On Saturday, April 27, 2018, Philadelphia’s own Jesse Hart (24-1, 20 KOs) took on Super Middleweight challenger, Demond Nicholson (18-3-1, 17 KOs) for the vacant NABF Super Middleweight title.

The scheduled 10-round bout aired live on ESPN from the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

With a three-inch height advantage over Nicholson, Hart towered over his opponent as he came out trying to press the action and test Nicholson in the first round.

Perhaps it was a case of trying to show out a bit too much for his hometown crowd in the first round, but Hart was looking to take Nicholson’s head off early on.

“We know who the main event really is… A lot of people want to see Jesse Hart,” said Hart before the fight. “They want to see how I grew from the [Gilberto] Ramirez fight.”

Hart took the early part of the round, but Nicholson stole the stanza with a big right hand at the bell that appeared to have Hart on shaky legs.

“He hit me with a good shot,” said Hart after the fight. “But I’m a Philadelphia fighter, that’s what we do, we fight through anything.”

After absorbing Nicholson’s best shot, Hart settled in and by Round 3 began imposing more of his will on the inside. Hart was credited with two knockdowns in the round, the first one was bogus but the second was legit.

Things got weird in Round 7 as it seemed like Nicholson had been dropped in the middle of the ring, only to have referee Shawn Clark not call it a knockdown–one of many butchered calls in the fight.

After being officially dropped moments later, Nicholson was given a bizarre count that lasted well over 10 seconds. The referee asked Nicholson numerous times if he wanted to continue, but Nicholson did not respond.

Hart officially got the TKO at the 2:26 mark of Round 7.

After the bout, Hart proclaimed that he wants any and all champions at 168 pounds–particularly a rematch with WBO champion, Gilberto Ramirez.


Header photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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