British flyweight champion Jay Harris is ready for his next fight.
Six months on from winning the Lonsdale belt after a thrilling battle against Tommy Frank, the 33-year-old Welshman spoke to Boxing News to look back on a career which may not have many fights left.
(Interview by Shaun Brown)
BN: You’ve fought for a world title; you’ve won the European title and the Commonwealth and in May you won the British. How does it feel to have done the lot?
JH: Do you know what, it’s brilliant. This title meant the most to me. Obviously, I was coming off two defeats as well. It was nice to get that chance to fight for the British. I’d fought for the world title, won the European, won the Commonwealth, and the British seemed to get away. To get that opportunity to fight for it was brilliant. And let’s be honest every British fighter wants to win it. It’s a beautiful belt. It’s been amazing. It’s nice to go down in history because my old man won it as well.
BN: You’ve had a great career but how much do you think is left in the Jay Harris story?
JH: I think we’ve got a little bit left. I think I maybe coming to the back end of my career now. I’m 34 next year; I’m 33 now, so I’ve got a bit left. Not many fights, but I have got a little bit left. Me and [trainer] Gary Lockett will take every fight as it comes. No need to rush. Take each fight and each step as it comes and see what happens.
BN: Have you had a chance to take a moment and reflect on your career or do you not allow yourself to do that?
JH: Of course. Gary Lockett sent me a message with everything I’d done. You look back and you’re like, “Oh Jesus, I have done a lot in a short career.” I’ve only been professional since I was 21. I’ve done a lot in those 12 years. I fought some good fighters, fought for a world title, won everything domestically. Looking back on it, let’s be honest, if I was to retire tomorrow, I’d be a happy man because I’ve done everything I set out to do. In the beginning I just wanted to win a title and I’ve surpassed that big time.
BN: Do you think you have over-achieved then?
JH: I think I surpassed what I set out to do. At the start of it I’d have been happy to fight for a British title and then I ended up fighting for the Commonwealth in my 10th fight, won that, and then we had a moment where not much happened. And then all of a sudden I fought for the European, fought Paddy Barnes, and it snowballed into one after another. And then I went to Texas and fought [Julio Cesar] Martinez and then on to world title eliminators. When you look back at my career, it’s what boxers dream about and dream of doing. I’ve done it all.
BN: Have you thought about life after boxing or would you rather not?
JH: Of course I’ve thought about it [and] tried to put stuff into place. I personal train quite a bit now. I take an amateur boxing club as well. I’ll always be around it. I think I might even try and get my manager’s licence as well; see if I can manage a few fighters. After the boxing’s done I’ll always be around it. This is what I know. I’ll always be a part of it.
BN: If things hadn’t worked out early on, where do you think Jay Harris would have ended up?
JH: That’s a hard question! I don’t really know. When I left school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do because I was just boxing all the time. But when I was at school, I wanted to be a zoologist. I always wanted to work with animals before I went to Amazon. That’s mad isn’t it. I like animals more than people if I’m honest.