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JESSE HART RECALLS ADVICE BERNARD HOPKINS GAVE HIM; PUTS 168 CHAMPIONS ON NOTICE: "I PUNCH VERY, VERY HARD"

By Percy Crawford | May 17, 2018
JESSE HART RECALLS ADVICE BERNARD HOPKINS GAVE HIM; PUTS 168 CHAMPIONS ON NOTICE:

“I had to be stern and I had to put more pressure on him. He’s never faced that kind of pressure before. He’s never been under that kind of fire. He’s never faced a bigger man and a bigger puncher. He felt power in there. A lot of people don’t know, they think on the outside looking in that I don’t punch that hard, but I punch very, very hard,” stated super middleweight contender Jesse Hart, who talked about his latest victory, his future plans, and more. Check it out!

PC: You knew it wouldn’t be easy, but you got the job done against Demond Nicholson. You got him out of there in the 7th round. Tell us about it. 

JH: Well, first of all I want to thank God for the victory and thank God for both of us coming out safe and unharmed, and he went back to his family healthy and I came back to my family healthy. But Demond Nicholson was a very game fighter. I can say that, he was game. Just by looking at his record, I knew he wasn’t a cake walk. I knew he wasn’t somebody to play with in there. You had to really take him serious. Like I said, when I got caught in the first round, he let me know that when he caught me with that little right hand. He hit me with that fast right hand and it let me know that he was there to win. He wasn’t there to play with me. That gave me a sense of urgency to kick into that next gear. Sometimes you need something to kick into that next gear when certain things are coming easy. But I take nothing away from Demond. He was a good fighter, but what I needed to beat him, I had to be stern and I had to put more pressure on him. He’s never faced that kind of pressure before. He’s never been under that kind of fire. He’s never faced a bigger man and a bigger puncher. He felt power in there. A lot of people don’t know, they think on the outside looking in that I don’t punch that hard, but I punch very, very hard. I think when he felt that, he knew like, “Hold up, let me slow down my pace.” And, once I got him slowing down his pace and slowing down his punches, after he hit me with that first right hand in that first round, you didn’t see another right hand again. He started to second-guess himself because I punch back. 

PC: Now you gotta think about it before you throw it. 

JH: Right! “Do I really want to take a risk, because if I take a risk, Jesse might hit me with something and get me out of here? Let me just stay safe.” He went back to trying to fight behind his jab as opposed to launching right hands. 

PC: You said pre-fight that if you give Demond any kind of confidence, he builds off of that, but if you apply pressure and establish yourself, he starts to wilt. Did you sense that?

JH: Absolutely! Everything I say, I believe. I knew that watching his Steve Ross fight. You get him in the hole, you gotta keep him in the hole. You can’t give him a little bit of light. If he gets a little bit of light, the sun is going to shine on his ass. You know how they say, “Every dog has it’s day where the sun shines on their ass.” Demond is that type of fighter. If you give him a little bit of light, he will shine. So you gotta keep him in that hole and make it dark for him. That was my game plan. A lot of people say, “You fought sloppy.” No, I fought that way; if you noticed, I boxed. I set it up by boxing. I’m a boxer. Then I realized, if I keep boxing and the pace is going too slow, he’s going to gain confidence and feel like he’s supposed to be there. 

PC: When he caught you with the right hand at the end of the first round, was that a matter of him just catching you with a good shot? Were things going to smoothly for you? Why do you feel he was able to land that shot?

JH: I got lackadaisical at the end of the round. That’s what it was. When I heard the 10-second clapper, I relaxed. I took it easy. But if you look at the tape, the bell went “ding” and he threw the right hand just as the bell was sounding. I knew the bell had sounded, so my body was automatically relaxed, but I take no credit away, it was a good punch. 

PC: How would you describe the end of the fight? It appears the referee got to 8 on his count and then he stopped and tried to coach Demond to get up, but by the time he got up and the ref looked at the time keeper, the time keeper was telling him to wave it off because more than 10 seconds had passed.

JH: I think everybody is entitled to a mistake. I think Shawn Clark is a good referee. He’s been a great referee since the amateurs here and everybody makes mistakes. I make mistakes, everybody makes mistakes, and Shawn Clark just made a mistake or an error, which he is not supposed to make, but I can’t cry over that. Whether it was a TKO or a knockout, however you want to say it, I won. That’s what I came to do. I wanted to shut him down. I said before the fight I wanted to make him quit and I beat him into submission. That was a man submitting. When you keep arguing with the ref, body language is everything and I was told that by Bernard Hopkins. He said, “Jesse, body language is everything in that ring. A man keeps turning his back, walking away, or talking to the ref. He don’t want to be there. He’s looking for a way out. So you gotta give him that. Keep banging on him and he’s going to find his way out.” So you arguing with the ref and he’s telling you to get up and you’re still down. But later on, I’m glad that Demond Nicholson admitted that he was hurt badly. He said he couldn’t get his body together and that’s the truth. I’m glad he admitted that. 

PC: The right hand on the ear was the money punch for you and after a couple of those, the trouble started for him. Did you start sensing after a few of those right hands that maybe he was starting to look for a way out?

JH: I knew he was looking for a way out because when I go back to my corner, I’m listening to my trainer, but I’m zoned in to what’s in front of me and when he started to sit on that stool with his head down...when a guy put his head down and his trainer was pouring water on the back of his neck, I said, “He’s done!” He didn’t want to be there anymore. I don’t take any credit away from Demond. He fought a good fight, but he put his head down. He didn’t want to be there anymore. When I got up off of my stool, he was still sitting down in the corner. I said, “He don’t want to be here anymore, go get him. Fuck all the boxing shit, you could get him out of here right now,” and that’s what I did.



[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]

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