By Steve Kim
This Saturday night from the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Jesse Hart defends his NABF super middleweight title against Mike Gavronski as the co-feature on ESPN.
Should he come out victorious, Hart yearns for a rematch against WBO titlist, Gilberto 'Zurdo' Ramirez, who defeated him last September.
There has been talk of another go-around between the two, Hart says nothing has been promised."I'm not sure and we don't know what Ramirez is going to do. Nobody knows, yet. Is he going to move up to light heavy or is he going to vacate the title? I don't know and I can't determine that.
"I would love to fight him next, God-willing everything goes right on Saturday night on my behalf. But I don't know, he's telling everybody numerous excuses: he's not interested in a rematch, it's hard for him to make 168, he wants a unification fight or there's no need for him to stay here anymore. So I don't know, we don't know what he's going to do," Hart told BoxingScene.com.
But Hart makes it clear that if it were his choice he would want another crack at Ramirez, who sent Hart down early in their fight and built an early lead before holding off a late charge from the challenger.
"Absolutely, absolutely, that's the only guy I really want to fight," said Hart, who has a record of 24-1 (20 KO's).
"Like I don't care about (David) Benavidez, I don't care about (Jose) Uzcategui, I don't care about (George) Groves. I don't care about none of them guys - I want Ramirez. I need to redeem myself, I've got to get that."
Hart, who is coming off a seventh round stoppage of Demond Nicholson on April 28th, is clearly focused on the task at hand versus Gavronski.
"There's no looking ahead," Hart insisted.
"I'm just answering the questions that you asked me: would I like to fight (Ramirez)? I'd love to fight (Ramirez)? But Mike Gavronski's on that agenda, I'm not looking past him. I think he's a good fighter, I'm not taking him for granted. I think he poses a threat a some point in there and I'm going to have to raise my level of competition to exceed his skill set. I think at some point in the fight on Saturday, I don't know which round it's going to be but I'm going to have to raise my bar."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com