb. 3, knocking out the previously unbeaten Habib Ahmed in the sixth round to retain his title.

Hart (25-1, 21 KOs), the WBO No. 1 contender, is a former amateur standout, winning the 2011 National Golden Gloves and U.S. National championships at 165 pounds. A 2012 U.S. Olympic alternate, Hart turned pro in 2012 and won his first 22 bouts prior to challenging Ramirez. Hart last fought as the ESPN co-feature Aug. 18 in Atlantic City, battering Mike Gavronski en route to a third-round stoppage. After more than a year of calling out Ramirez for a return match, Hart has his shot at redemption. A proud native of Philadelphia, Hart is the son of Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, a feared middleweight contender in the 1970s who never received a world title shot. With Eugene Hart in his corner as head trainer, Jesse Hart will seek to bring a world title home to the City of Brotherly Love.

Split Site Doubleheader Featuring Adonis Stevenson and Julio Cesar Chavez Kicks Off Big Night of Boxing on December 1st

A split-site doubleheader airing live on SHOWTIME and streaming live on SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms will kick off a big night of boxing on Saturday, December 1, leading into the SHOWTIME PPV presentation of the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury heavyweight blockbuster event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Adonis Stevenson will make the 10th defense of his WBC Light Heavyweight World Championship against undefeated, mandatory challenger Oleksandr Gvozdyk to start the action live from Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. The two-fight telecast presented by Premier Boxing Champions continues live from Los Angeles, where Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. will take on Alfredo Angulo in a 10-round super middleweight clash at STAPLES Center.

COUNTDOWN LIVE: WILDER VS. FURY will begin at 6:45 p.m. ET/3:45 p.m. PT live on SHOWTIME and on SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and Facebook page, preceding the Wilder vs. Fury SHOWTIME PPV event that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from STAPLES Center.

The December 1 SHOWTIME PPV and COUNTDOWN LIVE presentations feature two of the most feared knockout punchers in the sport. With 39 knockouts in 40 professional fights, Wilder’s right hand is widely regarded as the biggest weapon in boxing. The southpaw Stevenson’s left has led to knockouts in six of his nine title defenses. On December 1, the two power-punchers will take on top-rated, undefeated opponents as they make the 10th and eighth defenses of their respective WBC titles.

Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs) is boxing’s longest reigning world champion, having won the WBC 175-pound title in 2013. The Montreal-based southpaw will face his WBC-mandated challenger in Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs), a Ukrainian with 12 knockouts in his 15 professional fights since a standout amateur career that included a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.

In Gvozdyk, Stevenson will face his second consensus top-10 light heavyweight of 2018, following his Fight of the Year candidate draw with Badou Jack in May on SHOWTIME. Gvozdyk, an amateur teammate of fellow Ukrainians Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, earned the mandatory status with a near-shutout decision over Mehdi Amar in March.

“I’ve been pushing myself in training to be ready to put on a great performance December 1 and defend my title once again,” said Stevenson. “My old trainer, the late great Emanuel Steward, used to tell me that ‘knockouts sell’ and that’s what I’m going for in this fight. I know I’m facing a good boxer who’s coming in very determined. He’ll be ready, but it won’t be enough. It’s going to be show time on SHOWTIME and another victory for ‘Superman’.”

“I have been waiting for this title shot for a very long time, and I will take full advantage of the opportunity,” said Gvodzyk. “It doesn’t matter where we fight. I am fully prepared to become the new WBC light heavyweight champion. Canada, ‘The Nail’ is coming to put on a show!”

Chavez, Jr. (50-3-1, 32 KOs) is the son of Mexican boxing legend and Hall of Famer Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. The 32-year-old from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico ripped off 46 straight victories to start his career using a gritty boxing style that denoted his toughness in the ring. Chavez is seeking to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on May 6, 2017.

The 36-year-old Angulo (24-7, 20 KOs) is a tough brawler who has faced some of the best boxers in the sport. Angulo, who lives in Coachella, California but was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, is coming off a hard-fought split decision loss to former world champion Sergio Mora in April.

“I am excited to be back on December 1 to perform for the great Mexican fans in Los Angeles,” said Chavez Jr. “At my weight I know I can beat anyone. I am focused and feel strong. Angulo will be first, but then I will pursue a belt at 168. I’m putting the division on notice. Chavez is back.”

“I have been training very hard in anticipation of this fight and this is the best I have felt in a long time,” said Angulo. “I am looking forward to defeating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and getting a title opportunity in the near future. I’m thankful for everyone who has supported me and I promise to surprise a lot of people on December 1.”
Showtime Sports Captures a Day in Training Camp with Welterweight Prospect Jaron Ennis
s.sho.com/2QyCjOp
SHOWTIME Sports delivers a day in the life of training camp with Philadelphia’s Jaron Ennis as he prepares to face Raymond Serrano in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation this Friday, November 16, live on SHOWTIME at 9:35 p.m. ET/PT from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

Ennis (21-0, 19 KOs), who knocked out Armando Alvarez in a third-round stoppage during his ShoBox debut in July, has knocked out 11 consecutive opponents. He faces perhaps the toughest test of his career in Serrano, a 29-fight veteran whose five losses have come against opponents with a combined fight night record of 89-1-1.

Training under his father Bozy, who also trained Jaron’s older brothers Derek Jr. and Farah, the 21-year-old undefeated prospect puts in work in what he describes as an ‘old-school’ training camp consisting of chopping wood, flipping tires and climbing rope. With victory in his hometown on his mind this Friday, Ennis vows to become a household name in the sport of boxing.

“When you’re a boxer from Philly, it means you have to put on a show,” says Ennis. “I love fighting at home, that’s the best feeling ever. People let the crowd get to them, I just feel at home. I feel comfortable and relaxed. I get to show out on SHOWTIME in Philly, get a win and look good doing it.

“My goal is to be world champ and be a great example for the kids. I want to unify, get all the belts, move up in weight and keep going, and keep going. Watch out all 147’s. A young animal is on the way!”

In the co-feature of Friday’s live ShoBox telecast, series veterans Kenneth Sims Jr. (13-1-1, 4 KOs) and Samuel Teah (14-2-1, 7 KOs) meet in an eight-round super lightweight bout. Undefeated Ukrainian Arnold Khegai opens the three-fight card when he takes on New Jersey’s Jorge Diaz (19-5-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.
Star Boxing Signs Undefeated French Welterweight David Papot

JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO of Star Boxing announced the signing of undefeated French super welterweight, former WBA Continental Middleweight Champion and current French Super Welterweight Champion, DAVID PAPOT (Saint Nazaire, France, 22-0 3KO’s) to a long-term promotional agreement

Papot, 27, who is also currently rated #7 Middleweight in the World (WBA) began boxing at the age of 5 in his hometown of Saint Nazaire, France, where he still currently resides. With an impressive amateur pedigree, Papot has fought over 100 amateur bouts, earning the titles of two-time junior French champion, two-time vice champion and senior champion of France. Papot fought a total of thirty bouts with the French national team, reaching the quarter-finals of the European Championship.

In March of 2017, Papot took on undefeated Belarus southpaw, DZIMITRY ATROKHAU (then 15-0 5KO’S), where he earned the WBA Continental Middleweight Title by a dominating unanimous decision victory, with scores of 116-112 and 115-113 (2X). In his next bout, Papot took on co-Frenchman BARTHELEMY LEFEBVRE (then 16-8-1 4KO’s), for the France Super Welterweight Title. Papot dismantled Lefebvre over the 10-round bout, winning another unanimous decision with scores of 99-91 and 98-92 (2X). Papot has successfully defended his title two times since being crowned Champion.

PAPOT has this to say about signing with Star Boxing, “Today I have global ambitions and that is why I need a strong team to accompany me to world titles and I trust my team and promoter Star Boxing to accomplish these goals. ”

Promotor JOE DEGUARDIA said this about the signing of Papot, “We are excited to have signed David Papot, who has reached the pinnacle of boxing in France and now, together with Star Boxing, we believe David will have every opportunity to reach his goal of becoming a world champion.”

Star Boxing anticipates announcing David Papot’s next bout in the near future.
Sullivan Barrera is a Promotional Free Agent, Targets Top Light Heavyweights
Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera bounced back into the win column with a dominant decision victory earlier this month in New York. Barrera started off strong and won by the scores of 99-91 and 98-92 twice.

Along with the victory, Barrera also became a promotional free agent and is looking to get the biggest possible fights.

“I saw on social media that Badou Jack is looking for an opponent in January and that time table works perfect for me. I am sure the fans would like to see me and Jack trade punches,” Barrera stated.

The Cuban slugger holds victories over Joe Smith Jr, Vyacheslava Shabranskyy, and Felix Valera and has also been in the ring with champions like Andre Ward and Dmitry Bivol.

Barrera is driven to accomplish his goal of becoming a world champion and will not stop until he fulfills his destiny.

“At this point in my career I only want to fight the best. I have always wanted to be a champion and I will accomplish my dream. I want to fight the Adonis Stevenson-Olesandr Gvozdyk winner, the Eleider Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev winner, Jack, Artur Beterbiev. Those are the guys I want. There are no excuses for these fights not to happen. I don’t have a promoter so any of these fights should be easy to make,” said Barrera.

