At the age of 28, Jesse is a five-year pro. A talented young contender at 168 pounds, he is a former amateur standout – 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.
In his last fight on September 22 in Tucson, Arizona, he challenged WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto Ramirez for the title – Jesse gave a tremendous effort in an exciting fight, but lost a close 12-round unanimous decision.
Jesse boxed well and swept the first round on all three scorecards, but had to overcome early adversity – Ramirez scored a knockdown with a right hook in the second round, rocked Jesse several more times before the bell, and dominated the early rounds. Ramirez won the third round on two scorecards and swept the fourth and fifth rounds.
But Jesse showed tremendous determination and conditioning and had several rallies in the middle and late rounds. The momentum shifted back and forth – Jesse swept the sixth round, Ramirez swept the seventh round, then Jesse came back and won the eighth round on two scorecards. Ramirez won the ninth round on two scorecards, but Jesse rallied again, rocked Ramirez several times and won the 10th round on two scorecards, then swept the 11th. Both went all-out in the 12th round, but Ramirez won the round on two scorecards, and won by scores of 115-112, 115-112, 114-113.
Secondsout.com’s Ron Valderrama reported from ringside [excerpts]: Ramirez went to work early, scoring a knockdown in round two. Hart was stunned, but beat the count and bounced back with tremendous heart. With an amazing chin, Hart fired back, refusing to cave although taking an onslaught of piercing blows.
As the fight entered the later rounds, Hart had success working Ramirez on the inside, landing some clean and crisp uppercuts.
The action was toe-to-toe, Hart having a good round eleven, rocking Ramirez with some heavy-handed punches. In the final round, it was nothing but pure action, Hart landing, then Ramirez landing … truly a great fight to watch.
Simply said, this fight was a barn burner. [End Valderrama item]
Regarding his training, Jesse said in an earlier interview, “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.
“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.”