Jesse Hart: "I just turned down going to China on the Pacquiao card" - Philly's Next Super Star? Yes, per His Promoter Top Rank's Bob Arum! (Interview)
Doghouse Boxing
Doghouse Boxing's Home Page On The Ropes Radio - Home Page Dog Pound Message Boards Boxing Interviews Today's Boxing Press Archives by Chee Team Contact & Advertising Info
Jesse Hart Interview - Philly's Next Super Star? Yes, per His Promoter Top Rank's Bob Arum
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Nov 12, 2013)

Jesse “Hard Work” Hart
Photo © Chris Robinson -
The day before Philly’s Jesse “Hard Work” Hart was about to receive Philly’s “Briscoe Award” for being the “Rookie of the Year”, he was in Las Vegas with his promoter Top Rank’s Bob Arum for the Bradley-Marquez fight. They put a broadcast thru the next day to the Award’s show. Arum told Hart he wants him to be a super star! A Philly super star! This writer informed Hart during a recent interview “you are not the puncher your dad (Cyclone Hart) was, but a much better all around boxer”. He smiled.

When it was announced in 2011 that Hart, the Golden Gloves champion had made the Olympic team for the 2012 Olympics in London, the fans in Philly were congratulating him knowing he belonged there. With a loss on a trip to Azerbayan for the world championships Hart found himself returning to the US to meet Terrell Gausha to “stay on the team”. The results were even to the point of punches landed. Then 3 of the 5 judges ended the hopes of Hart sending Gausha to the Olympics where he lost in his second fight 16-15 to an opponent from India after defeating an opponent from Armenia.

Hart didn’t know if he would ever lace up the gloves again with the end of a dream to make it to the Olympics. He had the advantage of his father Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, Fred Jenkins and Al Mitchell in his one year he spent at Northern Michigan before the program ended and back to Jenkins upon returning to Philly. “Fred would train me when I was in Philly. When I went to tournaments my dad and Al would be in my corner,” said Hart.

I saw Hart defeat Hanting Zhang of the Chinese team in the 165 division 15-7 in a US - Chinese team match in October 2010 in New York. Hart’s win gavehis team a 5-3 lead that would end up a 6-5 loser. While Mitchell was on the side of Chinese coaching staff, Hart’s father was an assistant in his corner. This didn’t stop Hart from winning big over his opponent and the future looked brighter than ever.

Hart is well known in the Philly gyms and has had a real fan following in both the amateur’s and the professional’s. He has a very outgoing personality at 24 and signed with D&D Management headed by Dave Price and Doc Nowicki. They have 7 boxers together compiling a 44-1 record with 28 knockouts. Price is also a minister and Nowicki had other boxers like Mike “MJ” Jones and Teon Kennedy with Jim Williams before joining Price.

Jesse “Hard Work” Hart is a genetic anomaly – standing 6:03 he towers over the super middleweight division and packs dynamite in both hands. The 23 year-old pugilist had a meteoric rise through the amateurs – winning several national championships before signing with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc. – joining the punch for-pay-ranks. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree – it fell right under it as the younger Hart is a one-man wrecking crew, wreaking havoc, leaving hapless bodies in the ring reminiscent of dear old dad,” said George Hanson, Jr., - The Mouthpiece.

Harts father Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and Fred Jenkins, Sr. handle the training. “Cyclone” was 30-9-1 (28), having started his career with 19 straight knockouts. In his 41 bout career he fought 37 of his fights in Philly. That’s what you call a Philly fighter. Jenkins has run the boxing program for many years out of the ABC Recreation Gym in North Philly. IBF lightweight champion Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown and Olympic Gold Medalist and world light middleweight champion David Reid were 2 of his fighters. Today he has unbeaten heavyweight Bryant “By By” Jennings, one of the top contenders.

“He (Hart) has the potential to be a world champ. He’s still learning his trade and listening like he does everything should work out for him,” said Fred Jenkins.

