As I continue my look at up-and-coming Philly boxers, I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Hasan “The Hitman” Young. He is another fighter to watch as he steps back into the ring Friday, September 13th against Julio De Jesus at Harrah’s Chester in Chester, PA in a slated eight-round welterweight clash.
It has been a great year for Boxing and the City of Brotherly Love has seen some of their hometown fighters make some serious noise, while others get ready to bring more noise – see Bernard Hopkins and Danny Garcia.
Hasan Young is hoping he can be one of those boxers someday. The 22-year-old out of North Philly, who is also a full-time personal trainer, is a very talented and hungry boxer. If he stays the course, everything will fall into place and he will be fighting for a title someday.
It starts next Friday with perhaps the toughest test of his young career against a gritty, hard-punching Julio De Jesus.
“Oh yeah, I am ready,” said Young in an interview with On “Q” Sports. “This is the best camp I have ever had, I am in the best shape of my life, and I have a good game plan. I am from Philadelphia, so I never overlook anyone, and I am mentally tough and prepared. Good sparring with Ronald Cruz, who is comparable to De Jesus, also Greg Jackson a solid prospect out of West Philly.”
De Jesus, 38, is a tough boxer out of Millville, NJ. He sports an 8-3-3 record, but nine out of his last 10 bouts have gone the distance, something that plays into Young’s favor.
“This is my first eight round fight but there is no reason I will ever come into a fight out of shape. I know this guy trained hard, just like I did; I will not take him lightly. I am just going go in there and work off the jab, it all starts with the jab, most strong punchers do not like body shots, and I can last eight rounds.”
Young is well-spoken and confident, yet humble and understands at such a young age what is at stake.
“I am a full-time boxer and even when I am not boxing I am at a gym. This is my life, I have a great family, great circle, and every one pushes me. I can’t slack up anywhere. I can’t drink, smoke, and deal with girls. I am Muslim; it is part of me and my belief and culture.”
Young has only five pro bouts under his belt, but he had a stellar amateur record with over 80 fights, and has had some stiff opponents to open up his career.
“I started my career 1-1-1,” he adds with a soft chuckle. “I didn’t come streaking out of the gate like Mike Tyson, reeling off 10, 11 wins in a row. But these were some tough fights for me.”
Young brings up a fair and accurate point. His 3-1-1 mark includes a first-round knockout over fellow-Philadelphian Josue Rivera last December. And he also showed some serious moxy when he had a draw against unbeaten lefty Jerome Rodriguez, a fight he took on 24 hours’ notice.
“Can you imagine if I would have had a normal six-week training camp for that fight, I mean look, I fought him in his backyard and it was a draw, what does that tell you. You can draw your own conclusion.”
It helps that such a young fighter is being handled by Hall-of-Fame promoter Russell Peltz.
“Being with Peltz, I love it, he is a great guy. He has put me in the right fights.”
Young is fully aware that staying active is the key early on in his career.
“I am hoping I am very active this year. I would love to fight every month, the more fights, the bigger venues and bigger paydays. I know that will come. I have a ton of experience. I took a break from boxing, went to school and people have not even seen the best of me.”
He certainly does not lack confidence when he talks about future bouts.
“They can put me in the ring with anyone. I have a crowd-pleasing style, and the skills to pay the bills.”
Young also respects and understands what it is like to be a fighter from Philly and how the East Coast is becoming a place for young and up-and-coming prospects to get their feet wet, and make a name for themselves.
“I think boxing in recent years has been more of a west coast play. They got all the media attention. The world-class fighters are bringing more attention back to the east coast now. We are bringing the attention back to the east, Danny Garcia and Bernard Hopkins, there are so many guys like me in Philly. We will be the new it place for boxing. We are going to put a major stamp on Philly boxing.”
As is the case with all the great ones, Young’s nickname was not his choice. But it stuck.
Young’s nickname is “The Hitman”. He must have big a huge Thomas Hearns fan. Right?
“My trainer (Kevin Carmody) came up with that name, but man I know Hearns might be around in a couple of weeks for fights at the Sands. I want to meet him, shake his hand and get a picture of him.”
Twenty or so years from now, a young Philly boxer might be saying the same thing about Young.
He is off to a good start.