PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - May 01, 2015                                                              
Home Boxers Fights Arenas Non-Boxers Gyms Relics More About Contact

by John DiSanto


While the majority of the boxing world will be laser-focused on the big Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight Saturday night and mostly ignoring the six-bout undercard that immediately precedes the richest fight in boxing history, Philly-area fight fans have two reasons to pay attention to a pair of the supporting bouts at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Local boxers Jesse "Hard Work" Hart, 16-0, 13 KOs, North Philly, and Kennett Square's Anthony Caputo Smith, 15-4, 10 KOs, each have slots on the big card. Both have victory on their minds, but the two fighters are in Vegas to play very different roles.  

Super middleweight Jesse Hart, 25, is an undefeated and rising prospect plucked by the event's co-promoter Bob Arum (Top Rank) to get exposure, grab a regional title and add another win to his spotless record. Hart's involvement in the card is an endorsement of his great promise and an opportunity to bask in the spotlight on boxing's biggest night.

Hart will face Mike Jimenez, 17-0, 11 KOs, 1 No Contest, a 27 year old fighter from Chicago looking to extend his own winning streak at the expense of Jesse's spotless resume. Both also have an eye on the vacant USBA 168-pound title belt that is at stake in their 10-rounder. Victory brings the winner the belt and a world ranking. That's exactly what these fighters are fighting for.

On paper, Jimenez looks like the toughest opponent Hart has faced thus far in his young career. Jimenez has faced some name opponents and might just give Hart a test. However, it is more likely that Jimenez is well-chosen as the perfect prey for hot prospect Hart on this night when everyone will be watching.

On the other hand, PA cruiserweight Anthony Caputo Smith has been escorted to Vegas to serve as a tasty meal for Floyd Mayweather-promoted undefeated prospect Andrew Tabiti, 9-0, 9 KOs.

This is not the first time that Caputo Smith has answered the call for a presumably nice payday, out of town, against a young lion who figures to beat him. Three of his four pro losses have come in similar assignments, and clearly Mayweather Promotions are looking for similar results on Saturday.  

The Las Vegas-based Chicagoan, Tabiti, has a perfect record and a 100% KO percentage. But there is a silver lining for Caputo Smith. Tabiti's slate makes him look far more manageable than Caputo's previous out of town stumbles. Tabiti has never fought an opponent with more than eight fights and has only faced five fighters with winning records.

This indicates that Tabiti a far-cry from Ola Afolabi, BJ Flores and Sean Monaghan who defeated "The Bull" the last three times he tried one of these ill-advised efforts. So Anthony may be able to snap his unlucky road streak in the scheduled 8-rounder on Saturday. However, Tabiti obviously remains well-connected.  So for Caputo Smith, a knockout is highly recommended.

Still it certainly must be a thrill for both Hart and Caputo to be a part of this historic boxing show. Although neither bout is expected to make the Pay-Per-View telecast, both local fighters should be proud to be participating in this once in a lifetime event.


Jesse Hart won his fight on the big Vegas undercard and improved to 17-0 with 14 KOs. Hart halted Mike Jimenez in round six to win the vacant USBA and vacant NABO super middleweight titles. He also defended his NABF belt in the process.

The victory puts Hart in great position for some major career movement. Holding the USBA, NABF and NABO titles places the Philly fighter in the world rankings for the IBF, WBC, and IBO. With seven months left in 2015, there is a good chance that Jesse will be fighting a few more times this year and edging closer to a Top-Ten fight. The TKO was the first setback Chicago's Jimenez, who went home 17-1, 11 KOs.

Anthony Caputo Smith's 8-rounder against Andrew Tabiti was scratched at the last minute when Smith failed his pre-fight medical examination due to a high blood pressure reading.




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - May 01, 2015