Jay Harris happy to be back boxing on home territory

Jay Harris happy to be back boxing on home territory

Swansea’s Jay Harris (7-0, 4KO) is happy to be fighting back in Wales for the first time since his professional debut in 2013.

The unbeaten super-flyweight has been tasked to open Frank Warren’s show at the Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay on Saturday night.

He said: “It’s great. I haven’t fought for three years in Wales since my debut, so it’s great to be back. I can’t wait to get in there now.

“It doesn’t bother me, I feel no pressure when I box. I had a good amateur career and I boxed everywhere, I boxed abroad as well. A ring is a ring and I plan to do the same business at home as I do away.

“Fighting away has been really good. I’ve fought in Newcastle and London; I really enjoyed fighting in York Hall, too. So, it doesn’t bother me where I box, I just enjoy it wherever it is.”

Harris is enjoying a four-fight knockout streak, and all scored with left hooks to the torso. The 25-year-old impressed many with his two most recent results, first and third stoppages of once-beaten pair Tibor Nadori and David Koos, but he’s not keen to over analyse it.

He said: “I don’t know what I’m doing differently, I’ve just found the right shots in my last few fights. The body shots were working very well for me, that’s what’s been doing it for me.

“I’ve got stronger over the last three years, I’ve matured a lot and I can use my power a lot better now.”

The next opponent is a fellow unbeaten operator in Afghanistan’s Ramesh Ahmadi (5-0-1, 1KO). On paper, it’s the biggest test of Harris’ three-year career and a win would help him to make a dent in the division’s thriving domestic landscape.

He said: “I’m expecting a tough fight. He’s very strong, he’s got a very solid right hand so I’ll watch out for that. I’ll keep my hands up very high, go at him when the time is right and see what he’s like on the back foot himself. I should be okay doing that.

“I just take things as they come. If the stoppage is there, I’ll take it and if it goes to points, I’m happy with that. That’s where I am mentally at the minute.”

It’ll be Harris’ fifth scheduled six rounder and although he’s yet to hear the final bell, he feels prepared to move on to longer fights. Names like Kal Yafai and Jamie Conlan, who appears on the same show, are at the top of the domestic title tree and Harris’ amateur pedigree suggests he can get there in time, too.

He said: “Hopefully after this we can step it up to eight rounds. I’m not sure how far away I am from titles. I feel in myself that I can fight for top titles now. I’ve got talent but need a bit more experience.

“I leave that down to Gary [Lockett, manager and co-trainer] and my father [Peter, co-trainer] to let them decide where I go and what I can do.”

Harris, who represented Wales at international level as an amateur, balances his time between working part time and travelling to Cardiff to train with Gary Lockett. When unable to make the hour long commute to the world title challenger’s Cardiff gym, Harris trains with his father Peter, a former Welsh and British champion.

Speaking on the father-trainer relationship, Harris said: “It can make it easier or harder, it’s a bit of both. Having him there is great, seeing him every day can be a bit annoying when he’s training me and watching what I’m eating. It can get a bit on top of me sometimes but he just wants the best for me, helping me to do things that he didn’t when he was a bit younger.

“It’s great to have them both, Gary and my dad. They’ve been in the game a long time. They can both see different things that I’m doing wrong and if one doesn’t see something, the other one could. It helps us cover everything.”

(Image: Frank Warren)