Jalil “Major” Hackett (1-0, 1 KO), a native of Washington DC, will be fighting October 29 at the DC Sports and Entertainment Arena. He will be facing a last-minute opponent in Latorie Woodburry, who brings a total of 14 pro fights to the table.
While some may worry about preparing for a last-minute opponent, Hackett do not seem worried because of his preparation.
“I have only gotten to see a few things on him, but I feel like I have seen enough,” said Hackett in recent interview with Round By Round Boxing. “On top of that, I have been getting top of the line work preparing for this fight. I have been working with [Julian] J-Rock Williams.”
Hackett has extra motivation, as he is excited to be fighting in front of his hometown fans. “First time fighting at home,” said Hackett. “I’m excited to put on a show for the hometown fans.”
Jalil is coming off a first-round knockout win over Angelo Diaz in both of their pro debuts. When the subject of repeating a first-round KO was brought up, Hackett was cautious in saying there would be a repeat.
“If the opportunity presents itself I will take it, but I am not going to go forcing it,” said Hackett. “A lot of times guys go looking for the knockout and they don’t get it. It makes them look bad because they are trying to force it or there are other times when guys are looking for it and they get caught with a shot. So if it presents itself I will take it but if not I will dominate all four rounds.”
The nickname “Major” is actually his middle name. The name comes from West Virginian college quarterback Major Harris–who he was named after. Harris was the first African American quarterback to lead a college team to a national championship. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
At the age of eight, Hackett started boxing with his father, who was a pro trainer at the time. One of 11 children, he is the only one who took up boxing. At the time, Jalil was playing football and continued to do so until the age of 12 or 13. That is when he decided to stick with boxing.
“I just said I would try it [boxing] and if I am good I will stick with it,” said Hackett. “I just so happened to be good.”
This year in March, Hackett signed with Mayweather Promotions and made his pro debut in June. Hackett had a lot of people interested in him turning pro, but Derrick Curry–a scout for Mayweather Promotions and now his manager–stood out. After a training session Curry attended, they began talking. Next thing Hackett knew he was in camp with Gervonta “Tank” Davis, helping him train.
“Coach Calvin, coach Kenny, Tank, Derrick Curry all vouched for me to Leonard Ellerbe,” said Hackett. “Telling him this young kid is the goods and you got to get him. That was back in 2019 flash forward to now March 2021 I got signed.”
When asked about sparring Tank Davis, Hackett echoed what many say about the Baltimore champion.
“That man is a beast, he has unreal punching power,” said Hackett. “A lot of guys they say he hit hard for 130 or he hit hard for this weight, he hits hard in general.”
Hackett got to make his professional debut at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. He was opening for the exhibition bout between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Logan Paul.
It is unusual for a pro debut to occur under those settings.
“It was big, it is rare that you fight in a stadium. Most guys fight in an arena. To make my debut in a stadium it was crazy”.
Right now, Hackett is focusing on getting some experience. Trying to stay active has been difficult because of the Coronavirus pandemic has slowed things down. He is eyeballing the end of 2022 or 2023 to start making bigger fights.
Hackett confirmed that he is comfortable moving to 140 or up to 154 to try to win a belt. Wherever there is a good fight to be made.
“I could see myself going down to 140 to get a belt, not to stay there,” said Hackett. “If a belt opportunity presents itself I could see myself going down there to get it. Then come back up to 147 or 154.”
Not only can Jalil Hackett box, he also maintained a 3.5 GPA in high school. He aspires to go to college and major in journalism. He is very competitive by nature and several of his siblings hold master degrees.