“Beating Monaghan got me back on track. I was able to work on some things in the gym and I promise that the next time I get a shot at a world title I will win. I am just reaching my peak and the fans haven’t seen my best yet.”
Gamboa and Lopez Both Win, Set Up Future Bout
Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez were both victorious this weekend and have set up a possible fight in the very near future.
Below are some quotes after their victories:
JuanMa Lopez Post Fight
“I don’t know how he absorbed all the punishment. I couldn’t know him out but it was a good fight.
It was uncomfortable because of his style but I’ve been fighting for a long time and it was an excellent warm up for the Gamboa fight.”

Gamboa trainer Post Fight:
“i have been working every day to make Gamboa a champion once again. And he is responding. It was a great night.”

Gamboa Post Fight:
“I was very happy with the results. I tried to work on my explosiveness and it worked well. It was a very exciting night for me. Here in Miami. My city. Great crowd.”

JuanMa after Gamboa’s fight grabs the mic in the ring:
“Enough of the waiting. We have been waiting long enough I did my part and you did your part now let’s get it on.”

Gamboa after JuanMa:
“If it’s a fight the fans want to see, let’s do it!”
Unified 154 World Champion Jarrett Hurd Returns on Wilder vs. Fury Showtime PPV Card
The most significant heavyweight event in the U.S. in more than 15 years will feature an undercard lineup of stellar fighters including the return of a unified world champion and two of boxing’s hardest-hitting heavyweights.

Undefeated, unified 154-pound world champion Jarrett Hurd along with heavyweight title contender Luis Ortiz and top heavyweight prospect Joe Joyce will fight in separate bouts on the SHOWTIME PPV® undercard of the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz heavyweight blockbuster event presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, December 1 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) returns for his first fight since unifying the super welterweight division earlier this year to defend his IBF and WBA titles against British Commonwealth champ Jason Welborn (24-6, 7 KOs). Hurd, who edged Erislandy Lara in a leading candidate for 2018 Fight of the Year in April on SHOWTIME, will enter the ring for the first time since undergoing rotator cuff surgery as he targets another title unification in 2019.

Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz (29-1, 25 KOs) will continue his quest for a second shot at a heavyweight world championship as he takes on American Travis Kauffman (32-2, 23 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Ortiz went toe-to-toe with Wilder in another contender for Fight of the Year in March on SHOWTIME and returns for his third bout of 2018 with his sights set on a rematch with Wilder.

In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME PPV, 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist and unbeaten heavyweight Joe Joyce (6-0, 6 KOs) will face his sixth opponent of 2018 when he meets Joe Hanks (23-2, 15 KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight bout.

“This fan-friendly undercard features two participants from 2018 Fight of the Year candidates, Jarrett Hurd and Luis Ortiz, along with one of the hottest rising talents in the heavyweight division,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Heavyweight boxing has re-captured the world’s attention and both of these potentially explosive fights will help shape the future of the division. Jarrett Hurd emerged as one of boxing’s most exciting fighters in unifying the super welterweight division in 2018. Now, he returns from a significant injury to risk his titles in his quest to become undisputed 154-pound world champion.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and are available via AXS.com. Wilder vs. Fury will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. The suggested retail price (SRP) for the pay-per-view telecast is $64.99 for standard definition.

Hurd, who hails from Accokeek, Md., floored Erislandy Lara in the final minute of their unification showdown to earn the narrow split-decision victory over the divisions’ longest-reigning champion. Following the bout, Hurd underwent surgery and subsequent rehab to repair a rotator cuff. Hurd won the IBF title with a TKO of Tony Harrison in 2017 and handed Austin Trout his first loss via knockout later that year. The 28-year-old is known for his all-action, fan-pleasing style that had seen him record seven straight stoppages prior to his decision win over Lara.

“’Swift’ is back and Christmas is coming early,” said Hurd. “This is the perfect way to get ready for 2019. I expect it to be a big year with big fights that the fans will love. I’m locked in right now and ready to put on a great performance against Jason Welborn. Tune in on December 1, because I promise you it won’t go 12 rounds.”

Jason Welborn, from West Midlands, England, will make his U.S. debut on the heels of two wins over previously once-beaten Tommy Langford for the British middleweight title in 2018. Langford now moves back to the 154-pound class, where he has faced Matthew Macklin and Liam Smith in all-British encounters.

“Jarrett Hurd is a big talent who holds all the belts and I respect the challenge he poses,” said Welborn. “I was a huge underdog against Tommy Langford in May and I came through and shocked Britain. In December, I’m going to shock the world. I’ve been in training camp since my last fight and I’ve already been preparing for Hurd’s style. This is my time.”

The 39-year-old Ortiz returns to STAPLES Center for his second consecutive fight in Los Angeles after scoring a second-round knockout of Razvan Cojanu in July. In a March, Ortiz nearly had Wilder out on his feet in the seventh until he ultimately succumbed to Wilder’s power in the 10th round, suffering the first loss of his professional career. A consensus top-5 heavyweight, Ortiz will look for another knockout as he hopes to earn a rematch with Wilder in the revived heavyweight division.

“I feel blessed to be on the Wilder vs. Fury card and competing on a huge night of boxing in front of a full house,’’ said Ortiz. “In my last fight at STAPLES Center the fans showed me so much love and I can’t wait to be back. I know Travis Kauffman has a good record and I know he’s definitely got heart. If all goes as expected and Wilder puts Fury to sleep like I think he will, I want another shot at him ASAP. It will be an epic rematch between me and Wilder.”

Kauffman, of Reading, Penn., is coming off a majority decision over Scott Alexander in May in which the two heavyweights traded first round knockdowns. Kauffman is 14-1 (1 NC) in his last 16 fights with the sole loss coming to Amir Mansour in March 2017.

“I’m looking forward to stepping up and challenging myself in an exciting fight,” said Kauffman. “Luis Ortiz is the second best heavyweight in the world next to Deontay Wilder. But I’m the toughest fighter you’ll ever face. This is my chance to prove that I’m a great fighter and I’m excited to do it on this huge stage.”

The 6-foot-6 Joyce, of London, England, has started his professional career with a 100 percent KO rate after turning professional in 2017 at the age of 32. An accomplished amateur, Joyce claimed the super heavyweight silver medal for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games. Joyce, who trains in Big Bear, Calif. under renowned trainer Abel Sanchez, made his U.S. debut in September with a fifth-round knockout of Iago Kiladze.

“It’s an honor to be part of this huge event and I give a lot of credit to Joe Hanks for stepping up and taking this fight,” said Joyce. “Hanks has a good record, but I am coming to take him out. If everything goes to plan and I come through this fight as I should, I am ready for a big fight early next year to show that I’m a force in this division.”

Hanks, of Newark, N.J., started his career with a 21-0 run before suffering consecutive losses to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2013 and Derric Rossy in 2014. After a three-and-a-half-year layoff following the loss to Rossy, Hanks, who lives in downtown Los Angeles, has recovered his form and returned to score a unanimous decision over Joel Caudle and a first round knockout of Terrence Marbra in consecutive fights.

“It feels good to be in the mix and getting exposure with the top heavyweights,” said Hanks. “I bring speed, athleticism and power to this fight. I’ve got a lot of great experience in my career sparring against guys like Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko, so I’m comfortable against a guy like Joe Joyce. I live in Los Angeles now and this is going to be like fighting in my front yard. I’m going to be feeling good on fight night.”

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Jennings and Hart Win with Convincing Knockouts


By: William Holmes

The Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey was the host site for tonight’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card.

The undercard was packed with local talent. Newark’s Skakur Stevenson, Philadelphia’s Christian Carto, and Millville’s Thomas LaManna were all victorious in their bouts.

The opening bout of the night was between Jesse Hart (24-1) and Mike Gavronski (24-2-1) in the super middleweight division.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Hart has won two fights in a row since losing to Gilberto Ramirez for the WO Super Middleweight Title.

Hart, the taller and longer fighter, kept Gavronski at the receiving end of his jab in the opening moments of the first round. His right cross started landing quickly and he was able to mix it up with some power shots to the body. Gavronski was bleeding by the end of the round and appeared to go down at one point from a right uppercut, but the referee ruled it a slip.

Hart continued on the attack in the second round and was loading up on his punches, which Gavronski was able to avoid with moderate success. When Hart did land, he stunned Gavronski.

Hart came out aggressive in the third round and was able to land a hard straight right hand that sent Gavronski right to the mat. Gavronski was met with a combination from Hart when he got back to his feet that sent him down for a second time.

Gavronski stumbled badly when the referee waived him forward, and rightly waived off the fight.

Jesse Hart wins by TKO at 0:52 in the third round.

Jesse Hart called out Gilberto Ramirez for a rematch for his title in the post-fight interview.

The main event of the evening was between Bryant Jennings (23-2) and Alexander Dimitrenko (41-3) in the heavyweight division.

Dimitrenko came out first and was greeted with boos from the crowd, and Jennings came out second to some cheers while being followed with trainer John David Jackson.