D& D signed Hart with Top Rank and he made his debut in June of 2012 stopping Manuel Eastman in 0:33 of the first round. This was on the Pacquiao-Bradley undercard in Las Vegas. Fellow Philly boxers Mike Jones and Teon Kennedy lost that night but Hart brought home the victory. He made his Philly area debut the following month at Bally’s in Atlantic City stopping Steven Chadwick in 2:38 of the first round on a Peltz Boxing promotion.

Jesse and Dad, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart
Jesse & Dad, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart.
In September Hart knocked out Lekan Byfield in 0:48 of the first round at Harrah’s in Chester, on a Joey Eye boxing card just outside of Philly. Byfield since has defeated the previously unbeaten Isiah Seldon, then 7-0, and son of former world heavyweight champion Bruce “Atlantic City Express” Seldon.

Hart and I had a running disagreement because I would say “when are you going to fight someone with a winning record?” He would reply “I don’t pick the opponents!” “Brad Goodman of Top Rank picks them and I’m always trying to get Jesse opponents with winning records,” said Nowicki. With Hart’s win over 2-1-1 Byfield he remarked “how was that one over a winning opponent?” In November it was back to Las Vegas stopping Joshua Meyers who was making his debut in the third round.

I attended Hart’s fights with Chadwick and Byfield and was concerned he was trying to chase his father’s record of 19 straight knockouts at the beginning of his career. The son is a more complete all around boxer but though a good puncher, not as devastating as his father’s left hook. My concern is he will start going for knockouts and forget about all the God given tools he has.

Leave it up to J. Russell Peltz the promoter for Hart’s next fight when he brought in Steven Tyner, who had a losing record like 3 of the 4 previous Hart opponents but a tough kid who was determined to hang in there. It would be Harts Philly debut at the Temple University McGonigle Hall on Broad Street. Hart dropped Tyner in the first round and it looked like it was all over. Tyner picked himself up from the canvas and though taking a beating lasted the 4 round distance losing 40-34, 40-35 twice on the scorecards.

Hart seemed upset leaving the ring and I remember saying as he passed by “it’s the best thing that could have happened going the distance”. The reply in his face was not one of agreement but disappointment. In a recent fight he got a rematch with Tyner who came in on short notice and his stay in the ring was even shorter being stopped at 1:22 of the first round after 3 knockdowns in August at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA.

It would be 4 months before Hart’s next fight when he traveled to Radio City Music Hall, in NY under the Donaire-Rigondeaux main event. His opponent was Marlon Farr, 2-2, of FL, in his first scheduled 6. Hart stopped Farr in the third round. In June it was back to Bally’s in Atlantic City stopping Thomas Turner, 3-3, at 2:15 of the first round. In July he defeated Eddie Hunter, 7-10-2 in 2 rounds at the Texas Station Casino, in Las Vegas. Julio Garcia with a winning record was the original opponent.

Hart is now 10-0 (9), after stopping Terrance Wilson at Bally’s in Atlantic City on September 28th in 1:59 of the first round. “We want to move Jesse to an 8 rounder and would like his competition to move up. The problem is no one locally and few nationally fighters want to fight him. We argue with Top Rank all the time to get him someone tougher,” said Nowicki. And you know J. Russell Peltz does not want him or any of his boxers in easy.

I was able to do a Q&A with Hart at a press conference in Philly recently:

KEN HISSNER: From your professional debut I have been bugging you about fighting opponents with winning records. They may not be as tough but it looks good on your record. Does Top Rank pick your opponents or does J. Russell Peltz when you fight for him?

Top Rank’s Brad Goodman picks them.

KEN HISSNER: You made the Olympic team but lost in the world championships only to come back to the US and again fight Terrell Gausha to a complete stand still on points. Then 3 of the 5 judges picked him. Were you devastated?

I believe it was due to my coach Al Mitchell at Northern Michigan helping out with the Chinese team that the USA Boxing held it against me and all of his fighters.

