Jesse Hart squeaks past Dashon Johnson at the 2300 Arena. A title shot may be next

photos by “Sugar” Ray Bailey / 

Friday night’s event at the 2300 Arena was set up to be a showcase for Jesse Hart. In the weeks before the bout, Peltz Boxing and BAM Boxing were pulling every move in the book to draw a crowd to this local fight card. The 1,500+ seat venue in South Philadelphia was filled to the brim to see the #HartoftheCity homecoming.

Those “in-the-know” were expecting a blowout over unknown Dashon Johnson. But the prelude to bolster Hart as a worthy world title challenger was far from smooth sailing. This turned into an excellent two-way fight filled with bombs and drama, coming within a hair of ending in disaster for the local favorite.

Jesse Hart vs Dashon Johnson (6)

Admittedly, I am one of the rare few who had little interest in this fight when it was first announced. Yes, I’ve known Jesse since he was a teenager with dreams of being an Olympian. We actually did the first ever boxing video workout in the era of internet media. This video with Jesse and his brother Chip from 2007 has generated nearly 12,000 views world-wide.

Over the years I’ve watched Jesse come up the ranks and build a record around the country. I’m at the point where I want to find out if we have a future world titlist on our hands or a good young prospect who would rates below other recent achievers in this weight class such as Charles Brewer, Yusaf Mack and LaJuan Simon. Rumor had it that Hart is seriously being considered as the first opponent for the winner of the upcoming WBO Super Middleweight title fight between Arthur Abraham and Gilberto Ramirez.

Jesse Hart vs Dashon Johnson (1)

I have favorable views of Peltz Boxing and the work Brittany Rogers is doing but a fight against an undersized boxer with a bad record who is competing out of his weight class didn’t inspire me to write.

Combine that with March Madness and Phillies Spring Training in Clearwater on St. Paddy’s Day weekend, no way was I staying in Philly, even with the option of covered admission and a comped hotel room.

Jesse Hart vs Dashon Johnson (2)

After spending my warm spring day away from work, watching the Phillies in the sunshine and following it up with a lot of college basketball, I called it an early night.

At the last-minute, I decided to cough up $14.99 to watch most of this fight card of – it was money well spent.

Nine fights on the card, most of the ones I fully watched were pretty good. The main event was definitely a pleasant surprise – though I wonder what Top Rank Boxing head Bob Arum is thinking today after sending one of his prized prospects to Philly and coming very close to taking a horrible loss.

UPDATE: Arum emailed me on Sunday evening after the fight to say “If Gilberto Ramirez wins the  title from Abraham on April9,we can look to Jesse for his challenger.”

Jesse Hart vs Dashon Johnson (4)

For a good portion of the 10 round fight, Hart hammered Dashon Johnson of Escondito California with a mix of jabs, hooks, straight shots and upper cuts. The part-time MMA contestant didn’t get the memo that he was brought in to be cannon fodder. The California “Fly Boy” withstood a lot of clean power punches and fought back with everything he had.

Jesse Hart vs Dashon Johnson (5)

The no-neck Johnson scored two hard knockdowns in this bout (the first may have come a couple milliseconds after the bell sounded to end the round) with the main highlight being when he nailed Hart with a last ditch Hail Mary of a wide right hook that nearly turned into a buzzer beater. Hart was flat on the mat as time was about to expire. “HardWork” Hart was shaken but was able to rise to his feet with :2 remaining in the bout. He walked to referee Ernie Shariff and was allowed to continue. I couldn’t help but think that this is the way the first fight between Meldrick Taylor and Julio Caesar Chavez should have ended.

Jesse Hart vs Dashon Johnson (7)

Earlier in the day, Temple University was knocked out of the NCAA tournament by the Iowa Hawkeyes with a tip-in basket as time expired. The two Temple alums running this event were fortunately spared a second serving of snakebite.

Jesse Hart vs Dashon Johnson (11)

In the end, Hart earned a unanimous decision victory with the judges running his record to 20-0 with 16 ko’s. Final scores read 98-91, 97-92 and a much more appropriate 95-94. Whoever saw this fight nine rounds-to-one should be investigated.

His local cheerleaders are commending the show of bravery in the face of adversity, saying this was exactly the type of fight he needed. The national experts are insinuating that he should steer clear of anyone rated in the top 15 for the time being.

With the hard luck loss, Johnson falls to an even .500 at 19 wins, 19 losses, 3 draws with 6 ko’s.

This fight will get strong consideration for Local Fight of the Year but did it diminish Hart’s shine in the process?

What were your thoughts on the fight and event that sold around 1,500 tickets?

Jesse Hart vs Dashon Johnson (12)

Check out this great photo gallery from “Sugar” Ray Bailey /

On the under card:

It may be the end of the line for one of Philly’s biggest ticket sellers. Durable yet unspectacular journeyman Ramesis Gil (10-13-5, 6 KO’s) stopped Victor Vasquez (19-11-1, 9 so’s) in round two of their scheduled 6 rounder. Vasquez felt that it was a quick stoppage and the crowd booed loudly, but he was in trouble when the ref stepped in.

South West Philly welterweight Greg Jackson (6-2-1, 2 KO’s)won a war over Bronx New York native Gladwin Ortiz (3-1, 3 KO’s). It was a very good fight – Jackson almost got put out late but rallied back to secure a fair split decision win. I’d like to see him again.

North East Philly super lightweight Scott Kelleher (4-0, 2 KOs) continues his rise with a first round stoppage over Josue Guerrero (2-7, 2 ko’s).

