By: Hans Themistode
For nearly a year and a half, Jarrett Hurd would simply shrug his shoulders whenever he was asked when he would return to the ring. Still, even without a concrete date, the former unified 154-pound champion worked steadily on his craft. Now, after waiting patiently, it appears as though he’ll return to the ring in just a matter of months.
According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, both Hurd and fringe contender Luis Arias, are currently deep in negotiations for a showdown that would take place on the undercard of the recently announced Floyd Mayweather vs Jake Paul exhibition matchup on June 6th. Although no deal has yet been finalized, both sides appear to be headed towards the finished line.
For Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs), he’ll desperately look to regain momentum and place his name towards the top of the division. Long before Jermell Charlo held numerous titles in the 154-pound weight class, Hurd’s shoulders were draped in gold thanks to the WBA and IBF world titles. During his championship run, Hurd knocked off several notable names including Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout and Tony Harrison. His world title reign came to an abrupt end at the hands of Julian Williams roughly two years ago. For the first time in his career, Hurd was sent to the canvas and was mostly a step behind.
While Hurd may have picked up the first defeat of his career, he had the immediate option to run things back with Williams but declined. Rather than look to regain his titles, Hurd instead choose to work on several issues within his own camp. For starters, former trainer, Ernesto Rodriguez, unleashed scathing criticism of Hurd that came to the attention of the former world champion. With Hurd showing him the door, Kay Koroma is now leading him.
The pair have gotten off to a good start as Koroma is attempting to get Hurd to box more as opposed to brawling. As a duo, they picked up their first win together in January of 2020 against now-retired Francisco Santana.
Although Arias (18-2-1, 9 KOs) campaigns six pounds higher at middleweight, the chance to face to face a former world champion was simply too good to pass up. Currently, it’s unknown whether or not their showdown will take place at 160 or 154 pounds. Whichever decision is made in terms of the weight class, Arias will simply be looking to end his current winless streak.
The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native hasn’t picked up a victory since 2017, a fifth-round stoppage against journeymen Arif Magomedov. Since then, Arias has suffered wide decision defeats to both Daniel Jacobs and Luke Keeler all while sandwiching a split decision draw against veteran contender Gabe Rosado.
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