At the age of 18, Jalil Hackett is living his dream after putting in the needed work to achieve it. The Cardozo High School graduate, who finished school a year early with a 3.5 GPA, won his first boxing match in Las Vegas as an undercard for Floyd Mayweather, Sunday night.
Hackett has been training with Mayweather’s promotions company since after high school. His father, Bernard Hackett, a former amateur boxer in the district, serves as both his mentor and trainer.
The Washington, D.C. native has been training all his life for this moment, and in one minute and one second into the fight, he knocked out his opponent in the first round, winning his first official boxing match.
“This is a once in a lifetime experience fighting on the same card as Floyd Mayweather,” Hackett said. “To fight on his card and to win, how I won is just great.”
He got to train with legendary boxing champion Mayweather in preparation for the competition, which featured Mayweather against Logan Paul, and Jalil on the former’s boxing card.
Derrick Curry, Mayweather’s representative in D.C., is Hackett’s manager who is working alongside Hackett’s father Bernard to get the young fighter in shape. Curry was impressed with the 18-year-old’s demeanor both in and out of the ring. “His mannerisms, his politeness, the whole package,” said Curry.
For his big moment, Hackett wore purple and white to represent Cardozo High School, and the victory which came after the fight is a testament to the immense support the school staff gave him while he was a student. According to his father, the staff was his son’s biggest supporter.
Hackett is only beginning his boxing career, but he has set the bar so high and aims to win three world boxing titles before he is 23. The teenager even has his retirement plans in place and intends to go into real estate after hanging up his boxing gloves.
He told BOTWC that, “it’s very important to chase your dreams to the fullest extent because you never know if you’ll make it until you try. If you are confident and believe you want to achieve something, no matter how irrational it may seem to others, if you put forth 1000% effort, you can do it”.
Hackett dedicated his win on Sunday, June 6, to his friend Willie Brown, who was killed last May.