Dimitrenko was the much bigger and taller man, but Jennings has a very large reach. The opening two rounds featured both boxers probing each other with their jabs, but Jennings was landing the stiffer shots.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Jennings was starting to land his lead left hook and straight right hand with more regularity in the third round, which featured Jennings getting warned by the referee after pushing Dimitrenko into a corner.

Dimitrenko was able to score a surprising knockdown in the fourth round with a straight right hand, but replay showed it may have been an illegal punch to the back of the head. Jennings recovered well and was able to avoid the hard shots of Dimitrenko.

Jennings was able to bounce back in the fifth round and landed good body shots when in tight. Jennings continued to land at a higher clip in the sixth round and had re-established control of the fight since the knockdown.

Dimitrenko was able to land some hard straight right hands in the seventh round, but he began to unravel in the eighth. Jennings hurt Dimitrenko with a left hook that forced Dimitrenko to go to his knees. He got back up at the count of eight and was pummeled with combination until he went down for a second time. He was able to survive but looked hurt as the round ended.

The end came in the next round, as Jennings punctuated a dominating ninth round with two right uppercuts that sent Dimitrenko down again. The referee didn’t even bother counting and waived off the fight, much to the chagrin of Dimitrenko.

Bryant Jennings wins by TKO at 1:56 of the ninth round.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Jennings vs. Dimitrenko, Hart vs. Gavronski


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey Top Rank Promotions will promote an eight fight boxing card to be televised on ESPN.

The main event and co-main event of the evening will likely have future title bout implications. Bryant Jennings will face Alexander Dimitrenko in a heavyweight showdown in the main event of the evening and Jesse Hart will face Mike Gavronski in the super middleweight division.

The undercard is packed with local prospects and rising contenders which will help bring in fans from nearby areas to Atlantic City. Shakur Stevenson from Trenton, New Jersey, Jason Sosa from Camden, New Jersey, Christian Carto from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Thomas LaManna from Millville, New Jersey are all fighters with local ties that could be up for a title shot in the near future.

The following is a preview of the two main fights of the night.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Jesse Hart (24-1) vs. Mike Gavronski (24-2-1); Super Middleweights

Jesse “Hard Work” Hart is the son of legendary Philadelphia Boxer Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and recently lost a close decision to current WBO Super Middleweight World Champion, Gilberto Ramirez.

Hart, to his credit, has remained active since that loss and is back to his winning ways. He fought twice in 2018, twice in 2017, and twice in 2016. Four of his past five wins have been by KO/TKO.

Gavronski is a good boxer with a decent record. However, he is three years older than Hart and will be giving up about three inches in height and six and a half inches in reach.

He also fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. Gavronski did not fight yet in 2018.

Jesse Hart also has an edge in power over Gavronski. He has twenty stoppage victories while Gavronski has fifteen. Hart has also never been stopped while Gavronski has been stopped once.

Hart also has the edge in amateur experience. He won the 2011 National Golden Gloves Championship and placed 2nd in the 2012 US Olympic Trials. Gavronski has no notable amateur accomplishments to speak of.

Hart has beaten the likes of Demond Nicholson, Thomas Awimbono, Alan Campa, Andrew Hernandez, and Aaron Pryor Jr. His lone loss was a close decision to Gilberto Ramirez.

Gavronski has beaten the likes of Andrew Hernandez, Thomas Awimbono, and Brian Vera. His losses were to Dashon Johnson and Tureano Johnson.

Dashon Johnson is a man that Hart beat in 2016.

Hart appears to have too much fire power for Gavronski to handle.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Bryant Jennings (23-2) vs. Alexander Dimitrenko (41-3); Heavyweights

Bryant Jennings is a solid heavyweight boxer who previously fought for the title but came up short against Wladimir Klitschko.

He’s fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017 and is looking for another title shot.

Jennings is facing a boxer that many consider to be past his prime in Alexander Dimitrenko.

Jennings, at the age of thirty three, is three years younger than Dimitrenko. He will also be giving up about four inches in height, but Jennings will have a one inch reach advantage. Both boxers aren’t necessarily known for their power. Dimitrenko has twenty six stoppage victories while Jennings has thirteen.

Both boxers have been stopped in their career. Dimitrenko has two stoppage losses while Jennings only has one.

Jennings had a brief amateur career but it was rather successful. He made it to the finals of the 2009 PAL Nationals and was a National Runner Up in the Golden Gloves National Championship. He also defeated former UFC Heavyweight Champion , Stipe Miocic, as an amateur. To this writer’s knowledge, Dimitrenko has no notable amateur accomplishments.

Jennings losses were to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz. He has defeated the likes of Joey Dawejko, Akhror Muralimov, Don Haynesworth, Mike Perez, Artur Szpilka, Andrey Fedosov, Bowie Tupou, Steve Collins, Siarhei Liakhovich, and Maurice Byarm,

Dimitrenko fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 but has yet to fight in 2018. His losses were to Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev, and Eddie Chambers. He has defeated the likes of Derric Rossy, Albert Sosnowski, Adrian Granat, and Miljan Rovcanin.

His win over Miljan Rovcanin is contested by many though and that was his last bout. The bout was originally ruled a split draw, but Dimitrenko team protested the result. It was later ruled a win for Dimitrenko because Rovcanin had three points deducted and accordingly he should have been disqualified after the third point deduction.

Jennings experience in fighting a taller elite fighter like Klitschko might prove valuable in Saturday’s fight. Dimitrenko won his last bout, but didn’t look particularly good doing so. Jennings isn’t known for his power, but he should be able to box intelligently and win a decision.

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Top Rank Atlantic City Press Conf Quotes: Jennings, Hart


Boxing is being featured for the first time at the recently opened Ocean Resort Casino (formerly Revel), which is located steps from the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Heavyweights will take center stage on Saturday evening when Philadelphia’s Bryant “B.Y.” Jennings faces Alexander “Sascha” Dimitrenko in the 12-round heavyweight main event. In the co-feature, Philadelphia native Jesse “Hollywood” Hart will defend the NABF super middleweight title in a 10-rounder versus Mike Gavronski. Jennings-Dimitrenko and Hart-Gavronski will be broadcast on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET, with the entire undercard to be shown on ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m. ET.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Shakur Stevenson (7-0, 4 KOs), the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist will headline the ESPN+ portion of the card against Carlos Ruiz (16-4-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout.

The fighters and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum gathered Thursday for the final press conference. This is what they had to say.

Bob Arum

“This is a terrific card because any time you highlight Philly fighters, you’re going to get fights. Philly fighters bring the heat. They’re exciting.”

Bryant Jennings

On whether he still has the hunger: “If you’re not hungry, you don’t eat. And if you don’t eat, then you starve. If you starve, then you die. And I want to live. I’m hungry. I didn’t eat. I need to eat. Just make sure it’s vegan. In fact, it don’t gotta be vegan because Saturday, I’m eating Russian!”

On whether he’s a different fighter following back-to-back defeats in 2015: “Every fight is a different fight. As you grow, things change. You make changes as you grow in your sport and your craft. So, yeah, I’m a different fighter.”

On fighting taller fighters like Dimitrenko: “As a kid, I was told, ‘never tell your secrets.’ You thought I was about to say something {laughing}?”

Alexander Dimitrenko

“This is a great opportunity for me. I’m here to win this fight. I’m 36, and I have big plans. I want to win this fight. I look forward to make this fight and to show what I can.”

Jesse Hart

On his 2017 title loss to Gilberto Ramirez: “I never looked at it as a loss. I always look at it as a lesson. I think I’ve raised my IQ of boxing. It gave me a better outlook on being in that position, and I think it just gave me a lot more to look at toward the sport of boxing, not just the championship of the world. I learned a lot from that fight. That fight taught me a whole lot.”

On his father, perennial former middleweight contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart: “{Winning a world title for him} motivates me a lot. When I’m up at 4:15 in the morning out there doing my road work, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind, getting a world title for my father. That’s the motivation. I think that’s the motivation for myself, and to be the best.”

Mike Gavronski

On fighting so often in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington: “Because that was the only thing I could do at the time. But, you know, now I’m here, and I’m happy to be here.”

On his fighting style: “A great show. Every time out, I come to perform. I come to fight. One way or another, you’re going to love me at the end of the day.”

On his advantages against Hart: “I don’t know. These are my kind of people. Blue collar workers. The crowd will eventually be on my side. I’m pretty sure. I would hope so. And, you know, we’re running and gunning. That’s all we can do.”

Shakur Stevenson

“When I was younger, I used to come {to Atlantic City} all the time. We used to come here for vacations and stuff, and I came here to watch the {Bernard Hopkins-Antonio Tarver} fight. I don’t know. I’m excited. I can’t wait to fight.”

