At the age of 28, Jesse is a five-year pro. A talented young contender at 168 pounds – ranked No. 1 by the WBO – he is a former amateur standout: Jesse was a gold medalist at the 2011 U.S. National Championships and National Golden Gloves Championships.
He comes from a strong family boxing tradition – Jesse is the son of former middleweight contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, who fought the best in his division and retired in 1982 with a record of 30-9-1, 28 KOs. Jesse’s uncle and his father’s uncle and a cousin were also boxers.
Jesse stayed active with three fights in 2015 and two in 2016, and made good progress – he stepped up to 10-round status for the first time, stepped up his level of opposition, and gave impressive performances. He fought two times in 2017.
He challenged WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto Ramirez for the title on September 22, 2017 – Jesse gave a strong effort, but lost a very close 12-round unanimous decision.
In his last fight on February 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas, he won by first-round TKO against Thomas Awimbono. The scheduled 10-rounder was on the undercard of the Gilberto Ramirez vs. Habib Ahmed main event.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Super middleweight contender Jesse Hart scored a first-round knockout of Thomas Awimbono, who had never previously been stopped.
The fight was in the light heavyweight division because Awimbono was way overweight at 179.5 pounds, but Hart blew him away in his first fight since an action-packed unanimous decision loss challenging Gilberto Ramirez for his world title on Sept. 22.
Hart dropped Awimbono with a right hand to the body midway through the round. Moments later Hart unloaded a five-punch combination to drop Awimbono again, and [the] referee stopped the bout at 1 minute, 28 seconds.
Hart was fighting for only the second time without his father in his corner because he was in Philadelphia under the weather. [End Rafael item]
In his post-fight interview, Jesse said that he wants the rematch with Ramirez: “I want that rematch as bad as I can taste it. I can’t sleep knowing that loss is on my mind. I have to avenge that one. I want him. My eyes are locked on him.”
In an earlier interview, Jesse said, “There’s a lot of good fighters in Philly for sparring, but the type of work that I bring, people don’t want to do it. They feel like it’s a fight when I’m sparring, so we do have to bring guys in.
“My dad don’t baby me in sparring with guys I can get over on. He brings in guys that can push me to the limit – we work with top-notch guys, guys that don’t care about your name or none of that. My dad brings in guys that don’t care about anything – they want to fight in a sparring session.
“My father – with my pro career, he’s growing not only as a father but as a trainer. Before it was just ‘do it his way,’ but now he trusts some of my decisions, my instincts in the ring. My dad is going to be one of the best trainers in boxing, not only in Philadelphia, but the world.”
Jesse used the nickname “Hollywood” Hart at his last fight, but was known before that as “Hard Work” Hart. He said, “My nickname just carried over from going from gym to gym, city to city. Every coach I ever train with always say, ‘Yo, man, you’re the hardest working dude I’ve ever seen.’ Coach Al Mitchell – he said I was the hardest working fighter he ever had in Marquette, Michigan. All the gyms I go to always say that – ‘This boy, man, he don’t stop.’ My coaches now say they always have to pull me back. My dad say that, too, ’cause I burn myself out in the gym. I leave it all in the gym. So, I just ran with that.”
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Jesse said, “I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I’ve got three brothers and three sisters. One of my brothers was shot and killed – that was in 2010. It was very hard to get over that. My dad, Eugene Hart, was a middleweight contender. He’s a full-time trainer now. Boxing’s on both sides of my family. It’s big – it’s tradition! My uncle on my dad’s side, he was a fighter, too. He fought amateur. His name is Alfred Lowrey. And my dad’s uncle was a fighter, too. His name was Jimmy Hart. On my mom’s side, I had another cousin that boxed, Rick Williams.
“My dad took me to the gym when he would train. I started boxing when I was seven years old. He started me off in the kitchen – he drew a line in the kitchen for my feet so I would get the traditional stance. I’m naturally right-handed.
“I think I had about 90, 95 amateur fights. I had nine losses.”…
Jesse and his wife, Starletta Hart, have a five-year-old daughter named Halo, born on August 2, 2012…