By Steve Kim
Tonight from the 2300 Arena in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, super middleweight Jesse Hart faces Dashon Johnson. The son of Philly legend Eugene 'Cyclone' Hart believes he has an obligation to fight in this city which has a rich boxing tradition.
"That's very important, I can't stress to you how important it is. This fight means a lot because no other big fighters from Philadelphia are fighting here but it was my duty and my means to bring it back here to the mecca of boxing. It's all about legacy," he told BoxingScene.com on Thursday.
"My dad fought here and it's only right that the Hart name lives on here and not in other people's backyard and give everybody else a play. But not bring it back to my city?"
Hart last fought in Philadelphia in December of 2014 and since then has fought on Top Rank cards in Las Vegas and Tuscon as he continued his development as a fighter. But there was a clear directive from Hart that he wanted to be showcased here.
"Bob Arum and I talked about that and he played a major part in this. People don't understand Bob Arum is the greatest promoter and one of the greatest guys I've ever met and his plans are always on point and they always seem to work," said the 19-0 (16 KO's) Hart.
"When he works with other promoters such as Russell Peltz and Brittany Rogers and myself, my wife - she put a lot of time into this - when you get creative minds together, you get a sell-out, just like this."
In recent years this market has struggled and hasn't had many cards, but Hart believes this will begin the process for him and Philadelphia to rebuild the boxing business.
"Absolutely, we're going to bring boxing back here," he states, confidently. "I mean the Georgie Benton's, the Gypsey Joe Harris', my dad, 'Cyclone' Hart, Bennie Briscoe, all of them were from here, all of them started here and we talk about,'Philly this, the Philly that', the,'Philly shoulder roll' - all of these things came from right here in the mecca. So why not bring it back? It's my duty to do that.
"You've got to build your home first and Bob Arum always said I was a superstar."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.