ESPN, 10 p.m. ET
Bryant Jennings vs. Alexander Dimitrenko, 12 rounds, vacant NABO and IBF International heavyweight titles

Jesse Hart (champion) vs. Mike Gavronski (challenger), 10 rounds, NABF super middleweight title

ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET
Shakur Stevenson vs. Carlos Ruiz, 8 rounds, featherweight

Christian Carto vs. Javier Gallo, 8 rounds, bantamweight

Jason Sosa vs. Reynaldo Blanco, 8 rounds, lightweight

Thomas LaManna vs. Matthew Strode, 8 rounds, super welterweight

Joseph Adorno vs. Agustine Mauras, 6 rounds, super featherweight

Oleksandr Teslenko vs. Avery Gibson, 8 rounds, heavyweight

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Boxing Insider Interview: Jesse “Hollywood” Hart Wants Another Title Shot


By: Ken Hissner

Sometimes it isn’t easy following a legend especially if it’s your father. Eugene “Cyclone” Hart was one of if not the hardest hitting fighters to ever come out of Philadelphia scoring knockouts in his first 19 fights and 28 in his 30 wins. Jesse “Hollywood” Hart grew up in North Philadelphia and won the National Golden Gloves in 2011 along with winning the US Nationals. He entered the 165 lb. 2012 Olympic Trials with an 81-10 record and was on the USA team.

Hart was given four tough opponents in order to reach the finals in the Trials. First up was southpaw Chris “Sweet Pea” Pearson, 93-7, (13-2-1 as a pro) from Ohio who Hart defeated 18-6. Next up was D’Mitrius Ballard (18-0 as a pro) from Temple Hills, MD, who was the 2012 National Golden Gloves champion. Hart defeated him 20-8. Then came Antoine “Action” Douglas from Burke, VA, who had 120 amateur bouts (22-2-1 as a pro) who Hart defeated 14-8.


Photo Credit: Jesse Hart Twitter Account

In the semi-final Hart fought Luis Arias (18-1 as a pro) of Milwaukee, WI, who won the 2010 US Nationals against Hart 4-4 and Arias was given the win. He was 140-24 but was no match for Hart losing 21-6. In the final Hart faced Terrell Gausha (20-1 as a pro) of Cleveland, OH, who Hart lost to in the 2009 US Nationals final. Gausha had gone to Brazil and won Gold in the 2012 Americas Olympic Qualifier in order to qualify for the Olympic Trials. The final ended up 10-10 (34-34 count back; 3-2 vote) and given to Gausha.

This writer felt that decision was unfair to Hart who was already the USA Team member and should have gotten to go to the Olympics. He ended up as the Olympic Alternate to Gausha who went and lost in the second round. As a pro he dropped to 154 losing in an October 2017 title fight to Cuban Erislandy Lara the WBA Super World champion and hasn’t fought since.
Hart felt he had something to prove in the professional ranks after getting side stepped in the Olympic Trials. He left Northern Michigan University where his coach was Al Mitchell from Philadelphia and returned to his roots in Philadelphia. He split his time between returning to his old coach Fred Jenkins at the ABC Rec Center Gym at 26th & Masters in North Philadelphia along with his father Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, at the Joe Hand Gym in South Philadelphia. They co-train Hart.

Hart signed a co-manager contract with Doc Nowicki and Dave Price and signed a promotional contract with Top Rank. He turned professional in June of 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, scoring a first round stoppage. Then three more stoppages followed going into December of 2012. Hart at 6:03 has the physique to be a light heavyweight like a past champion named Bob Foster.

In Hart’s fifth fight which was his first in Philadelphia at Temple University’s Mc Gonigle Hall he met up with a spoiler named Steven Tyner, 3-8-2, who had fought ten unbeaten opponents up until then with the last five unbeaten. Hart dropped Tyner in the first round and went on to win an easy 40-34, 40-35 twice four round decision.

Six of Hart’s next seven fights were six rounder’s with one four. He won six of those seven by stoppage. Top Ranks Bob Arum knew he had a future champion in Hart. Matchmaker Brad Goodman was matching Hart in a way a boxer should in order to get to a championship. Hart was 12-0 with ten stoppages and ready for his first eight rounder. He had fought in Atlantic City, NJ, three times but still only once in Philadelphia. “I have worked with Jesse from the time he turned professional with Top Rank. It’s doubtful Ramirez would give him a rematch. Jesse is willing to fight anyone even if it means going across the pond to the UK (and fight George Groves or Rock Fielding who hold the WBA titles). With a win over Mike Gravonski (who is No. 11 in the WBA) on August 18th he will enter their ratings. WBC champ David Benavidez is fighting (No. 2) Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (former WBC World champion). Then there is the other Mexican champion Jose “Bolivita” Uzcategui who holds the IBF title (who defeated Anthony “The Resurrected” Dirrell’s brother Andre in March reversing a loss in their previous fight by DQ. No. 1 is vacant and No. 2 is Caleb “Sweethands” Plant who may be getting the next title fight. Hart is only ranked No. 10 in the June ratings with no July ratings shown),” said Goodman.

Hart was matched with southpaw Samuel Clarkson, 10-2 (currently 21-4 as a pro) from Cedar Hill, TX, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas. He was a former 2-time Texas Golden Glove champion and a PAL National champion at 175. This bout would be for the NABF Junior Super Middleweight title. Hart had Clarkson down twice in the fourth round and won all three cards of the judges 80-72. Clarkson would go onto win his next nine fights before losing to current unbeaten WBA World Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol for the interim title.
Hart would post two stoppages in Atlantic City before returning to Philadelphia to stop Samuel Miller, 28-9, in the second round at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. In May of 2015 in his first ten rounder he fought for the vacant USBA title against unbeaten Mike Jimenez, 17-0, out of Chicago. The winner would automatically go into the IBF rankings. The vacant WBO NABO title was also on the line which meant going into the WBO rankings for the winner. Hart stopped Jimenez in the sixth round to enter both the IBF and WBO rankings.

Next up for Hart in September in Las Vegas would be the son of legendary Hall of Fame boxer Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor’s son Aaron, Jr. 19-8-1, at 6:04 out of Cincinnati, OH. Hart would stop Pryor in the ninth round. At the end of 2015 Hart was dropped back to an eight rounder in a “keep busy” fight scoring a first round stoppage in Tucson, AZ. Hart received a right eye laceration in this bout.

In March of 2016 Hart would return to the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia against another “spoiler” in Dashon “Fly Boy” Johnson, 19-18-3, of Escondido, CA, who had won his last four bouts, including reversing a loss to Mike Gavronski, then 20-1-1. Hart found himself hitting the canvas in the tenth and final round to the shock of the crowd and writers. He got up like a champion should and went onto win by scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 95-94. This was the kind of fight Hart needed to develop on his way to a championship fight.

Due to a hand injury suffered in his last bout Hart would be out of action for eight months before returning to the ring in Las Vegas to meet Andrew “Hurricane” Hernandez 16-4-1, at the Treasure Island Casino. Hernandez was on a six fight win streak including defeating Russian Arif “The Predator” Magomedov, 17-0, who two fights prior to this defeated Hart’s stablemate Derrick “Take It to The Bank” Webster, 19-0, even dropping him in the tenth round. Webster would move up to super middleweight after this fight obviously too light to be a middleweight at 6:04. Hart stopped Hernandez in the third round.

In April of 2017 Hart would defend his USBA and WBO NABO titles taking on Mexico’s Alan “Amenaza” Campa, 16-2, at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. Hart went onto stop Campa in the fifth round. This win set up a world title fight with WBO World Super Middleweight champion Mexico’s southpaw Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, 35-0 (24). The bout was held at the Convention Center in Tucson, AZ, in September of 2017. Ramirez’s promoter was also Top Rank.

Hart’s manager’s contract ran out prior to the title fight and he decided not to resign with Nowicki and Price. “I had nothing derogative to say about either Doc or Dave. I just wanted to be my own manager. I have a solid partner in Steven Andrews. He is a real good business partner of mine. He’s one who can plan my future for me,” said Hart. In talking with Steven Andrews you knew instantly he knows his boxing. “I have been with Jesse since he was sixteen years old. I have films that no one else has going back to those times in the amateurs. The Jesse you saw in the Ramirez fight was not the Jesse I know. Not having a tall southpaw like Webster to spar with hurt Jesse. He wouldn’t return our phone calls after committing himself and never showed up in camp. Jesse will be champ no matter whose holding the title,” said Andrews.

Hart was 22-0 with 18 stoppages. In the second round Hart was knocked down. At the end of the fight it would play a major part in the scoring. It was a close well fought battle with Ramirez retaining his title by scores of 114-113 and 115-112 twice. Hart wanted a rematch with Ramirez but he was told he would not be given one by the Ramirez management. Both fighters would return to the ring in February of 2018.

Hart came in at his highest weight of his career at 173¼ and it had some of us writers wondering if he was moving up to light heavyweight. His opponent would be Thomas “Awin” Awimbono, 25-7, of Accra, GH, living in the Bronx, NY, and weighing 179½ and a full fledge light heavyweight.

A year before Awinbono had gone the distance with Webster and unbeaten Caleb “Sweethands” Plant. Hart wasted no time in taking out Awimbono in 1:28 of the first round.

Just two months later Hart returned to the ring taking on Demond “D’bestatit” Nicholson, 18-2, from Laurel, MD. Among his opponents he fought to a draw with Immanuwel Aleem, then 16-0. Hart returned to a super middleweight 167½. It was held at the Liacouras Center of Temple University in Philadelphia for the vacant NABF title. Hart would stop Nicholson in the seventh round.