KEN HISSNER: Gausha’s had 6 winning fights against 4 with losing records. He decisioned Lekan Byfield after you stopped Byfield in 0:48. The other Olympians are doing the same. I want you to be different. As far as I am concerned you were the best 165 pound amateur in the country. You’ve sparred with professionals for years. I believe Top Rank has to step up the competition. I don’t mean to push you too fast at 24 but you have worlds of talent that the country and the world needs to see. How do you feel about your progress?

My team is doing a good job. Bob Arum wants me to be a super star.

KEN HISSNER: In the beginning of your career did you feel any pressure on trying to beat your father’s 19 straight knockouts at the beginning of his career?

Yes I did. I’m glad the pressure is off now with one decision win.

KEN HISSNER: I know you have had your father, Fred Jenkins and Al Mitchell in your corner. Has Fred and your father now settled in as who is in your corner along with Danny Davis?

Yes. Danny is my strength and condition coach along with wrapping my hands and does a great job.

KEN HISSNER: I understand you are training at the gym I am “barred” from. I don’t want to give him any free publicity so I won’t mention the name. Are you going to settle in there?

I train at Fred Jenkins ABC gym in North Philly.

KEN HISSNER: Philly’s Charles “The Hatchet” Brewer was the USBA Champ in 1995 and the IBF super middleweight champ back in 1997 defending his title 3 times before losing back to back split decisions to Germany’s Sven Ottke who retired unbeaten. What overseas experiences have you had besides the world championships in 2010 if any?

Azerbaijan, Italy, China and Great Britain. I just turned down going to China on the Pacquiao card and fight December 7th at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City against Tyrell Hendrix. (10-2-2)

KEN HISSNER: Who are some of the professional boxers you have sparred with over the years?

There are almost too many to say but Kassim Ouma, Yusaf Mack, Dhafir Smith, Demitrius Hopkins and Gabe Rosado to name a few.

Video Description: Philadelphia's Jesse Hart inside the Mayweather Boxing Club
Video © Chris Robinson /
KEN HISSNER: When I first saw you on YouTube in a gym setting you struck me as a personality that reminded me of a young Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali without too much of the boasting! I realize there was only one Ali but you seem to do yours in a real fun way with that personality of yours. Was this your personality growing up?

Yes. I had 3 brothers and 3 sisters to follow.

KEN HISSNER: You spent one year at Northern Michigan University before the program shut down. How was your experience there under head coach Al Mitchell?

Wonderful. Not only teaching boxing but by doing good in school in order to be allowed to box.

KEN HISSNER: What boxers growing up were some of your favorites?

My favorite was Roy Jones, Jr.! Tthen others like Mike Tyson (who he met in Vegas), Henry Armstrong, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Willie Pep and of course Muhammad Ali.

KEN HISSNER: Where do you hope to be a year from now in your career?

That’s up to Top Rank.

KEN HISSNER: You made a bold move signing with Dave Price and Doc Nowicki who signed you up with Top Rank as your promoter. I gather you have known J Russell Peltz who works with Top Rank on your fights in the east over the years with your father being promoted by him in numerous fights. How’s your relationship with Mr. Peltz as you refer to him?

He got my dad known around the world which helped me when I turned professional.

KEN HISSNER: From watching you in the amateurs and in the professional ranks I believe you have all the tools to be a world champion. Keep your head on tight and out of trouble and it’s yours down the line. In addition you have a personality that the fans around the world will love when they get to see you as the fans in Philly have over the years. How have you handled your success so far as a professional?

Great! I’m down to earth. I feel in sports I’m better than anybody. I work hard and strive to be the best.

KEN HISSNER: You recently received the “Rookie of the Year” award at the Briscoe Awards but were in Las Vegas for Bradley-Marquez fight. Bob Arum had the two of you aired in by satellite. Your dad was there to get the award. How did you feel about receiving this award?

Great. It’s an honor getting an award in Philly.

KEN HISSNER: I know you are a strong believer in our creator. What part does God play in your life inside and outside of the ring?

The biggest part. Without God I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now.

KEN HISSNER: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview.

I enjoyed doing it Ken.
Ken Hissner responds to all his emails at:

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2013