THE storyline going into the Joe Smith Jnr–Jesse Hart light-heavyweight match was that Hart wanted to avenge mentor Bernard Hopkins’ knockout loss to Smith in December 2016. Instead, the son of Philly left hook artist Eugene “Cyclone” Hart came perilously close to suffering the same fate as Hopkins.
The major difference was that Hart lasted the 10-round distance, only to lose a split decision, which should have been unanimous.
If Hopkins had anything to do with the methods Hart employed against Smith, Jesse needs a new mentor. He spent practically the entire first round moving laterally around the ring with his back to the ropes, hardly throwing a punch. It turned to be his modus operandi for much of the fight, but what originally appeared to be a battle plan soon morphed into a survival tactic.