Hart is scheduled to fight on August 18th at the new Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, taking on the No. 11 WBA ranked Mike Gavronski, 24-2-1, in a NABF title defense with the hope of entering the WBA rankings.

KEN HISSNER: Going back to your amateur days I remember seeing you in New York’s China town with the USA Team against the Chinese team. You were very impressive in winning your bout but Fred Jenkins or your father were not in the corner. Why was that?

JESSE HART: They (USA Team) pick the team coach and my father and Fred were not part of that team.

KEN HISSNER: The most impressive boxer on the Chinese team was Fanlong Meng who is now 13-0 (8), as a light heavyweight. Remember seeing him?

JESSE HART: I sparred him and had no problem with him. I think he has to come to the US in order to develop.

KEN HISSNER: In the amateurs I also saw you in one of your two bouts defeating Derrick Webster in a Philly tournament. As professionals the two of you ended up under the same management. I once did an article that the two of you were on a collision course. He was 38-2 in the amateurs only losing to you twice. Since you left that management has a bout with Webster ever been offered to either of you?

JESSE HART: Yes. He was mentioned to me and I agreed to fight him in my fight in August but my promoter couldn’t get them to agree to the match. (In all fairness to Webster though it was not publicized at the time he is fighting August 11th in Philadelphia)

KEN HISSNER: When you were training for the Ramirez title bout was Webster one of the people being a southpaw you used for sparring?

JESSE HART: Derrick agreed to help me prepare for Ramirez but everyone in Top Rank and even myself left messages but he never returned any of our calls.

KEN HISSNER: How has it been working with Brad Goodman of Top Rank being he is matching your opponents for you?

JESSE HART: He’s done a great job with my career. He knows what fights to get me better for my career.

KEN HISSNER: Of your 25 fights you have only fought in Philadelphia 4 times. Do you wish to have fought at home more?

JESSE HART: Yeah, but no. I don’t want to get that home mentality. I enjoy fighting in other areas.

KEN HISSNER: I understand the Ramirez camp is not willing to give you a rematch though you are still the No. 1 contender in the WBO. He recently in June defended against an opponent who is no longer in their ratings. The WBA champ George Groves is defending against Callum “Mundo” Smith and like you neither for some reason are in the WBA rankings. Is there another one of the champions that you have your eye on fighting?

JESSE HART: I’m No. 3 in the WBC. I would like to fight (WBC champion) David Benavidez but I think he has another opponent.

KEN HISSNER: WBC champion David Benavidez has a September 8th defense planned but with no opponent mentioned at this time. Smith is ranked No. 1 and you are No. 3 in the WBC. With Smith fighting Groves and you fighting three weeks before that it’s certain neither of you will be getting that title shot. Was fighting Benavidez ever offered to you?

JESSE HART: Yes, Top Rank were about to sign him but when they didn’t it fell through.

KEN HISSNER: In your division two of the champions are from the UK and two from Mexico with one from the US. Your promoter Top Rank may be the one of or the best promoter in the world. Do you have much interaction with Bob Arum?

JESSE HART: I talk to him and is a friend of the family. I can go to him direct. I’ve sat down with him in his home.

KEN HISSNER: You have a very outgoing personality which I believe is a plus for your career. Besides your father have you had or now have any boxers you admire?

JESSE HART: “Sugar” Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali. Ali was one that I admired the way he handled himself. Sacrifice now while I am young in my training and everyday life and I can live the rest of my career as champion.

KEN HISSNER: In your upcoming fight with Mike Gavronski who is No. 11 in the WBA rankings have you seen any films of him?

JESSE HART: I’ve seen a couple of films with Hendricks and Johnson. If I shows any kind of weakness he will press forward.

KEN HISSNER: With a win over Gavronski you should get into the WBA rankings. With both Groves and Fielding as the WBA champions and from the UK would you be willing to go over there if the opportunity was offered to you?

JESSE HART: Absolutely I would love to go over there. I saw Errol Spence go over there. I don’t care where I fight him. I come to shut the man down that I fight!

KEN HISSNER: I want to take the time to thank you for taking the time to answer questions and with one more question are you going by “Hard Work” or “Hollywood?

JESSE HART: I changed from “Hard Work” to “Hollywood” prior to the Ramirez fight which was recommended to me to add more flair. So that is what I am keeping. I want to thank you Ken for doing this for me.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Magdaleno Loses Title by KO to Dogboe, Hart and Jennings Win


By: Ken Hissner

Top Rank and Peltz Boxing Promotions brought back big time boxing to Philadelphia Saturday, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center via ESPN before a well entertained crowd.
In the Main Event WBO World Junior Featherweight champion southpaw Jesse Magdelano, 25-1 (18), of Las Vegas, NV, tasted defeat for the first time losing to interim WBO champion Isaac Dogboe, 19-0 (13), of Accra, GH, who stopped him at 1:38 of the eleventh round of a scheduled 12.

In the first round Dogboe was the aggressor. Dogboe landed a solid left hook to the head of Magdelano but got countered with a 3 punch combination dropping him. Magdelano lead with a left hand to the chin of Dogboe hurting him but Dogboe tossed him to the canvas. In the second round Dogboe led with a right but got countered by a Magdelano left to the head. Dogboe rocked Magdelano with a lead overhand right to the head.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

In the third round Dogboe led with a right to the chin of Magdelano making him clinch. A left uppercut to the chin by Magdelano buckled the knees of Dogboe. Dogboe came back with a good combination to the body and head of Magdelano. At the bell Dogboe landed a hard overhand right to the chin of Magdelano. In the fourth round both landed with exchanges. A pair of rights to the head from Dogboe rocked Magdelano.

In the fifth round Dogboe dropped Magdelano with a vicious right to the chin. Then he went after him with a flurry of punches making Magdelano hold on. In the sixth round Dogboe drove Magdelano into the ropes on several occasions making him hold on. The sixth and seventh rounds were dominated by Dogboe though Magdelano was always dangerous. In the eighth round Dogboe continued to go after Magdelano with body and head shots. Dogboe told this writer prior to the fight he would “outsmart Magdelano” and that is the way he fought.

In the ninth round Dogboe backed up Magdelano without throwing any punches for the most part as Dogboe seemed to be loading up. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. had trouble at times sepeerating the two with Magdelano refusing to let go of Dogboe. It was a cat and mouse round with Magdelano getting chased.

In the tenth round Dogboe landed half a dozen punches hurting Magdelano who would pound on his own chest as if he was hurt but was. A body shot by Dogboe from a right to the body hurt Magdelano. Magdelano walked on shaky legs back to his corner. In the eleventh round Dogboe landed four unanswered punches. Seconds later a combination from Dogboe dropped Magdelano to his knees. Dogboe jumped all over him with body shots until a right uppercut dropping him until referee Esteves wisely stopped the onslaught. Dogboe made Magdelano pay for his remarks at the press conference!

Dogboe got off to a slow start but from the fourth round on it was all his fight. This humble God loving fighter will be taking the championship belt back to his home in Ghana! It couldn’t happen to a nicer God loving man!

Co-Feature Event Super Middleweight WBO No. 1 contender Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 24-1 (20), of Philadelphia, overwhelmed Demond “D’Bestatit” Nicholson, 18-3-1 (17), of Laurel, MD, at 2:26 of the seventh round for the vacant NABF Super Middleweight title.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

In the first round Hart came out like a wild man trying to end it early. He is not the puncher like his father. He has better tools but not the punch of “the Cyclone”. He controlled the entire round up until the final seconds when Nicholson hit him with a right knocking him across the ring into the ropes which should have been ruled a knockdown by referee Shawn Clark. In the third round Hart landed a left to the body causing a delayed knockdown. Hart landed a left hook to the chin of Nicholson almost dropping him.

In the fourth round Hart continued to man handle Nicholson throughout with Nicholson landing an occasional right to the head of Hart. In the fifth round Hart continued to throw the right hand bomb but got countered with a solid right from Nicholson on the chin. Nicholson kept slipping most of Hart’s wild punches but got hit enough not to win the round. Nicholson showed too much respect for Hart who at the press conference said “I looked up to him when I was just 14!”

In the sixth round Hart landed three right hands to the head while in close. Nicholson finally came back with a left hook to the head of Hart. Hart kept pinning Nicholson to the ropes where Nicholson was defenseless. A Hart uppercut to the chin of Nicholson rocked him. Nicholson landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Hart and came back with two more ending the round.

In the seventh round it was Nicholson turning aggressor. Hart looked like he was spent from all the punching he did earlier and all of a sudden he seemed to hurt Nicholson but went after him and missed with a left hook but seemed to push Nicholson to the canvas who argued with the referee Clark but wouldn’t get up. When he did the referee waved it off.

There was a controversy afterwards between both fighters almost coming to blows. The Nicholson camp and the fighter were unhappy with the ending but he lost every round and should have let his hands not his mouth do the talking.

Heavyweight Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 23-2 (13), won a close hard decision over Joey “Tank” Dawejko, 19-5-4 (11), of Philadelphia, for the vacant USA PA Heavyweight title over 10 rounds.

