By Steve Kim
Super middleweight Jesse Hart, who faces Thomas Awinbono on Saturday night from the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas (in a bout that will be aired on ESPNews) is not particularly impressed or interested in the World Boxing Super Series tournament that is taking place in his weight class.
"Absolutely not, because it's a joke," said Hart (22-1, 18 KO's) to BoxingScene.com.
"I mean that tournament is really a joke. I don't really look at it seriously. I don't think America should look at the tournament as a legitimate tournament."
So what's his problem with it?
He explained to BoxingScene - "First off, how is Callum Smith, who's supposed to fight Anthony Dirrell for the WBC super middleweight championship, how do you give up fighting for the championship of the world to fight in the tournament?"
Smith is scheduled to face Jurgen Brahmer on February 24th in Germany in the semi-finals of the WBSS tournament. While George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. clash the week before on the other side of the bracket in a WBA, IBO unification.
"People don't look at the details," continued the out-spoken Hart. "You put a gimmick on there, you put a guy who's father was good, Chris Eubank. You put him in there. Then you got a guy like Rob Brant, who nobody even damn ever heard of. You throw him in there from the U.S. to try to make it look like, 'We came over to the U.S. to get somebody.' But y'all didn't come to MY doorstep. Y'all didn't go to Mexico to get Gilberto Ramirez. Y'all didn't get the top, top guys.
"Y'all got the top guys in Britain to sell. The Commonwealth champions and George Groves who's basically still declining because of the wars that kid's been in. You look at the Badou Jack fight, that took a lot out of George Groves. So you know he aint go much to give but he got the belt, 'so we can sell tickets.' You understand what I'm saying?"
Hart does have a point, while the WBSS cruiserweight bracket was filled with basically all of the elite boxer in the division, the 168-pound tourney didn't have quite the depth. The likes of David Benavides (the WBC belt-holder) and Ramirez (who has the WBO title) were not included.
"Why didn't they get all these other super middleweights," asked Hart. "Why did they only get a certain, selected few? They just threw something together fast. That's what happened."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.