BN: Six of your seven fights have been scheduled for 10 rounds so how would you describe your development so far?
JH: I think I’ve come a long way since my professional bout. Each fight I continue to learn. I always take something away from each fight I’ve had. I’m only seven fights in so it’s only the beginning for myself and I’m looking to go as far as I can in the sport. It’s been a lot of stop and go so far, a lot of setbacks and injuries but hopefully I’m past that now and we can move forward and keep the ball rolling and start getting some fights under my belt.
BN: After winning the Australian heavyweight title on your debut you said you planned to win all the world belts and get out at the age of 30. Is that still the plan?
JH: Yeah, definitely. I don’t want to be taking too many big head knocks past 30 years old. They do say heavyweights get to their prime around that age [so] I just got to see how it plays out. If I can be able to accomplish those goals that I’ve set out for myself by the time I’m 30 then I’ll be more than happy. I want to make a bang, make a name for myself, and then retire as young as I can. My main goal in this sport is to leave a legacy behind and be spoken out about long after I’m gone. Hopefully, all this hard work that I’ve put in for myself pays off.
BN: You fight Andrew Tabiti next. What are your thoughts on that?
JH: All that matters to me [is] just getting the job done and getting the win by any means necessary. I’m not too worried about what Andrew Tabiti’s got to bring. I know within myself I’ve done all the hard work I can do, and I’ve practiced a lot of stuff in the gym that I’m going to use in this fight. I believe in myself and my skillset. I’ve just got to back myself all the way and it should be enough to get over the line.
BN: In the days after your last fight, you started to experience bad stomach cramps.
JH: I can’t remember what it was, but I was really sick. I don’t know if it was going from clean eating, being on a diet and then after the fight eating junk food. For two weeks after the fight, I was blowing up hot and cold, sweating. I’m glad to be past that and hopefully I learn from that and don’t go down that road again.
BN: In your career you’ve had a concussion, two separate hand injuries, Covid twice and ankle problems. You’re only 24 and been through a lot already.
JH: From 2020 till only recently it’s been a rollercoaster. There’s been a lot of setbacks for myself but it’s all character building. I’m glad to be past it. Looking forward the future is looking bright. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to keep fighting and be on big shows especially over here in Cancun. Staying grateful and blessed to be where I am today.
BN: The week before your fight against Joseph Goodall in June, your parents’ home where you live was shot at. Can you explain what happened?
JH: I don’t really know too much about why that happened to our house. I was zoned in. I think it was only two weeks out from the fight [so] I was zoned in and too focused to be worrying about that. We still went to training and had sparring. We just pretty much carried on like nothing happened and stayed focused and zoned in, but it was a bit of a shock to wake up to the sounds of bullets being fired at your house but [you] gotta keep moving and be grateful to still be here on this earth and try and do great things while you are here. I’ve never really looked back at it; I’ve continued to stay positive and look forward and came out that fight with the win. I’m glad I stayed focused with that tunnel vision and didn’t let it distract me.
BN: What’s your thoughts on the heavyweight scene right now?
JH: I’m not really worried about those guys up there at the top. I’m worried about myself and getting in that position where they are. Once I’m in that position then obviously I’ll focus on those guys. I’ve still got a long way to go to work up to that position and making it into the top 10 and [then] hopefully start challenging some of those guys up there.
BN: If Fury-Usyk happens, how does it play out in your opinion?
JH: To be honest I’ve got no idea. You’ve got a heavyweight boxer against a big heavyweight boxer. Fury can box, he’s very rangy, light on his feet, got good defence. Usyk has those things but it’s just the size difference. I really don’t know who I would back on that one.
BN: This time next year where do you expect to be in your career?
JH: Hopefully, I’ll have had six bouts under my belt by this time next year. Just hope for the best, stay injury free, no more setbacks and keep pushing and to continue winning. That’s the main thing. Keeping that ball rolling and making my way up to the top.
(Interview by Shaun Brown)