In the first round Dawejko landed several left hooks to the body of Jennings. Jennings came back with a double jab to the chin. Dawejko landed a double left hook to body and head of Jennings. Jennings depended on his jab the entire round. Dawejko was much more active. In the second round Jennings started off with a left hook to the head of Dawejko. Dawejko dug in a left hook to the body of Jennings whiono continues using his jab to chin and mid-section. Dawejko warned for low punch by referee Gary Rosato. Dawejko came back with a right to the head. Jennings ended the round with a solid left hook to the head of Dawejko.

In the third round Dawejko landed a lead overhand right to the head of Jennings. Dawejko landed a trip left hook to the body and head of Jennings. Jennings came back to do the same combination. In the fourth round Jennings landed a double jab to the chin. Dawejko came back with a combination to the head. Dawejko landed a right uppercut to the chin and followed with a left hook to the head of Jennings. Dawejko missed with a left hook while Jennings countered with his best punch a right to the head of Dawejko. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a low punch causing referee Rosato to warn him.

In the fifth round Dawejko landed a looping left hook to the head of Jennings. Both fighters exchanged good body shots inside. Jennings continues to use an effective jab. Dawejko continues to stalk him. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a solid right following a jab to the chin of Dawejko getting his attention. In the sixth round Jennings landed a left hook to the head of Dawejko knocking him off balance. Jennings halfway through the round started using the ring to avoid any exchanges giving away the round.

In the seventh round Dawejko went after Jennings with left hooks to the body and head. Jennings kept peppering Dawejko with his jab. Jennings countered Dawejko with a right uppercut to the chin. In the eighth round Jennings started thins off with a right to the body and head of Dawejko. Dawejko pinned Jennings to the ropes while Jennings tried to spin him off but ended in a clinch. Dawejko drove Jennings into a corner with a flurry of punches.

In the ninth round Jennings landed a good left hook to the chin of Dawejko who acknowledged it as a good one. Dawejko pushed Jennings into a corner forcing Jennings to tie him up. Jennings landed a lead straight right to the chin of Dawejko getting a reaction from the crowd. Dawejko ended the round with a combination to the body of Jennings.

In the tenth and final round Dawejko pinned Jennings against the ropes while referee Rosado again stepped in separating the two. Jennings knocked the mouthpiece of Dawejko out with a right to the chin. Jennings landed a 3-punch combination to the head and body of Dawejko. Dawejko landed a half dozen unanswered punches before Jennings landed a solid left hook to the head.

“I thought it was a competitive fight and maybe I should have done more,” said Dawejko. That was a statement from a very humble Dawejko. He did mention that he felt the referee separated them too much when he had Jennings against the ropes throwing punches. Both fighters showed respect at the press conference for each other and it seemed to carry on after the fight but from press row this writer was not able to hear Jennings comments and since the Executive Director Greg Sirb doesn’t allow this writer into the locker rooms after fights I was not able to talk to Jennings.

“Styles make good fights and I thought I came out with the win. With a new trainer I have to try to get what he wants me to do. I believe good things are coming. Joey is a slick fighter trying to set traps for me. It isn’t easy fighting a smaller fighter at times. I felt the scoring was what I felt it should have been. I was hurt once in the fight. He is a helluva fighter. We showed respect for one another knowing when we got warned from the referee it was not intentional on our parts,” said Jennings.

Judges all had it 98-92 for Jennings but this writer had it 97-93 for Dawejko. The press favored Jennings for the most part.

2016 Olympian southpaw Shakur Stevenson, 6-0 (3), of Newark, NJ, won by TKO over Roxberg Patrick Riley, 12-1 (6), Dallas, GA, at 1:35 of the second reound in a scheduled 8.

In the first round Stevenson used an effective jab to control the pace. Stevenson hurt Riley with a straight left to the mid-section of Riley. In the second round a left hook from Stevenson drove Riley into the ropes. Stevenson knocked Riley down with a combination of punches. He followed up with an onslaught of punches causing referee Clark to call a halt.

Super Featherweight 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Robson Conceicao, 7-0 (4), of Salvador, Bahia, BRZ, pitched a shutout over Mexican Alex Torres “Azteca de Oro” Rynn, 6-2 (3), of Calgary, Ontario, CAN, over 6 rounds.

In the first round Conceicao dominated Rynn with good body work and occasional head shots. In the second round Conceicao continued with solid body work with both hands. Rynn kept switching from orthodox to southpaw and back. Conceicao landed a hard combination to the head and ended the round with a right to the chin of Rynn.

In the third round Conceicao kept landing with body punches but Rynn landed a hard counter right from the southpaw stance. From the third round through to the sixth Conceicao put on a good exhibition of his boxing skills.

All 3 judges and this writer had it 60-54.

Popular Bantamweight Christian Carto, 12-0 (8), of South Philadelphia, won an easy decision over Edwin “Puto” Rodriguez, 8-5-1 (4), of PR, over 8 rounds.

In the first round Carto controlled with his jab. Rodriguez landed a left hook which was countered by a Carto right to the head. Carto landed a solid right to the head of Rodriguez who was coming forward. Carto landed a double left hook as the bell sounded ending the round. In the second round Carto landed a double jab followed by a left hook to the body of Rodriguez. Both fighters exchanged left hooks to the head. Carto landed a lightning fast lead right to the chin of Rodriguez. Carto continued to set the pace with his jab.

In the third round Carto landed a 3-punch combination to body and head of Rodriguez. Carto landed a left hook to the ribs of Rodriguez. Carto landed a jab follwed by a right to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued to make Rodriguez miss. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto at the bell. In the fourth round Rodriguez landed a double left hook to the body of Carto. Carto landed a double left hook to the body and head of Rodriguez. Carto controlled with his jab but got countered by a Rodriguez right to the chin. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto who countered with a left hook to the chin at the bell.

In the fifth round both boxers landed several body punches. Carto hurt Rodriguez with a hard left hook to the head. Carto landed several lead rights to the chin of Rodriguez. Both exchanged rights to the head. Carto ended the round with a 3-punch combination to body and head. In the sixth round Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Carto. There was a clash of heads leaving a lump on the top of Carto’s head. While using the ring well Carto countered with rights to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued at times backing into the ropes and countered Rodriguez well.
In the seventh round both boxers exchanged rights to the head. Carto landed several counter left’s to the body of Rodriguez. Rodriguez landed a short right to the chin of Carto. In the eighth and final round Carto countered a Rodriguez left with a combination to the head. Carto continues to impress with each fight.

“He was a tough fighter. I thought I got head butted in the sixth round. It was a tough fight but I’m learning”, said Carto. His trainer is Mickey Rosati, his brother Frankie is the assistant and manager while cut-man Joey Eye rounded out team Carto.

Judges had it 77-75 twice and 78-74 while this writer had it 80-72.

Super Lightweight Kent “The Puerto Rican Sensation” Cruz, 14-0-1 (9), of St. Louis, MO, and Mohamed Rodriguez, 11-4-1 (4), of San Luis Potosi, MEX, drew in a lack luster 8 rounds.
In the first round the boxers felt each other out as Cruz stalked Rodriguez landing an occasional jab. Rodriguez missed with a wild left hook. Cruz landed a partially blocked right to the head of Rodriguez. In the second round Rodriguez missed with a wild right. Cruz landed a double jab to the chin of Rodriguez. Cruz missed a right and was countered by a Rodriguez left hook to the chin. Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Cruz just prior to the end of the round.

In the third round Cruz threw a pair of left hooks with the second one landing on the chin of Rodriguez. In close Cruz landed a left hook to the head of Rodriguez. Rodriguez missed with 3 punches. In the fourth round little action continued with Cruz using his jab. Cruz received a warning for hitting the back of the head of Rodriguez. In the fifth round Rodriguez missed with a right while Cruz countered with a solid left hook to the chin of Rodriguez which was the best punch of the fight up until then.

In the sixth round Cruz continued using the jab. Cruz landed a right to the body of Rodriguez. Both boxers exchanged jabs to the mid-section. In the seventh round both landed left hooks to the head at the same time. Rodriguez continued to miss more than landing. In the eighth and final round Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Cruz and did a little dance. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the head of Cruz and missed with a second one.

The Judges had it 78-74 Cruz, 77-75 Rodriguez, and 76-76. This writer had it 77-75 Cruz. This entire fight was without anything to get the crowd into it.
Hot prospect Lightweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 7-0 (7), of Allentown, PA, stopped Jorge Hugo “Dandy” Padron, 3-2 (3), of Sonora, MEX, at 1:11 of the first round in a scheduled 6 rounds.

In the first round Adorno stalked Padron landing a solid left to the body. Seconds later Adorno landed a jab followed by a wicked right to the ribs of Padron dropping him to a knee and unable to continue. Adorn brought many fans from the Lehigh County with him.

Opening the event Super Welterweight Marcel Rivers, 5-0 (4), of Philadelphia, stopped Ronald Logan, 0-3 (0), of the Bronx, NY, at 0:40 of the second round of a scheduled 4 rounds.

