You can’t always believe what you read on the internet, so what is it, DeMichael Harris? Six-feet or 5-foot-11?

“I'm in the middle of it,” he laughs.

So 5-foot-11 and a half it is. It’s an important stat for the 25-year-old, considering that he’s fighting as a junior lightweight, making him quite an imposing figure for his 130-pound opponents. And if they already don’t like him for that, they’ll really hate him when they find out what it takes for him to make weight.

“This is one of the first camps I've been able to actually eat whatever I want, and when I say whatever, there's some heavy meals,” he said. “But the way I've been cutting weight and the times that I eat, it's been perfect. So I've been eating pretty good. No starvation or anything like that.”

Yeah, don’t expect Harris to be getting any invites to the sauna or for some celery sticks on fight week.

“There's a lot of other fighters that ask me how I make weight,” he said. “I can try and give them some pointers, but it don't work for everybody.”

That lanky frame worked wonders for the likes of Thomas Hearns and Diego Corrales, but Harris admits that he’s not always looking at being the tall guy firing bombs from the outside.

“I look at Tommy Hearns, and that's actually one of my favorite fighters,” he said. “But believe it or not, he's probably the only taller fighter that I always looked up to. Outside of that, I watched (Sugar Ray) Leonard, I love Errol Spence, and it's just other fighters that I'll look into that are not as tall for the weight class, but that are pretty much average, and I take a lot from them more than I did from the taller fighters.

“I think the best thing about my style is that I can bang and I can box,” Harris continues. “I can do both. Honestly, I prefer to be on the inside, because I feel like my inside fighting is super good. Don't get me wrong, there's a time to bang and a time to chill on the outside and use your jab and keep stepping over. I do both. However I see the fight can be, that will be the way I approach it.”

What will Harris see tonight in Atlanta when he faces Kaylyn Alfred at Center Stage? He’s expecting a fight, but one that he expects will improve his 8-0-1 record to 9-0-1. And while he knows the 4-3-2 Louisianan isn’t going to scare anyone with his slate, Harris knows that this is all part of the process as he moves up the ladder.

“I follow what my team has in store for me,” Harris said. “Whoever my promoter and my manager bring to the table. I got this guy Friday, Kaylyn Alfred, he fought some great competition. Pretty much everybody he fought was pretty good and he had some nights where he came up short, he had some nights where he got a draw, and he got some nights where he won. And I can't overlook him. I know he's probably gonna come to fight, and we're just going step by step. That's all I can say. I just want to get past Friday. I feel as though I can definitely knock this guy out and just keep my career moving. So whatever they have in store for me, I'm ready.”

It’s a tough position for an up and comer to be in. He has to know that Alfred isn’t being brought in to beat him, so he has to do what it takes to get his payday and another win, and keep developing in the gym, something made more difficult considering that he only had 15 amateur bouts. But with a mature outlook that he says comes from being the father of two boys (aged one and two years old), he’s finding his way.

“The only part I'd say is hard about it is getting those opportunities like the guys that win Nationals and go to the Olympics,” said Harris. “Those guys come out of the Olympics and pretty much got every manager in the world that wants them, every promoter, they've got money behind them and things like that. I'm blessed with the team I have and I'm happy that they picked me up and believed in me. With that being said, it's just all about working hard. I don't have the big amateur background, but I can fight, and I've been in the ring with some of these guys that people watch on TV or these prospects coming up, and I did some good work. That shows that I have what it takes, but I've got to work just a little bit harder than they do to make myself more known and get to the level that they're on to be seen by the world.”

Some guys we’ve seen on TV? Harris is being humble, as he’s sparred with some of the best in the game to evolve his own.

“I sparred the champions at my weight class and around my weight class,” Harris said. “I sparred Gervonta Davis, I sparred Devin Haney, I sparred Shakur Stevenson. Those are the top dogs. And being in the ring with those guys shows you where you're at. You can give them great work, but on fight night, these are different beasts. So what you do in sparring, you may not do in a fight with that level of opponent. So it makes me say, let me stay in the gym, let me stay patient, let me work on my craft so I can get up there. Instead of just going out there and fighting a bunch of truck drivers and building up a record and getting hype just off a record, what have I done outside of that? That's my main focus - staying in the gym and getting better, getting the best sparring, fighting competition that makes sense where I can advance and I can see myself growing instead of just fighting a guy I can go in there and just knock him out in the first round. If it happens, it happens, but I want to fight opponents that are gonna make me think, that are gonna help me get better fight after fight. That's what I'm looking for right now.”

Those truck drivers can be tough.

“Some of them,” he deadpans before breaking into a laugh, showing that he doesn’t just have talent in the ring, but a cool charisma that could just make him a star one day. Is he ready for that? 

You bet he is.

“I feel as though I've been through a lot of things in life and I just got a lot of dog in me to handle any situation that comes,” Harris said. “I feel like I'm God-gifted at that and can just overcome anything. It's just something in me. I can't be average. That's my whole mindset.”.