North Philly’s Jerome Conquest (5-1, 1 ko) won a clear unanimous decision over Phoenixville’s Jules Blackwell (8-5-2, 3 KO’s)in a battle of southpaw lightweights.

The replay will be on Comcast Sports soon. Keep an eye out. #HTOC




27 thoughts on “Jesse Hart squeaks past Dashon Johnson at the 2300 Arena. A title shot may be next”

    1. I have to agree with you 100%. The way the new 168 champ looked yesterday defeating Arthur Abraham Hart isn’t ready for that. Peltz is looking to rematch them. Jesse won the first 9 rounds so it wasn’t a squeaker. He went down with 13 seconds to go and got up with about 4 seconds to go before a punch could be thrown.

  1. I think Jesse fought a good fight matter fact Jesse did what he does for the first five to six rounds dashon barely threw a punch or landed a punch on Jessie the knockdown that was at about the 7th or 8th round was a shot I think that was thrown after the Bell had rung. Jesse show his Grit by buckling down dashon fought a helluva 3 Rounds but he only thought for maybe three or three and a half rounds he really didn’t lay a glove on Jesse until about the end of the last half of the fight so with that being said Jesse got hit with a good shot honestly I did not think he would get up from the shot because the shot was a hell of a shot butt I think he showed more grit and determination in that fight one fight than any of the other fights and he’s had, he’s still a young guy in the game he is learning each fight I think people take things out of the context because he was knocking a lot of guys out but he is still learning I think that he needs a few fights before the title shot but I think he definitely will be ready when the time comes some of the best young up-and-coming fighters has had trouble I see people question whether he is ready I saw Andre Ward get knocked down in one of his up-and-coming fights it happens the most dangerous fighter is the guy that no one knows anything about that guy is Not only a professional fighter but he fights MMA pro as well that’s a whole nother monster the guy was in shape he had a hell of a chin any lesser fighter Jesse would have definitely got them out of there but this guy was a rock kind of like the guy that Douglas fort on Julian Williams undercard some guys no matter how short this stature means nothing grit and determination means everything so it was a good fight he should win fight of the Year Brisco award fight of the year in Philly and on to the next his story is still being told. Note Dashon threw a LOT OF elbows in those clenches if you can watch the replay you’ll see it maybe it was that MMA background but he definitely was throwing elbows head buds as well but no excuses I think that just made it a rougher tougher fight for Jesse to where he had to strap his boots on and really go to war

    1. Thanks Gee money I think your absolutely right bro I’m still learning but with you saying these things just make me want to go back watch the tape see what I did wrong and go in The Gym an Work on em thanks Big Bro

    2. Man, I’m a realist everybody is going to have something to say to you, you have to be perfect to your self but everybody else’s comments at the end of the day won’t matter it’s the hard work that you put in. you were in there by yourself nobody else so that’s all that counts. You had to overcome a lot and that one fight not to mention it’s hard to fight a dude that’s throwing elbows and headbutts and you trying to fight a clean fight, that’s where the cut came from the elbow! I saw it when he did it! He did it more than THREE times the ref didn’t see it but he elbowed you more than 2 or 3 times.I really didn’t see mistakes by you. I will tell you one thing that was a good fight for you really good!! Some dudes go in fights like that and come out with a (L)!!!! You did not so that’s a blessing on top of that just be thankful for the little things you got out of there with the W and all the other stuff is irrelevant you are a hard worker I know you going to work hard that goes without saying man keep working fuck the haters

    3. Well said Gee👍🏾 Jesse Hard Work Hart as for u, u did well for urself and Gee couldn’t of said it better .. Hard work does pay off and I am very proud of u keep going hard young man !!!best damn fight I’ve seen in a long time ❤️👇🏾😘

  2. I was there last night. And it just goes to show you , regardless of your opponent’s record NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THEM, ARE YOU COULD GET KNOCKED THE F—OUT!! Congratulations jessie!

  3. I remember watching Jesse as amateur he was dancing around like he was muhammed Ali and got caught and knocked down he actually picked his self up and started being aggressive that can be a good thing for him or bad I dunno

  4. It’s not just looking at the opponents record it’s looking at the class of opponents they fought. Dashon fought a lot of tough opponents. I knew it wouldn’t be a walkover for Jesse. Fashion had a very short upper body and was fighting crouched over. He was holding Jesse the whole fight also so jesse couldn’t get to his body. Also the first knockdown which was after the bell was the first time Jesse was knocked down so that probably took some out of him mentally as well as physically It was a tough fight. Dashon could really take a punch and also had a lot of power.

    1. Yea I looked at the guy resume he fought damn near everybody on the come up from 54 to 68 and most the time they were undefeated when he fought them so his record ain’t reflect the wars he’s been in and who was the matchmaker I woulda kicked their ass lmaoo 😭😂😭😂

  5. Hart got some good experience in this one. Like Dhafir Smith said “you can’t judge a boxer by his record.” Coming off the canvas after winning the first 9 rounds showed Hart had enough Hart to take the count of 8 on a knee and be ready to continue. His father is right he needs some more bouts like this one before going 12 with champion Arthur Abraham. Hart has the talent to go all the way but it just hasn’t come all together yet. Johnson took a lot of punches and showed a good defense. Being much shorter he did his share of butting on the chin of Hart.

    1. And it’s time for jroc to make that leap outta all Philly guys besides Danny I think he most ready would love to see him mix it up with either charlo brother

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