In the first round Rivers landed the first solid punch a right to the head of Logan backing him up several steps. Shortly thereafter a Rivers right to the mid-section backed Logan up several steps. Rivers continued to stalk Logan. Logan threw an overhand right that missed while Rivers countered with a combination to the head of Logan. In the second round Rivers landed a solid left hook to the head of Logan who started to run backwards until he fell on his own. Referee Rosato ruled it a slip. Upon rising Logan started to limp and indicated he couldn’t continue forcing the referee to halt the fight.

Ring announcer Lupe Contreras is back in the east and doing his usual great job.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Valdez, Conlan, and Ramirez Entertain and Win


By: William Holmes

Tucson Arena in Tucson, Arizona was the host site for tonight’s broadcast of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN and featured two world title fights which featured two popular Mexican boxing stars.

The co-main event of the night was between Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and Jessie Hart for Ramirez’s WBO Super Middleweight Title and the main event was between Oscar Valdez and Genesis Servania for Valdez’s WBO Featherweight Title.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing

The undercard featured several up and coming prospects, including Irish Olympian Michael Conlan. Tonight’s card was supposed to start on ESPN, but the baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers ended later than expected and the fight card started on ESPN News.

Michael Conlan (3-0) opened up the telecast against Kenny Guzman (3-0) in the featherweight division in a six round bout.

Conlan has 340 fights as an amateur compared to 47 amateur fights for Kenny Guzman, who also works a full-time carpenter.

The first round was more of a feeling out round as Guzman was able to land some decent shots but Conlan was clearly the better technical boxer. Conlan switched to a southpaw stance midway through the first round with some moderate success.

Conlan switched back into an orthodox stance and was sitting on his punches more in the second round. Guzman’s left eye was showing signs of swelling and blood was coming from his nose as he was taking some heavy shots from Conlan. Conlan landed a heavy right hand in the final ten seconds of the second round that sent Guzman falling backwards to the mat. He was able to get back up before the count of ten but was still wobbly and the referee waived off the fight.

Michael Conlan wins by TKO at 2:59 of the second round.

The next fight of the night was for the WBO Super Middleweight Title between Jesse Hart (22-0) and Gilberto Ramirez (35-0).

Ramirez was slightly taller than Hart, who was active with his jab early on. Hart was very active while circling and was able to stay on the outside in the opening round.

Hart continued to stay active with his jab into the second round and appeared to be a little hesitant of Ramirez’s power. Hart had a habit of ducking his head low when he gets in tight and Ramirez was able to take advantage of that with a short right uppercut that sent Hart crashing to the mat. Hart was able to get back to his feet and survive the round, but he was badly hurt.

Hart had a decent third round and was given time to recover from a low blow by Ramirez, but Ramirez had an excellent fourth round and appeared close to stopping Jesse Hart several times during that round.

Ramirez kept up the pressure in the fourth and fifth rounds and was landing a high number of power shots. Hart was able to slip in a few shots of his own, but he also lost his balance several times in the corner of the ring.

Hart may have stolen some of the middle rounds from the sixth round to the ninth as he was able to land some decent counter shots and avoid getting hurt again. Hart had a very strong ninth round with good straight right hands, but Ramirez showed a strong chin and was able to continue to walk forward.

Both boxers left everything in the ring in the championship rounds with both boxers landing heavy blows and absorbing heavy punishment. But Ramirez ended the final round as the aggressor.

It was an entertaining and competitive bout. The judges scored it 115-112, 115-112, and 114-113 for Gilberto Ramirez.

The main event of the night was between Oscar Valdez (22-0) and Genesis Servania (29-0) for the WBO Featherweight Title.

Servania is a Filipino boxer who trains in Japan. This was his first professional fight outside of Asia.

Servania showed a lot of head movement early on and had some success with his left hook, but Valdez was far more active and was landing good shots to the body.

Valdez was in control in the second and third rounds and simply out landed the constantly coming forward Servania.

Servania was able to score a flash knockdown in the fourth round on Valdez as he was backing away with his hands down. Valdez was in some trouble at the end of the round when Servania was able to catch him off guard with a good combination.

Valdez turned the tide of the fight back in his favor in the fifth round when a clean left hook sent Servania crashing to the mat. Servania was able to get back to his feet and slug it out with Valdez as the round came to an end, but he was badly hurt.

Servania may have stolen the sixth round with a round ending combination, but Valdez outworked Servania for most of the round. Valdez appeared settled in the seventh round and was the more aggressive fighter.

Valdez’s body work won him the eighth round and he was cruising by the ninth. Sevania, to his credit, never stopped coming forward despite the constant barrage of punches.

Servania was reaching for his punches in the tenth and eleventh round and never had Valdez in trouble. Vadez just continued to pile up the points by throwing at Servania whenever he got in range.

The final round was exciting as Servania came right at Valdez to exchange to start the final round and took several risks throughout, but his punches just weren’t powerful enough to hurt Valdez or put him down again.

Oscar Valdez defends his title with scores of 116-110, 119-111, 117-109.

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Jesse “Hard Work” Hart’s Former Manager Speaks Out


By: Ken Hissner

On the eve of Philadelphia’s No. 1 WBO Contender Jesse “Hard Work” Hart’s world title challenge his former manager Dave Price spoke out to this writer. I put out a story prematurely before getting a response from Price knowing the two may have not been on speaking terms.

Price is a Philadelphia pastor who ran many amateur shows mainly at the 57th & Haverford Recreation Center where Mitch Allen runs the gymnasium and where his great grandson Damon Allen, 13-0-1 who is signed with Golden Boy Promotions trains.

When Hart turned professional Price and Doc Nowicki teamed up creating D&D Management. Price was the manager and Nowicki the promoter of record though they went to Top Rank to handle Hart’s main business. Word was Philly PPV promoter Joe Hand, Sr. had been offered a piece of the action but turned it down. Hart goes between Hand’s gym where his father Eugene “Cyclone” Hart the former knockout artist trains him. For the record this writer has been barred since day one from Hand’s gym. Hart also has main trainer Fred Jenkins, Sr., who runs the gym at 26th & Master’s Recreation Center in the corner. Jenkins is a well-respected person and trainer and recent PA BHOF inductee.

Being told from an undisclosed source Price and Hart were not on speaking terms anymore I failed to get an opinion from Price which was this writer’s error. When I had my article on Hart already submitted Price got back to me and said he had sent a comment that I failed to put up which was true. Price had this to say about Hart: We are very disappointed Jesse Hart did not choose to resign with us. We (Nowicki) guided him for his entire professional career point but nothing lasts forever. We were scheduled to have this fight in June of 2016 and Ramirez (WBO super middleweight champion) withdrew. I think this, Jesse and his team have devised a great game plan and he will show he is head and shoulders above the skill level of Gilberto Ramirez (WBO Super middleweight champion). If he is able to win this fight and with the departure of Andre Ward and a much improved Badu Jack, Jesse will be poised to become a super star in the middleweight division.

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Philly’s Jesse “Hard Work” Hart – Put up or Shut Up Friday


By: Ken Hissner

This Friday over ESPN former Philly 2012 Olympic alternate Jesse “Hard Work” Hart brings his 22-0 (18) record to the Convention Center in Tucson, AZ, challenging WBO Super middleweight champion Mexican southpaw Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, 35-0 (24).

Both boxers are promoted by Top Rank who along with Peltz Boxing and Zapari Boxing Promotions. This will be the second defense by Ramirez who won the title in April of 2016. Hart had been managed by D&D Promotions with Doc Nowicki and Dave Price for his entire professional career whose contract ran out recently. There was no comment’s from neither one to this writer upon asking them. Nowicki along with Jim Williams had Mike Jones right up to a title fight when he turned on both of his co-managers insisting they not be in the locker room or on the flight. Jones lost twice in a row and hasn’t pick many fights. The following are some of the comments from Philly area people:

“Only that Jesse is one of the hardest working, most focused fighters I know. He puts 110% into every work out,” said Frank Conto. Conto’s son one of the top amateurs in the country is a regular sparring partner of Hart’s.

Another comment from IBHOF promoter and co-promoter of Friday’s event, “It’s a question of whether or not Jesse’s intensity can last 12 rounds if he has to,” said J Russell Peltz. “Very very hot fight in Tucson Friday night. Jesse Hart promises to win as does Zurdo. Jesse says he is a Philly fighter like his father “Cyclone” and this will be a total action title fight.

“Zurdo” a great champion and is irritated with Hart’s pre-fight fireworks and says he will drive Hart straight down into the canvas,” said Lee Samuels, PR for Top Rank.

From Fight News writer, “If Jesse Hart can win the world title, he has the potential to be a true super star. He has the charisma, the personality and the smile of a true celebrity,” said John DiSanto (Philly Boxing History).

“Jesse has been able to stay focused throughout his illustrious amateur career all the way to his first world title fight. Winning the WBO Super middleweight title fight can be the best way he can honor his father, legendary Philly middleweight Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and pay homage to his trainer the great Fred Jenkins, Sr.,” said George Hanson.

“The belt is coming back to Philadelphia, the Capitol of Boxing. Gilberto is going down faster than the Titanic,” said George Hanson.

Hart is a very outspoken individual and was hard to pin down at the most recent boxing event in Philly. His trainer Fred Jenkins, Sr., had this to say “He has gone through trials and tribulations and is ready to go 12 rounds if needed,” said Jenkins.

KEN HISSNER: It’s been 5 years since getting short changed from the 2012 Olympic boxing team while fighting on even terms at the Olympic trials when he drew with now unbeaten middleweight Terrell Gausha, 20-0 (9), and split with Luis Arias, 12-0 (9) earlier in his career. You were out voted by 3-2 at the trials after becoming held to a points tie. Has this helped your drive to a championship?

JESSE HART: Yes it has.

KEN HISSNER: Who will be in your corner Friday?

JESSE HART: My father (Cyclone Hart), Fred Jenkins Sr and William Chivas.

KEN HISSNER: Do you think Top Rank who promotes both you and Zurdo held this title fight up?

JESSE HART: Yes I do.

KEN HISSNER: Any predictions?

JESSE HART: No.

Hart is flamboyant and a “Monster” in the gym I am told. His showings as a professional have not been sensational so for his sake hopefully it will all be on the line Friday. The “Philly Jinx” continues with no world champion’s today so possibility that will all change come Friday night! Ramirez hasn’t exactly been a world beater since winning the title. Both Hart and Ramirez have had hand injuries cutting down on their activity since 2016.

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Philly’s Jesse Hart a No. 1 WBO Super Middleweight Contender Awaiting His Turn at Title Fight!


Philly’s Jesse Hart No. 1 WBO Super Middleweight Contender Awaiting His Turn at Title Fight!
By: Ken Hissner

The No. 1 WBO Super Middleweight contender Jesse “Hard Work” Hart, 21-0 (17), comes from a boxing blood line following in his father Eugene “Cyclone” Harts, 30-9-1 (28) legacy in Philadelphia! The elder Hart won his first nineteen bouts by knockout! In his twenty-second fight he fought Denny Moyer and both fell out of the ring and ruled a No Contest in 6 rounds. Moyer was knocked down in the first round.

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When the son of the “Cyclone” turned professional in June of 2012 the concern of this writer was he would try to top that knockout record of his father instead of using all of his boxing skills. His knockout streak was stopped after his fourth fight fortunately. In a rematch he stopped that opponent. He has worked his way to rankings in the WBA No. 10, IBF No. 5 and WBC No. 13 besides the top ranking in the WBO a title held by Mexico’s Gilbert “Zurdo” Ramirez, 30-0 (24), who won the title in April of 2016 winning all twelve rounds over champion Arthur Abraham, 44-4 in Las Vegas, NV.
Southpaw Ramirez has not defended his title going on a year. He recently suffered a hand injury and was to fight on the Pacquaio-Horn card per Top Rank Promotions who represents both Ramirez and Hart. Ramirez didn’t fight in the US until 2013. His last eight bouts have been in the US except for one in China winning the NABF title over Australian Junior Talipeau in 2014. Winning the North American Boxing Federation title against an Australian in China? Go figure!

Hart won the 2011 Golden Gloves title qualifying him for the 2012 Olympic Team. He went to Europe and lost in quarter finals. So upon his return in the Boxing Trials he won his first four matches before meeting Terrell Gausha whom he lost to in the 2009 GG finals by DQ in the 3rd round. The bout in the 2012 Trials ended 10-10, 34-34 count back with Gausha getting the 3-2 vote from the officials. Gausha would win his first bout in the 2012 Olympics in London before losing his next bout against a boxer from India. It is this writers opinion at 6:03 Hart would have been a better choice of the voters to represent the USA team. Gausha is out of Cleveland, OH, and 16-0 (9) as a professional.
In the Trials Hart defeated four boxers who are all now professionals. First Chris Pearson, 14-1 (10), of Trotwood, OH, d’Mitrius Ballard, 15-0 (11), of Temple Hills, MD, Antonine Douglas, 19-1-1 (13), Burke, VA, and Luis Arias, 16-0 (8), Milwaukee, WI, who holds the USBA middleweight title. That is quite a line-up of boxers Hart had defeated to get to the finals.

Hart was 85-11 as an amateur wining the US Nationals and as before mentioned the National Golden Gloves titles in 2011. He is 27 and has fought in his hometown three times. He only had two fights in 2016 due to a hand injury. In his last fight he stopped Andrew Hernandez, 16-4-1, winning the vacant NABF super middleweight title and defending his USBA title. Hernandez had a six fight winning streak stopped including a win over Russian Arif Magomedov, 17-0. That title he won in May of 2015 stopping Mike Jimenez, 17-0, in Las Vegas, NV. He defended the title in September of 2015 defeating the son of Hall of Fame boxer Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Aaron Pryor, Jr., 19-8-1, by stoppage in Las Vegas. Hart has fought in Las Vegas seven times. He has fought in Atlantic City, NJ, six times,

Hart was signed to a manager’s contract in July of 2014 with Dave Price and promotional contract with “Doc” Nowicki and Top Rank. They also have Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster, 22-1 (11), of Glassboro, NJ. His record was 38-2 in the amateurs losing to Hart twice.

Through Dave Price and Doc Nowicki this writer was able to get Hart to answer the following questions:

KEN HISSNER: I’ve known you for some time. The first time I saw you box is when you defeated Derrick Webster in an amateur tournament in Philly. I also saw you in New York win against a team from China. I believe your father and Fred Jenkins, Sr. train you now. Didn’t Chip Hart train you for a time in the amateurs?

JESSE HART: Yes my brother did train me for some time. I then went to Northern Michigan where I trained with Al Mitchell at the Olympic Development Center.

KEN HISSNER: I knew you spent time at the Northern Michigan University under Philadelphia’s Al Mitchell. How was it living away from home?

JESSE HART: Living away from was good in the sense it was like being in camp full time. I didn’t have the distraction of the street life and all it brings.

KEN HISSNER: I believe you divide your training between two gyms in Philly, the ABC Rec Center and Joe Hand’s Gym. Do you go away to a training camp for a bout and if yes where?

JESSE HART: Yes I train between ABC with Fred Jenkins and at Joe Hand’s with Danny Davis. Both trainers bring a uniqueness to their approach. Fred is an old school technician and disciplined boxing trainer but Danny brings his own style of modern pad work, strength work and he is an excellent wrapper of hands. I generally hold my camps at home but I have had camps where I physically left my home and stayed off site, trained at Joe Hand’s or ABC and then returned with my team to a selected location.

KEN HISSNER: What were your feelings when you fought Terrell Gausha in the Olympic Trials to a 10-10 decision and were not chosen for the 2012 USA Olympic team?

JESSE HART: It wasn’t that I wasn’t chosen or selected to represent the USA Team. I beat everyone in the double elimination Olympic Box-Off. That means I had to beat everybody and then fight the winner of the loser’s bracket and then beat him again. I did just that but after qualifying in the first of three tournaments overseas I was told that for the first time ever the USA Boxing would conduct something called the Re-Load. Basically then combined the national tournament with another box-off and I lost a tie breaker to Terrell. He then qualified in a second qualifier but keep in mind the top four in the division had already moved on. That left a bitter taste in my mouth but it doesn’t break you it makes you stronger

KEN HISSNER: I know you had a hand injury operated on. How is that hand at this time?

JESSE HART: My hand is 100%. I have a great surgeon who did a great job and I have fought since then with no problems.

KEN HISSNER: You are ranked No. 1 in the WBO. Have you seen the WBO champion Ramirez and if yes what is your opinion of him?

JESSE HART: Ramirez is a good fighter maybe even very good but he hasn’t fought the likes of Jesse Hart. I love that fight for Top rank, my fans and my team. That’s when the world will see that I am a bonafide super star.

KEN HISSNER: Do you have a time table when you want to fight for the WBO title if not now?

JESSE HART: I wanted to fight Ramirez in January of 2017. My management team contacted me and told me it should happen and I was hurt it didn’t but not really surprised. Ramirez wants to hold onto that title as long as he can.

KEN HISSNER: In your last seven fights only Dashon Johnson has gone the distance with you in Philly. There was talk of a rematch. Is that still in the works?

JESSE HART: Dashon Johnson was a good tough opponent and it goes to show you that when people fight Jesse Hart they train like they never done before. He came to fight, fought and lost. He gave it all against the champ and came up short. This Isn’t Rocky or the movie creed. You have to earn your shots at the champ. I don’t know maybe if his real name was Mayweather or Ward we could build another fight around that.

KEN HISSNER: WBC champion Badou Jack after drawing with IBF champion James DeGale vacated his title to move up to light heavyweight. Did you see the fight and if you did being ranked No. 5 in the IBF would you like to fight DeGale for his title?

JESSE HART: I would love to fight DeGale. Man I really wanted to fight Jack but he moved up. Anyone at 168lbs can get it and once I run through this super middleweight division who knows.

KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.

JESSE HART: I would like to thank all the fans, Bob Arum, Top Rank, my management team Doc Nowicki and Dave Price and Team Hart: Cyclone, Fred Jenkins, Danny Davis, Hundew McDonald and slick Rick.

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