Hart Tempted to Show Power vs. Smith Jr.
Everyone from his trainer to his idol, Bernard Hopkins, is encouraging Jesse Hart to not make his bout with Joe Smith Jr. a brawl, and instead, he should fight a tactical, calculated fight. And Hart is tired of hearing about it.
The pair’s light heavyweight bout headlines a Top Rank Boxing card on Saturday at the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The two have a bit of a grudge as a result of Smith sending Hopkins into retirement with a knockout a little over three years ago.
Hart is considered the favorite in the battle of two contenders vying for potentially one more chance at major boxing gold. Critics and analysts, however, have mostly declared Smith as the more powerful puncher of the two — and that leaves the Philadelphia native a very unhappy man.
Hart says he feels obligated to give the boxing fans an entertaining show and the more he hears how he needs to be cautious and analytical in the ring, the more he gets tempted to abandon that gameplan. He feels, eventually, he will give in to that during the bout.
“My trainer’s telling me to box. Bernard’s telling me to box. Everybody can tell you, but if someone tests you as a man, I can prove it to him that I can punch,” Hart said. “We’re gonna have to see. I know I can punch. He knows he can punch. But everybody keeps saying, ‘Oh, Jesse, box him.’
I’m feeling like my power is not being taken serious here. I’ve got power. I’ve got more knockouts than him. How’s my power not taken serious here? You know what I mean? I’m starting to feel like that, even being a 4-1 favorite, even though I don’t get caught up in all that.
“People keep continuing to say that, ‘Oh, Jesse, just box and it’ll be an easy night. But if you don’t, he’s a hard man,’” Hart said. “It’s like, ‘I’ve got power, too. You forgot?’ Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves and forget that Jesse has a right hand and a left hook that’s devastating, too. Don’t keep saying that.”
Original Story: Boxing Scene