Jay Harris’ goal both in and out of the ring is to make sure the customer is happy. This time, however, he is looking to get a win for himself in prime fashion.
The 29-year-old Harris (17-0) is set to face Julio Cesar Martinez for the WBC Flyweight Title this weekend, February 29. Inside the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, Harris will be making his United States debut. This is also one of the first times he leaving his other job for a long period of time.
While be fights, Harris also works at an Amazon warehouse in Wales. It is a two-day-a-week job that’s salary is not close to Canelo Alvarez’s $365 million with DAZN. The balancing of the schedule is never fun, but Harris manages.
“I’ve been working at amazon.co.uk for about eight years and trying to juggle boxing and work at the same time can be very tiring,” said Harris. “I was full time at the start and working nightshifts, so 6.45pm start through to 5.15am and I was trying to train twice a day as well. That was very tiring but after a while I was fighting more regularly so I dropped to just doing Thursday and Friday nights for the past four years.
“Luckily for me, they have given me two months off for this fight but with the Paddy Barnes and the Angel Moreno fights I was still juggling work and training. It can be really hard, but I can’t afford to give up my job – so this fight could change my life forever.”
A Commonwealth Flyweight and IBF-Intercontinental Championship, Harris likes the idea of a world title changing his life. He won his last bout and the IBF belt against Paddy Barnes back in October via KO. It was a win that helped him out when the Commonwealth Title wasn’t opening the door.
“After I won the Commonwealth title in 2017 the fights just dried up and I had to think hard about my future, because I could earn more money from working than fighting,” Harris continued. “Luckily, I managed to get on some small hall shows and run my contract down with Frank Warren and I then signed with MTK.
“I really seriously thought about walking away though, but I have good friends and family around me and a good manager, they talked me into sticking with it and to see what happens, and from where I was 18 months ago to where I am now, it’s all been an absolute dream.”
Harris has worked night shifts and works around time with his family, which he believes has been an important factor in staying sane.
A win against Martinez (15-1, 1NC) would be a big step in the right direction. After losing the first fight of his pro career in 2015, Martinez has not lost a bout. He beat Andrew Selby in March, landed a no-contest against Charlie Edwards and beat Cristofer Rosales back in December for the vacant WBO Flyweight Title.
Looking to defend the title for the first time, Martinez’s job is to end Harris’ Cinderella story. Harris, however, is ready to keep his story going for just a bit longer.
“Looking back at the times I thought about quitting, it’s all been worth it listening to the people that have talked me round, look where I am now,” Harris stated. “It will change my life forever, it will give my family a better future, and that’s the main thing really.”
Martinez v. Harris highlights a card on DAZN that’s main event is Jessie Vargas v. Mikey Garcia.