ALBANY — When Albany’s Haven Brady Jr. goes for his fourth knockout in as many professional fights on Saturday, it will be the first time with a crowd of supporters cheering in his corner in what will be his boxing debut in his home state.
The featherweight’s first two bouts were inside “the bubble” at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas with a strict protocol of testing and safety measures for both boxers and audience members. After the first two fights in Las Vegas in October and December 2020, the third was in Ashland, Ky.
“It’s a good feeling,” said the 20-year-old Brady of boxing in his home state. “I’m excited. This is my first fight with a crowd. There’s a lot of my friends and family who said they were going to try to make it, so I should have a good amount of people there.”
For the Saturday bout, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Brady will face another undefeated fighter, Roberto Negrete, who also has a 3-0 record with one knockout.
Since graduating from Westover High School in 2020, Brady has been balancing a professional boxing career with college at Clark Atlanta University, where he is majoring in business management.
“It’s just great time management,” he said of those dual roles. “School is going well. It’s kind of tough, but I have a good time schedule and stay focused on it.”
Known as “The Hitman,” Brady signed a multiyear contract last year with Top Rank Boxing.
“Every three or four months, I try to have a fight,” he said. “With COVID, that’s kind of slowed it down. I’m very excited for this fight. I’ve been training very hard. Don’t get there late, it might be quick.”
Brady, who had a 65-10 record as an amateur, said he also tries to visit his hometown frequently and work out with younger boxers.
The Saturday fight will be broadcast on ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes.