By: Hans Themistode
It may not be the Jarrett Hurd that the fans wanted to see but his new found hit and don’t get hit style could lead him to a long career that is filled with more titles in the not so distant future.
When Jarrett Hurd announced his comeback fight would come against Francisco Santana, just months after picking up the first loss of his career, most fans were expecting a knockout. It was understandable, Hurd after all, never failed to disappoint. He either knocked his opponents out or put them down on the canvas en route to a fun fight for the fans.
During his contest against Santana, he delivered on the knock down in the 12th round but he failed to excite the fans for much of the contest. Hurd danced his way to a smooth victory over Santana. Other than a knock down in the final round, it was anything but exciting.
Hurd may not be the fan friendly fighter he once was but he could achieve a level of success that escaped him before. That’s saying a mouthful considering he was a unified champion just a few short months ago.
The Jr Middleweight division is all over the place at the moment but Hurd should have a long list of opponents waiting on him for his next ring outing.
You see what happens when you let fights marinate for far too long? It can over cook.
Jarrett Hurd and Jermell Charlo were once considered the two best in the division. A loss by both men has changed things a bit. Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) ruined the much hyped up contest first with a decision loss to Tony Harrison. He did manage to redeem himself in the rematch and take back his WBC crown but a contest between the two has lost a lot of its luster. Still, it might not be what it could have been but a matchup between these two would be a great one.
The meal might not be as well done but the fans would still enjoy this contest. Even if it did marinate for a little too long.
Before Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year in defeating Julian Williams via stoppage in the fifth round, the same man who took snatched the titles from Hurd in the first place, no one would have mentioned Rosario as a possible opponent for Hurd.
Well, the fact of the matter is that Rosario did in actuality pull off that upset and now he holds two belts in the division. Ironically enough, those are the same belts that Hurd held just last year. Rosario is a big puncher that comes forward with huge power. Sound familiar? That’s exactly how Hurd fights as well, or at least that’s how he used to fight. Fans should be hoping for this contest next.
Can we just put away the notion that Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs) isn’t elite? He lost one fight, albeit in devastating fashion against Jermell Charlo. He’s picked up four straight wins since then and it seems time to put him back in with the top dogs of the division.
The winner of this one would obviously be next in line to compete for a title against any of the current champions. Hurd has become a boxer but against a pure boxer in Lubin, he may need to revert back to his old come forward fighting style in this one.
On Saturday, Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KO) has two opponents in mind. Neither of which will be in the ring with him. Cast out from boxing’s pound-for-pound ranks, Garcia hopes to turn a dominant showing over Ivan Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KO) into a megafight with either Errol Spence of Manny Pacquiao.
Aiming for competitive fights has never exactly been Garcia’s M.O. lest there is something lucrative in it for him which would seem to be just what Spence and Pacquiao offer. Three years ago, Garcia was (even if begrudgingly so) a fixture among the sport’s elite. But having since been relieved of that lofty position following losses to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, years of living off a couple good wins in 2013 seems like ages ago. His recent 2-2 mark dates back to 2017. And too bad considering his talent—combining stellar power and impeccable balance—the whole is less than the sum of its parts when it comes to Garcia.
That 14-month stretch that saw Garcia blast Amir Khan and bang around Lucas Matthysse was something to behold. It also made his fall from grace that much more epic. Biblical even. Because Lucifer might be a good parallel for the hatred Garcia and his camp (namely his father) have been met with from the boxing community. Tagged with the “cherry picker” label for doing Al Haymon’s bidding and constantly jawing throughout that will-they-won’t-they saga leading up to his fight with Thurman. Angel Garcia swore his son was God’s gift to boxing. And fight fans were quick to point out the contradiction of such a claim with what was going down in the ring. For starters, that robbery at the expense of Mauricio Herrera.
It was Garcia’s first action since defeating Matthysse. Herrera was not yet known as the divisional spoiler but instead an unheralded journeyman who fought on even terms with middling men on ESPN. But there was no tuneup to be had for Garcia. Herrera’s awkward attack befuddled the superstar all the way to a lucky decision verdict that still haunts Garcia’s legacy. Still hanging on to his belts, Garcia didn’t get the chance to defend them when he next signed up to fight Rod Salka, a considerably smaller boxer, in a matchup so poor the WBC and WBA refused to sanction it.
By this point, the junior welterweight division was still hot. So Garcia couldn’t avoid the big names forever. To open 2015, he took on Lamont Peterson, a respectable champion. The contest was fair enough but Peterson finished the stronger go the two and that painted a terrible scene when Garcia eked out a majority decision. But the real story was that for no reason at all Garcia demanded a catchweight. That meant no belts on the line, no unification. Meaningless as they often are, those shiny belts mean a lot to the mainline fanbase, who consider them the entire goal of the sport: win the title and be the best. Garcia’s betrayal was yet another grave sin.
The belts clearly didn’t mean anything to Garcia because up he moved to welterweight-proper (147 pounds). In the sport’s most glamorized division pressure for high-level action only increased, especially against Thurman. But Garcia only offered up a bout with Paul Malignaggi and, worse, Robert Guerrero, who Thurman had beat the year before. Garcia’s time between fights became longer, waiting a whole 10 months before finally punching in a TKO over PBC grunt Samuel Vargas.
Not until the spring of 2017 did fans get Garcia-Thurman. But frankly no matter the outcome, no matter how close Garcia would run things with Thurman, it was never going to be enough. His reputation was soiled. Any type of loss was all his detractors needed. He had been exposed, as they like to say. Not just because Thurman was a terrific fighter but because it proved boxing intelligentsia correct all along—every soft touch, all the close fights, they weren’t isolated events but terrific pattern recognition from the hive mind on social media.
Three years on, Garcia has competed just three more times. Losing twice, falling short to the only notable names he’s faced since turning away Matthysse. His last fight was a stoppage over Adrian Granados, a banger cut from the same cloth as Redkach: the plodding type of opponent tailor-made for Garcia. The formula worked before, why not again?
Last June, Redkach, 33, was facing down the barrel of the same gun. Devon Alexander was an established contender on the hunt for a limited banger to gather momentum against. Redkach was his man but a pair of left hands flipped script in Redkach’s favor, winning by sixth-round knockout. Not bad for his welterweight debut.
Turning pro at lightweight with some considerable hype, Redkach was a decent hitter. But cracking a sturdy technician like Alexander was more than even his biggest fans could’ve hoped for. He’s strung together three straight wins. But mining another upset out of Redkach won’t be easy for his trainer Shane Mosley. Pushing those mid-30s there isn’t much left for a fighter beside their power. That might just be to Redkach’s delight.
Hurd looks to bounce back after losing titles
As interesting as a matchup can be between two men coming of a loss, Jarrett Hurd (23-1, 16 KO) squares off with Francisco Santana (25-7-1, 12 KO) in a 10-round junior middleweight contest.
Hurd, 29, was the 154-pound king just last summer before the Maryland bruiser was decisioned by an inspired Julian Williams. Hurd had previously forced his will onto every one of this opponents. A three-fight crusade in 2017 and 2018 had particularly make the world take note: bashing Tony Harrison and Austin Trout before grueling out a decision over Erislandy Lara. All three were beltholders, past or present. So a early knockout over British ruffian Jason Welborn was just desserts.
Despite the hype surrounding Williams before he was felled by Jermall Charlo, Hurd was supposed to run over him. But Williams boxed his ears off. Fortunately for Hurd, Williams surprisingly lost immediately afterwards, and he isn’t that far away from another crack at a title as he is currently the top-rated contender to the WBA’s bevy of champions (three in all!).
Santana, 33, knows Williams firsthand too. They met ages ago in 2011, holding Williams to a draw. It was the first blemish on the future champ’s record. Santana’s true level was clear in his very next fight, outpointed by Jermall Charlo.
As such, the next half-decade was part and parcel for a second-tier brawler. Wrecking regional talent here, fed to shiny prospects there. So in 2018 he was an afterthought when he was entered the short-lived welterweight tournament put on by the WBC. In the top seed was Felix Diaz but Santana paid that no mind, outworking the former gold medalist to a points win. There are no nights off for Santana. He may have been outdone by a fresher, streaking Abel Ramos, in his last fight. but he still floored the younger man, accumulating 800 total punches. That’s who Santana is, consistent—limited that he may be.
By: Hans Themistode
Former unified Jr Middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd is the epitome of how life can change in the blink of an eye.
It felt like just the other day that Hurd was dominating the Jr Middleweight division. Wait, that is because it was just the other day.
In 2017, Hurd defeated Tony Harrison to claim the vacant IBF title. He then proceeded to walk through the rest of the division. Stoppage wins over former belt holder Austin Trout to go along with another quick, yet decisive win against Jason Welborn left little doubt as to who was the best in the division.
Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs) continued his run to the top with a win over Erislandy Lara at the midway point of 2018. The win not only netted him his most impressive victory to date, but also the WBA title as well.
Everything was going in his favor. Hurd was in possession of two titles and quietly built up one of the best resumes in the entire division. On May 11th, earlier this year, Hurd had his first homecoming contest as a champion. His opponent? None-other than former title challenger Julian Williams.
Not to disparage the work of Williams up to that point in his career, but he was viewed as having virtually no chance in his contest against Hurd. What occurred on that night was one of the most shocking results that 2019 has seen.
Williams put down the giant Hurd in the second round courtesy of a right, left combination. The rest of the contest was a tight one, but Williams did more than enough and was rewarded with the victory.
Thoughts of an immediate rematch between the two were rumored to take place shortly after. However, Hurd decided to forgo his rematch and pursue other options. Maybe Hurd would change divisions entirely and go on to bigger and better things. Yet, that was not the case.
Hurd stayed mum on his future plans until recently.
During a press conference at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, Hurd left no doubt as to what his future holds.
“No I will not be moving up to 160, I will be staying at 154,” said Hurd “I will be fighting to get my titles back.”
Dream match ups with Jermall Charlo, Canelo Alvarez or even Demetrius Andrade all must be shelved at this point in time. Going up in weight would be easy for Hurd. At six feet one inches, it is difficult to understand how he manages to shrink himself down to the Jr Middleweight division, a move up in weight at some point is inevitable.
There is only one problem with that scenario. Leaving the only division that he has ever known will undoubtedly leave a bitter taste in the mouth of the former champion. Question his decision all you want, but Hurd certainly has unfinished business.
The former unified champion hinted that a matchup between himself and Williams seemingly will occur once again, as long as they continue to win. But first things first, he needs to dominate Francisco Santana on the 25th of January and in the process of doing so, build up a bit of rapport with his new found trainer.
“That is not to be looking past Francisco Santana. He’s a great fighter but I’m just looking to regain my titles and get back to the old me. Just because I fell back that doesn’t mean that I fell off. I just stepped back and went back to the basics to regain myself.”
By: Hans Themistode
Unified Jr Middleweight champion Julian Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs) shocked much of the boxing world when he unseated former champion Jarrett Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs) on May 11th, earlier this year. It was even more shocking to hear that their highly anticipated rematch, which was slated to take place sometime in December, was called off.
Hurd initially opted to have an immediate rematch to avenge his lone defeat as a pro. With the news of the former champion electing to go in a direction however, it has left several scratching their heads.
Standing at six feet one inches, Hurd has always been viewed as the biggest fighter in the division. He has also at times struggled to make weight. A move up to the Middleweight division could be in the cards for Hurd.
The former champion had long expressed a desire to move up in weight, but first wanted to capture every title in the Jr Middleweight division. He was half way there as he picked up the IBF crown by stopping Tony Harrison in the ninth round of their 2017 matchup. He followed that up one year later by taking the WBA title away from long time belt holder Erislandy Lara via split decision.
The first contest between these two was competitive, but one that Williams won decisively. He floored the much bigger Hurd in the second round and had the former champion on his heels all night long. According to Williams, the decision made by Hurd was a wise one.
“Our first fight was a really good, fan-friendly fight, but it appears he has other plans. I’m not going to bash him. I don’t know what happened. You have to ask him,” Williams said. “Things change in boxing, man, what can I say. I don’t really know how to feel about it. If he doesn’t want to fight, that’s his prerogative. Smart move if you ask me. I wish him the best. I don’t have anything bad to say about him.”
The news of the cancelation of this contest is a tough pill to swallow for fight fans as the rematch was sure to be another action packed contest. Even with Williams needing to find a new opponent, his motivation to unify titles remains the same. The rematch between former champion Jermell Charlo and current WBC champion Tony Harrison is set to take place later on this year and Williams has been vocal about taking on the winner.
As for Hurd, his future is murky at best. He recently decided to part ways with long time trainer, Ernesto Rodriguez which adds to the uncertainty that currently surrounds him.
With his time at the Jr Middleweight division seemingly over, Hurd could have big matches awaiting him one weight class above.
By: Sean Crose
IBF and WBA junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd will defend his titles in Fairfax, Virginia this Saturday night when he faces Julian “J Rock” Williams in a card that will be aired live on Fox starting at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time. Hurd, 23-0, has taken to besting a who’s who of divisional notables in the past two and a half years. Erislandy Lara, AustinTrout, and Tony Harrison have all fallen victim in one form or another to the fighter known as “Swift.” In Williams, 26-1-1, Hurd will be facing another name of note.
A Philly fighter, William’s one loss was to Jermall Charlo in December of 2016. Since that time, he’s gone on to win four in a row, three within the distance. “I just dusted myself off,” Premiere Boxing Champions quotes William’s as saying of his lone loss. “It was just another fight to me.” Now, over two years since that single loss, Williams is getting another major title shot (the bout with Charlo was for the IBF junior middleweight championship). Hurd, however, intends to continue succeeding in the ring. “My confidence level is sky high,” the defending champion said on a recent conference call to promote this weekend’s fight. “I want to make it one sided all the way through.” The Hurd-Williams match is scheduled for 12 rounds.
The well regarded 23-0 junior middleweight Mario Barrios will also be on Saturday’s card. His opponent is the 20-1-0 Juan Jose Velasco, whose lone loss came at the heavy hands of Regis Prograis last summer in New Orleans. The bout, which is scheduled for 10 rounds, is expected to result in another win on Barrio’s resume. None of Barrio’s last seven opponents has managed to go the distance with the San Antonio, Texas native.
Another Jermall Charlo victim, Matvey Korobov, will be fighting Saturday night in Virginia, as well. The 28-2 Russian’s opponent will be the 18-1-1 Immanuwel Aleem. The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds in the middleweight realm. Korobov was on the rise, but was stopped by Andy Lee in 2014. He moved on to his ill-fated fight with Charlo late last year, but aims to prove that a loss or two doth not a career define. Aleem himself only has a single loss on his resume, a 2017 knockout defeat to Hugo Centeno Jr.
The entire card will go down live at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax.
By: William Holmes
The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California was the host site for tonight’s Showtime PPV offering between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
The opening bout of the night was between Joe Joyce (6-0) and Joe Hanks (23-2) in the heavyweight division.
Joe Joyce was a silver medalist in the 2016 Summer Olympics and has stopped every opponent he has faced as a professional.
Joyce was the taller fighter, but looked a little awkward around the ring and was stunned with some decent combinations by Hanks early on. However, when Joyce connected with a straight right hand it hurt Hanks and had him momentarily stunned. Joyce was able to follow that up with a jab and a left hook to the chin that sent Hanks crashing to the mat.
Hanks struggled to get up by the count of ten and protested when the referee waived the fight off, but he looked badly hurt at the time of the stoppage.
Joe Joyce wins by way of knockout at 2:25 of round one.
The next fight of the night was between Luis Ortiz(29-1) and Travis Kauffman (32-2) in the heavyweight division.
Ortiz is an elite fighter with a deep amateur background and the difference in talent was evident early on. Ortiz had Kauffman backing up early on with a stead streak of jabs and kept it up throughout most of the fight.
Kauffman got hit with a low blow in the third round and got some time to recover, but got tagged with a good combination by Ortiz after his break in what may have been the best shots of the night at that point.
Kauffman continued to get moved corner to corner in the fourth and fifth rounds as he was backwards. Ortiz landed a vicious straight left hand in the sixth round that sent Kauffman to the mat and Ortiz celebrating jumping in the corner. But it may have ben premature as Kauffman got back to his feet.
Ortiz picked Kauffman apart for the remainder of the sixth round and landed some solid straight right hands but wasn’t able to finish Kauffman off.
Ortiz had Kauffman backing up in the seventh round and sent him to the mat again in the eighth round with an overhand right to the temple. Kauffman got back to his feet again and took several more hard shots, including a left uppercut, but was able to survive the round.
Ortiz went for the stoppage in the final two rounds, an landed a low blow and a near knockdown in the ninth round that was ruled a push. He did land a left hand in the tenth and final round to score his third knockdown of the fight, but Kauffman got up to his feet again, only to get tagged with another left hook that had him badly hurt before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Louis Ortiz at wins by TKO at 1:58 of the tenth and final round.
The final fight on the undercard was between Jarrett Hurd (22-0) and Jason Welborn (24-6) in the super welterweight division.
Welborn was pressing the pace in the opening round and kept his head in the chest of Hurd and fought the fight in close and appeared to do well.
Hurd pressed behind his jab in the second round and appeared to throw a large number of left jabs and hooks. Hurd was rolling well with the punches of Welborn in the third round, but Welborn may have stolen that round with a flurry at the end.
Welborn opened up the fourth round with some heavy shots on Hurd by the ropes and connected with some clean hooks to the head while Hurd’s back was against the ropes. Hurd covered up and took the shots of Welborn before unloading a right uppercut to the body that sent Welborn to the canvas.
Hurd took some heavy shots in the process, but wins by knockout at 1:55 of the fourth round.
Rd 4: Weblron landed some heavy shots on Hurd by the ropes. Some hard combos. Hurt taking on some good shots. Hurd fighting back. Body shot sends him down. For ten. KO!!
By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions put on a triple header on the Showtime networks live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main event of the evening was between Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd and the co-main event of the evening was between James DeGale and Caleb Truax which was a rematch of a mammoth upset in 2017.
The opening bout of the night was between Julian Williams (24-1-1) and Nathaniel Gallimore (20-1) in the junior middleweight division. The winner of this bout will likely be looking at a title shot in the near future.
Julian Williams was a big step up in competition for Nathaniel Gallimore and he stayed behind a strong jab and good side to side movement in the opening three rounds. Gallimore was able to land some shots on the inside, and landed and received some heavy shots in the fourth round.
Williams had a small mouse under his right eye in the fifth round that opened up from an unintentional headbutt. Williams began to focus on the body more in the middle rounds, though he looked a little tired in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Williams body work continued into the seventh, eight, and ninth rounds and it was visibly sapping the energy of Gallimore. Gallimore’s punches didn’t have much snap in the tenth round and Williams had Gallimore badly hurt in the eleventh round and looked close to stopping him.
It was an entertaining fight, with only one questionable scorecard at the end.
The final scores were 114-114, 116-112, and 117-110 in favor of Julian Williams.
After this bout Floyd Mayweather Jr. was interviewed by Showtime and indicated that if he was going to unretire he would fight in the octagon.
The co-main event of the night was between Caleb Truax (29-3-2) and James DeGale (23-2-1) for the IBF Super Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
DeGale showed the quicker hand speed and more accurate in the opening two rounds, but it featured many headbutts that often happen when a southpaw faces an orthodox fighter.
Truax applied heavy pressure in the third round which featured a hard-right hand to the chin of DeGale that sent him falling backwards into the ropes. DeGale had a cut by his right eye that the referee ruled was caused by a punch, but the video replay showed it was caused by a head-butt.
The Nevada commission informed the announce team in the fourth round that the ruling on the cut being caused by a punch still stood despite the video evidence.
Truax continued to come forward in the fourth through sixth rounds while DeGale badly bled. Truax however wasn’t able to land many effective combinations but he was pressing the action.
DeGale started to land some good counters in the seventh round and land some good short shots on the inside. DeGale had a very strong eighth and ninth rounds and often switched to an orthodox stance from his traditional southpaw stance.
Truax had cuts under both of his eyes by the ninth round and appeared to be tiring. DeGale lost a point in the tenth round for a deliberate shoulder strike.
The final two rounds were close and featured some tight action, but DeGale looked like he was landing the better punches.
The final scores were 117-110, 114-113, and 114-113 for James DeGale.
The main event of the night was between Jarrett Hurd (21-0) and Erislandy Lara (25-2-2) for the IBF and WBA Junior Middleweight Titles .
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
Hurd looked like he was two weight classes bigger than Lara, but Lara was able to find a home with his straight left hand early on and land some quick combinations in the second.
Hurd didn’t appear to be too bothered with Lara’s power and was able to land some good short shots on the inside and was making Lara back away from him in the fourth rounds.
Hurd showed he had a granite chin in the fifth round and was able to take the shots of Lara and answer with his own shots to the body. Lara appeared to tire in the sixth rounds as his back was against the ropes again, and he took a hard right hook at the end of the seventh round.
Hurd was able to land some very hard shots in the eighth round and had Lara’s eye puffed up badly in the ninth.
Lara was able to slow Hurd’s momentum in the 10th round with quick counters and being the first on the attack, and he was able to finish the eleventh round strong and maybe steal the round.
The twelfth round featured both boxers going for the knockout, but it was Hurd who landed a shot that sent his opponent to the mat. Lara looked badly hurt and face was swollen, but he was able to survive the round.
The scores were 114-113 Lara, 114-113 Hurd, and 114-113 Hurd.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Showtime will team up with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) to put on two highly competitive fights live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.
The main event will feature a Junior Middleweight Unificaiton bout between Erislandy Lara and the rising Jarrett Hurd. The co-main event of the evening will feature an anticipated rematch between Caleb Truax and James DeGale for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Their first match was won by Truax in what many consider to be the biggest upset of the year in 2017.
The undercard will feature fighters such as Julian Williams, Sergio Mora, and Alfredo Angulo.
The following is a preview of the two televised fights.
Caleb Truax (29-3-2) vs. James DeGale (23-2-1); IBF Super Middleweight Title
The expected opening bout of the telecast will be between Caleb Truax and James DeGale for the IBF Super Middleweight Title. Truax was able to pull off a tremendous upset during their first bout and surprisingly is still considered by many to be the underdog, despite the fact he beat DeGale in England.
Truax and DeGale are the same height and DeGale has a slight one inch reach advantage. Truax has been the more active boxer of the two. He fought twice in 2017 and three times in 2016. DeGale fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
DeGale clearly has the better amateur resume of the two. He was an Olympic Gold Medalist in 2008 while Truax was an Upper Midwest Golden Gloves Champion. However, while DeGale may be the better amateur boxer Truax appears to have more power in his punches. Truax has stopped eighteen of his opponents while DeGale has stopped fourteen.
Truax has defeated the likes of DeGale, KeAndrae Leatherwood, Melvin Betenacourt, Scott Sigmon, Derek Ennis, and Donovan George. He has lost to the likes of Anthony Dirrell, Daniel Jacobs, and Jermain Taylor.
DeGale has beaten the likes of Rogelio Medina, Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, and Dyah Davis. His losses were to George Groves and Truax.
Even though DeGale has the edge in amateur experience and defeated opponents, Truax was able to beat DeGale in his own backyard and rather convincingly the first time they faced each other and it wasn’t by a lucky knockout punch.
Truax will have the mental edge going into Saturday night that may be the difference to help him win this rematch.
Jarrett Hurd (21-0) vs. Erislandy Lara (25-2-2); IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Titles
This is an intriguing fight between a decorated amateur from Cuba that may be coming near the end of his physical peak and a young upcoming champion looking to make a name for him.
Lara is thirty four years old and will be seven years older than Hurd on fight night. He will also be giving up four inches in height and two and a half inches in reach. Hurd has also been the more active fighter of the two. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016, while Lara only fought once in 2016 and fought twice in 2017.
Lara, however, does not appear to be worried about the size difference. He stated at the last press conference, ” “Everyone knows I love to fight his style. I’ve fought better and taller fighters than him and you’ve seen me dominate them. It’s going to be nothing different on Saturday night.”
Hurd has a slight edge in power as he has fifteen stoppage victories on his record, while Lara only has fourteen stoppage victories.
Hurd was a semifinalist in the National Golden Gloves tournament as an amateur while Lara was a Cuban National Amateur Champion and a member of the Cuban National Boxing Team.
Hurd has defeated the likes of Austin Trout, Tonly Harrison, Ionut Dan, Oscar Molina and Frank Galarza. Nobody has yet to defeat Hurd as a professional.
Lara’s two losses were close and were to Canelo Alvarez and to Paul Williams. He has defeated the likes of Terrel Gausha, Yuri Foreman, Vanes Martirosyan, Jan Zaveck, Delvin Rodriguez, Ishe Smith, Austin Trout, Alfredo Angulo, and Freddy Hernandez.
Hurd appears ready to test Lara and take advantage of his size advantage and his age advantage. He stated, “”Lara is a guy who can’t take pressure fighters well. I have some of the best pressure in the game. I’m younger, stronger, taller and longer. He’s not going to be able to run for 12 rounds. “
Has Lara reached the end of his peak? He hasn’t shown signs of slowing down and Hurd leaves himself open to counters. It should be a close fight, but this writer envisions Lara pulling away by the end of the fight.
By: Bryant Romero
Jarrett “Swift” Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs) showed no hesitation in accepting a unification bout with the considered most established and experienced champion in the Jr. Middleweight division against Erislandy Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs) this Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Hurd relished the opportunity and is heading into the biggest fight of his career with supreme confidence that not only will he defeat Lara, but also establish himself as the only unified champion in the talented rich 154 pound division and make a strong argument that he is the best Jr. middleweight in the world.
Photo Credit:Stephanie Trapp/Showtime Boxing
“There was something in me that always wanted this fight. Once I defended my title against Austin Trout, I was quick to get on top of this opportunity.
“This is going to be a difficult fight. Lara is the type of fighter who has a lot of experience. It won’t be easy so I have to be well prepared and on top of my game come Saturday night,” Hurd said.
Hurd has on been on a tear as of late which can explain the supreme confidence he has heading into this bout. Over the past 7 fights, Hurd has recorded 7 consecutive crushing knockouts, including an impressive stoppage win over former world champion Austin Trout in his last outing. It’s only fitting that for his first unification bout, Hurd will be back at the same arena where he first gained notoriety in his impressive knockout win over the previously undefeated Frank Galarza almost 3 years ago.
“Being back in Vegas and back at Hard Rock where I beat Frank Galarza to really get this whole journey started means a lot to me. I’m planning to give everyone a great show just like I always do,” Hurd told the boxing press.
Despite a limited amateur career, Hurd is only a slight underdog to the more experienced champion in Erislandy Lara. Lara has fought by far the much better opposition, but his career has stagnated since his close decision loss to Canelo Alvarez back in 2014. Lara has since made 5 successful defenses of his WBA strap since then, but inactivity and fighting some unworthy opponents has made his WBA title run very lackluster. The word in Vegas is that Hurd will be too big, too strong, and too fresh for Lara, but whatever happens this Saturday, Hurd promises action in this Jr. Middleweight unification.
“No matter what kind of fight he brings; I’m going to stick to my game plan. He has to fight at my pace. No matter what he comes with, I’m going to be in charge in the ring.
“It’s always going to be fireworks when I’m in the ring. I have a fan-friendly style. At the end of the day, you don’t have to worry about Lara running away, because I’m going to be in his face for 12 rounds,” Hurd said.
Gritty Brooklyn Fighter Frank Galarza seeks to reset Career by Signing with Main Events
by: Eric Lunger
Frank “Notorious” Galarza signed with Main Events promotions, it was announced yesterday. The Brooklyn native, 31, was on track as a super welterweight contender, posting an undefeated record (17-0-2, 11 KOs) until he ran into Jarrett “Swift” Hurd in November of 2015. Galarza was stopped in the sixth round by a brutal Hurd uppercut, a punch that has become something of a trademark for the Accokeek, Maryland fighter.
[Photo courtesy of Frank Galarza and Main Events]
In September of last year, Galarza’s career went sideways again as he dropped a ten round majority decision to crafty veteran Ishe Smith. Trying to start fast, Galarza walked into a trap in the second round and was unable to close the deficit, at least on two judges’ cards.
Now the “Brooklyn Rocky,” as Galarza is known, is seeking to reset his career by signing with Kathy Duva’s Main Events. “I am just one of those fighters who will never turn down anyone,” Galarza said via press release.“I will fight anyone. I wanted to work with Main Events because I have seen what they have done in the past. I like the way they move their fighters.”
The thirty-one year old boxer knows it is time to make the leap from contender to champion. Away from the ring, Galarza is a new father, as well as a man who believes in giving back to his community. In 2014 he founded Youth Fighting Forward, helping young people reach their goals through boxing, education, and job training. A serious person as well as serious contender, Galarza hopes to make his mark in an already loaded division, against the likes of Erislandy Lara, the Charlo Brothers, Jarrett Hurd, and Demetrius Andrade.
For more information on Youth Fighting Forward, visit frankgalarza.com/youthfightingforward.
Jarrett “Swift” Hurd’s First Title Defense is a Serious Challenge
By Eric Lunger
There is a perception in boxing today that too many fighters, when they finally reach that goal of grabbing their first belt, spend too much time resting on their laurels, maybe trying to maximize their earning power by dusting a few weak challengers. And who can blame them, really? Success in boxing requires years of sacrifice and rigorous training, so once a fighter reaches the top, there is no hurry to risk that coveted position.
So big respect to Jarrett “Swift” Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs), who has set his first title defense against Austin Trout (30-3, 17 KOs). Hurd, who proudly hails from Accokeek, Maryland, won the IBF super welterweight belt last February in a tactical and very professional stoppage of well-regarded veteran Tony Harrison (24-2, 20 KOs). Although it was Hurd’s first title fight, he approached the bout methodically and patiently, doing some serious bodywork with his left hook and waiting for an opening. Hurd was also surprisingly versatile in this bout, working behind the jab from range but also comfortable and effective on the inside. Hurd is classically trained, so to speak, and takes pride in being able to display all aspects of the craft.
Austin Trout, from Las Cruces, New Mexico, is a serious threat. He has a long professional resume — he fought Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, and Canelo Alvarez back to back — and he brings a tricky, southpaw style into the ring. Trout has a full professional tool kit and enough experience to make adjustments during the fight. His last bout, against rising star Jermall Charlo, was a close unanimous decision loss (116-112, 115-113, 116-112). While making no excuses, Trout was bitterly disappointed with his loss to Charlo, and the Hurd fight might be his last chance to regain a top spot in the division.
As I see it, Hurd still has some defensive issues that Trout may be able to exploit, while Trout is vulnerable to a short right counter when he fights on his front foot. This bout may hinge on ring IQ and ring adjustment — which fighter will be able to solve his opponent first?
This will be an exciting card, also featuringMikey Garcia vs. Adrian Broner. Garcia, a multiple division champ, is moving up to 140 lbs. Having put his legal issues behind him, Garcia destroyed an overmatched Dejan Zlaticanin in a scary knockout in January, and he is looking to make up lost time. Technically proficient, Garcia sits down on his punches, generates real power, and has a mean streak when he steps between the ropes. No disrespect to Broner, who is a warrior in the ring whatever problems he may have away from boxing, but I think Garcia will clean out most of the division, setting up a potential super-fight showdown with Terence Crawford.
Showtime is broadcasting the fight on July 29th and it looks like the card will land at Barkley’s Center in Brooklyn, a fantastic venue for boxing.
PBC on Fox Results: Breazeale, Hurd, and Deontay Wilder Win by Stoppage
By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series was televised live from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
Two world title fights were televised tonight as Deontay Wilder defended his WBC World Heavyweight Title against challenger Gerald Washington, and Tony Harrison faced Jarrett Hurd for the vacant IBF Junior Middleweight Title.
This was the third straight fight that Wilder fought in Birmingham, Alabama.
The opening bout of the night was between Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-0) and Dominic Breazeale (17-1) in the heavyweight division.
Ugonoh was giving up several inches in height to Breazeale, but looked like he was in incredible shape.
Ugonoh circled Breazeale in the opening round and attacked the body with an occasional combination to the head. Breazeale seemed bothered by the speed of Ugonoh early on.
Ugonoh continued with the good body work in the third round and Breazeale was missing wildly with his punches. Breazeale had difficulty catching up to Ugonoh, and when he did he was hit with a low blow. Ugonoh ended the second round with a good two punch combination.
The third round was action packed and Breazeale turned the tide of the fight in his favor with a right hand that sent Ugonoh to the mat. Ugonoh was able to get back to his feet and survive an onslaught from Breazeale; before answering back with hard thudding right hands that had Breazeale wobbly on his feet. Both boxers were throwing and landing heavy blows as the third round came to an end.
Breazeale pressed the pace in the fourth round and was walking Ugonoh down early on. Ugonoh was able to hurt Breazeale with a right hand to the temple that sent Breazeale falling forward in a failed attempt to hold onto Ugonoh. Breazeale was wobbly when he got back to his feet but was able to survive the round.
Breazeale was recovered by the beginning of the third round and landed two heavy straight right hands to the temple of Ugonoh that forced him to take a knee. Ugonoh looked badly shaken when he got to his feet and was met with several more hard right hands to the temple that sent him crashing outside the ring.
The referee had seen enough and jumped in to stop the fight at 0:50 of the fifth round.
Breazeale showed incredible heart in a highly entertaining fight to get the TKO victory.
The next bout was between Tony Harrison (24-1) and Jarrett Hurd (19-0) for the IBF Junior Middleweight Title.
The opening round was a feeling out round with both boxers throwing their jab in an attempt to find their range. Harrison did look like he had the quicker hands and wider variety of punches.
Hurd was chasing Harrison in the second round and was eating a steady stream of jabs. Hurd kept up the pressure in the third round but Harrison landed several good counters and check left hooks.
Harrison continued to display the quicker hands in the fourth round while Hurd appeared to do little but walk into the jabs of Harrison. Hurd was able to land a good right uppercut in the fifth round but was still out landed by his opponent.
Harrison picked up the pace again in the sixth round and at one point hard Hurd hurt and backed into a corner; but Hurd turned the tide of the fight back in his favor in the seventh round when he had Harrison badly hurt with good body shots and chopping right hooks.
Hurd kept up the pressure in the eighth round and appeared to be physically hurting Harrison with every punch that he landed. Hurd finally scored a thudding knockdown in the ninth round when he connected with a clean straight right hand that sent him crashing backwards to the mat.
Harrison got back up at the count of nine, but spit out his mouthpiece as the referee was talking with him. The referee immediately waived off the fight, despite the protest of Tony Harrison.
Jarrett Hurd wins by TKO at 2:24 of the ninth round.
The main event was between Deontay Wilder (37-0) and Gerald Washington (18-01) for the WBC Heavyweight Title.
Washington established his jab in the opening round and was causing Wilder some problems early on. Wilder was not used to facing boxers as tall as Washington and he had difficulty finding his openings in the second round and at times was moving backwards.
Washington landed some heavy body shots in the third round and was able to avoid the power shots of Wilder and had a good round. Washington was able to land some combinations in the fourth round and it looked like he had Wilder confused.
Wilder opened up the fifth round with a long reaching jab and a looping left hook, before he cracked a straight right hand to the head of Washington that sent him falling backwards on his butt onto the mat.
Washington was able to get up at the count of eight, but Wilder unloaded several hard shots to the head of a cowering Washington before the referee waived the fight off.
Deontay Wilder retains his WBC Heavyweight Title with a TKO victory at 1:45 of the fifth round.
After the fight, Deontay Wilder acknowledged the presence of WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker and stated he’s ready to fight him next and unify the titles.
PBC on Fox Preview: Tony Harrison vs. Jarrett Hurd, Deontay Wilder vs. Gerald Washington
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder will return to his home state at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama to defend his title against top rated and unbeaten heavyweight contender Gerald Washington live on the Fox network.
The co-main event of the night will be between Jarrett Hurd and Tony Harrison for the IBF Junior Middleweight Title. Fox Sports 1 will also feature some of the undercard bouts, which include a heavyweight fight between Dominic Breazeale and Izuagbe Ugonoh as well as rising prospect Caleb Plant.
The following is a preview of the two title fights set to be televised on Saturday night.
Tony Harrison (24-1) vs. Jarrett Hurd (19-0); IBF Junior Middleweight Title
The first world title fight to be televised will be a very competitive one and is a tough bout to pick.
Harrison and Hurd have very similar physical characteristics. Surprisingly, both boxers are 6’1” tall and both fighters have a reach of 76 ½”. Both boxers are also the same age and are in the midst of their athletic prime at twenty six years old.
Harrison, a Detroit, Michigan native, has a slight edge in amateur experience and success and comes from a boxing family. Both his Father Ali Salaam and Grandfather Henry Hank competed professionally with moderate to good success as a boxer. Harrison was also previously trained by the late, great, Emmanuel Steward.
Both boxers have also been very active in the past two years. Harrison fought two times in 2016 and four times in 2015. Hurd fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016.
Hurd has never tasted defeat. He has defeated the likes of Ionut Dan Ion, Oscar Molina, Frank Galarza, and Jeff Lentz. He has won his past five fights by knockout.
Harrison has defeated the likes of Siarhei Rabchanka, Fernando Guerrero, Antwone Smith, Tyrone Brunson, Bronco McKart, and Grady Brewer. His lone loss was to Willie Nelson.
This is a tough bout to pick, but when Harrison fought someone at the level of Jarret Hurd he came up short. Hurd’s power is at least equal to that of Willie Nelson, and Harrison’s confidence may not be where it’s needed to defeat someone like Jarrett Hurd since his knockout loss.
This writer has to give Jarrett Hurd a slight edge over Tony Harrison.
Deontay Wilder (37-0) vs. Gerald Washington (18-0-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
Deontay Wilder was originally scheduled to fight Andrzej Wawrzyk, and received heavy criticism for his choice of opponents, but that bout was cancelled due to Wawrzyk failing a pre-fight drug test.
Gerald Washington was chosen as a replacement opponent despite the fact other well known heavyweights such as Louis Ortiz offered to fight Wilder as a replacement.
Wilder is three years younger than his opponent and will have a one inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage. Wilder also has a much deeper amateur background. Wilder won the bronze medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics for the United States. Washington has no amateur accomplishments to speak of. However, Washington does have an athletic background as he played tight end and defense end for the University of Southern California and played on the practice squad for the Seattle Seahawks and the Buffalo Bills.
Washington started boxing late and made his pro debut at the age of thirty. He has stopped twelve of his opponents. Wilder has stopped thirty six of his opponents and the only man to last all twelve rounds with him was former world title holder Bermane Stiverne. Wilder has stopped four of his past five opponents while Washington has only stopped two of his past five opponents.
Both boxers have been fairly active recently. Washington fought twice in 2016 and in 2015. Wilder fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016.
Wilder clearly has the better professional resume. He has beaten the likes of Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Johan Suhaupas, Eric Molina, Bermane Stiverne, Malik Scott, and Siarhei Liakhovich. Washington has defeated the likes of Ray Austin and Eddie Chambers and had a controversial draw with Amir Mansour.
Washington is a tremendous athlete, but he is not on the level of World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder. Wilder is fighting in front of his hometown fans and will likely put on another exciting stoppage victory for them to enjoy.
Getting Ready for Hurd vs. Harrison: An Interview with “Swift” Jarrett Hurd.
By Eric Lunger
Next Saturday night at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KO’s) will face Tony Harrison (24-1, 20KO’s) in aSuper Welterweight IBF title eliminator bout. Scheduled as the co-main event on the Wilder vs. Washington PBC card on FOX, this is Hurd’s biggest test and his biggest opportunity. Hailing from Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd began boxing at age 15, turned pro at 19, and has his sights set on a world title this year. An exciting and dynamic fighter, Jarrett Hurd is also a serious student of the sport.
Yesterday, in an exclusive interview with boxinginsider.com, Jarrett and his long time trainer, Ernesto Rodriguez, looked back on Jarrett’s last three fights and looked forward to the Tony Harrison show down. Here’s what Jarrett and Ernesto had to say:
Boxinginsider.com: The Frank Galarza fight in November of 2015 was your first ten rounder – you caught Galarza with two really huge uppercuts. Did you all expect him to be vulnerable to that punch or was that a mid-fight adjustment?
Jarrett Hurd: Well, it’s really the way we threw the upper cut. Galarza was used to the basic jab and, right after, the right hand, and after that, the hook. We tried to switch it up, after the jab, or we may lead with the right hand, and bring the uppercut underneath. So, it was the way we switched up the combination. He maybe shoots his left hand up to block the first right, but I come up underneath with the uppercut, and it catches him off guard every time.
Boxing Insider: Your next big fight was Oscar Molina on the Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter undercard in June of 2016. Would you characterize that as your breakout fight? How do you see that in your progression?
JH: I would say that Frank Galarza was my breakout fight, but the Oscar Molina fight was the icing on the cake, letting the people know I was the real deal. The Molina fight was [important for] not only the performance I put on, but it was on one of the biggest cards of 2016, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter – I was on the big stage, under the big lights, opening up for those guys. And the performance I put on let everyone know I was ready for the big time.
Boxing Insider: Did you take any lessons away from the Molina fight, going ten rounds with a former Olympian and a guy who was 13-0 at the time?
JH: Yes, most definitely. We knew the first couple of rounds were going to be competitive because Molina was an Olympian. Going in into the fight, I wanted to work off the jab – that’s what my trainer taught me – we wanted to beat him from the outside. The fight would have been more technical that way. So, going into the fourth round, we wanted to make it a closer fight. Many guys think, because I am tall and rangy that I don’t have a good inside game, but now they know. I switched the game plan up into close quarters and showed him a whole different style.
From that fight I learned, basically, to adjust and switch a game plan between fights and during fights.
Boxing Insider: Did you think you were going to get a stoppage during the tenth round? What were your emotions like when the referee stopped the bout?
JH: You know, he survived the whole fight, so going into the tenth I didn’t really think I was going to stop him. I knew it was the last round and I wanted to pick it up. In the process of picking up [the pace] I got the stoppage. Not only did I fight a great fight throughout the ten rounds, I actually closed the show, so that was a plus for me.
Boxing Insider: I was in Philly for the Jo Jo Dan fight this past November; how would you evaluate your performance in that bout?
JH: Out of my three ten-round fights, I felt that Jo Jo Dan was not my best performance. It wasn’t because I didn’t have a big uppercut or a highlight knockdown, or anything like that, it was I think that I allowed myself to perform at his level. You know, because he didn’t have power and because I wasn’t afraid of his power, I kind of got lazy on my defense.
Boxing Insider: Were you prepared for the amount of in-fighting that he did? He wasn’t head-butting, but he did lead with his head and tried to push you around.
JH: Yeah, he was trying to use some veteran tactics. As I said, it was more that his power didn’t do much. I was not watching out for little things. I went to my corner, and they said: hey, you’re not moving your head. He didn’t have much power, but you don’t want to get hit with unnecessary punches. So that’s when I started boxing a little more.
Boxing Insider: That brings us to Tony Harrison, February 25th, the co-main event on FOX and Sky in England, so this is a big arena. But you’ve fought at Barclays in Brooklyn, Hard Rock in Vegas, the Prudential Center in Newark — what’s it like going on this kind of big stage, or are you just focused on your job?
JH: I’m just focused on the job, you know. Maybe the first two fights, Galarza and Molina, it was kind of exciting to get under the lights. But now it’s second nature. When it’s time to go out there and fight, I don’t let it affect me. I get nervous and butterflies, just because I want to go out and perform, not because of the crowd I’m in front of.
Boxing Insider: This next question is for Ernesto. How much do you game plan for a specific opponent, or do you say “here are Jarrett’s strengths, and he has to beat us?” Where is the balance there?
Ernesto Rodriguez: Well, the way I look at it, styles make fights. The style of a fighter will determine the adjustment for us, how easy or how difficult a fight will be and what adjustments we need to make. Like it was for Galarza, I saw a lot of mistakes that he made, like leaning in after throwing his right hand. We worked on that uppercut in the gym, specifically for that counterpunch. We knew that Molina was an Olympian, that he was aggressive and would come in, and that same uppercut he threw in the first round — we worked on that in the gym, you know, and it set the tone. For Jo Jo Dan, a southpaw, we worked on counterpunches. And now, for Tony Harrison, he’s a fighter that fights on his front foot, puts a lot of weight on his punches coming forward. In my opinion, he is tailor-made for counter punches from Jarrett, [we’ll] let him run into punches. A lot of people expect this to be a very difficult fight, but in my opinion, in won’t be.
Boxing Insider: It suits Jarrett’s style, in your view?
ER: Right. He is tailor-made for Jarrett to maneuver and be patient, and to set the tone and stop him.
Boxing Insider: Jarrett, as you said, you’re a big guy, 6’ 1’’ and rangy, what’s the process of making weight like for you?
Jarrett Hurd: Weight is never a problem. As a matter of fact, I’ve always come in under weight. I usually make the weight the day before the weigh-in, and we usually don’t work out the day of the weigh-in.
Boxing Insider: What is it like in that last hour before a bout, when you are back stage with your team? Are you guys getting focused, are you talking, are you loose? What is going through your mind and what’s happening back there?
JH: We are warming up and they [my team] are always in my ear, motivating me. They are telling me, you’ve put in all this work. The phrase we always use is: don’t leave no stones unturned. We feel like we’ve put in all the work we were supposed to in the camp, we did all the things that were necessary, so going out there, we have no doubts, no second guessing. We’ve done everything right. So they [my team] are just motivating me, but also making sure I’m relaxed and ready to go out there and fight.
Ernesto Rodriguez: We always pray before we go out.
Jarrett Hurd: Most definitely, we always say a prayer.
Boxing Insider: Obviously you don’t look past anyone in this business, but what are your goals for the year?
JH: Well, win the title! Every boxer’s dream and I know this year, its coming. When you turn professional, you know, you’ve seen your idols win world titles, and that’s something I want to do. To win world titles and to leave this sport with my health, those are the two things I want to do.
PBC on CBS Results: Thurman Scrapes by with Controversial Decision, Hurd S
By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series was broadcast on CBS live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Two fights were televised tonight and featured a WBA World Welterweight Championship between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter as the main event of the night, and featured a co-main event between undefeated prospects Jarrett Hurd and Oscar Molina in the junior middleweight division.
Abner Mares was originally scheduled to fight in the co-main event of the evening, but had to pull out at the last minute due to an injury. The Hurd and Molina fight got bumped up to the co-main event as a result.
The undercard featured several highly touted prospects. Regis Prograis looked impressive in his fourth round stoppage of Luiz Florez and David Benavidez was dominant over Francy Ntetu, despite the fact fans disapproved of the stoppage.
Heather “The Heat” Hardy continued to grow her fan base with an exciting decision over Kirstie Simmons in the featherweight division.
The attendance for the fight was 12,718 and most of the seats were filled by the start of the first televised fight.
The first televised bout of the night was between Jarrett Hurd (17-0) and Oscar Molina (13-0-1) in the junior middleweight division.
Hurd’s size advantage was evident at the opening bell and he was able to use his size advantage to push Molina back with a steady jab in the opening round. He was able to stun Molina and knock him down with a good counter right uppercut, but Molina was able to beat the count, get back to his feet, and survive the round.
Hurd patiently picked Molina apart in the second and third rounds. Molina was able to land some decent shots on Hurd, but he lacked the power to hurt him.
Hurd picked up his activity in the fourth round and was able to deflect most of Molina’s shots. The fifth round featured some good exchanged and both boxers were able to land their shots, but Hurd was landing the harder shots. The action in a phone booth continued in the sixth round as both fighters seemed content with trading shots.
Both boxers dug in deep with their punches in the seventh round, but it was one of Molina’s best rounds of the night and his double left hook worked well for him, but Hurd was able to have a strong eighth round and re-establish control of the bout and had Molina hurt at the end of the round.
Molina needed a knockout by the final two rounds to win the fight, but Hurd dominated and had badly bruised the face of Molina. Hurd unleashed several combinations in the final round and had Molina hurt before the referee jumped in to save Molina from himself.
Jarrett Hurd impresses on national television and wins by TKO at 2:02 of the tenth round.
Afterward Hurd stated, “Molina is a great fighter. This is definitely a big win for my career. He was taking a lot of shots, but he knew how to survive.”
The main event of the night was for the WBA World Welterweight Championship and was between Keith Thurman (26-0) and Shawn Porter (26-1-1).
The crowd and energy was high for this bout and both boxers appeared to be jumpy in the opening round. Porter was reaching for his shots and at times overly aggressive in the first round, while Thurman was able to land some clean counter right crosses on Porter.
Porter had a strong second round and kept the fight in close and beat up Thurman by the ropes and was very effective with his body work. Both boxers threw bombs in the third round and neither established control in the first two minutes, but Thurman landed a bomb of a right hook near the end of the round that got the crowd on its feet.
Thurman had a very strong fourth round and had Porter on the defensive with his check left hook. They had a vicious exchange in the middle of the ring in the fourth, but Thurman was able to briefly buckle the knees of Porter during the exchange.
The fifth and sixth rounds were close and at times it looked like Porter was a bull and Thurman was the matador, but Porter was the aggressor in these rounds and was able to pound the body of Thurman whenever his back was against the ropes.
Porter had another strong round in the seventh round and was able to land hard right crosses and decent body shots. The eighth round was close and could have been scored either way, but Porter was able to land some thudding body shots while Porter was able to land hard check left hooks.
Porter had a very strong ninth round and was able to open up a cut near Thurman’s left eye and had him on wobbly legs by the ropes by the end of the round. The tenth round was action packed. Thurman was able to momentarily stumble the legs of Porter near the end of the round with a hard left hook, but Porter answered back with hard combinations of his own.
Thurman was able to land a huge left hook in the eleventh round that got the crowd on it’s feet, but he was fighting backwards most of the round and did not want to engage Porter in close range.
By the final round this bout could have been scored in either boxer’s favor, as for many rounds were close, but Porter appeared the land more punches in the last round while Thurman appeared to land the harder shots.
This fight screams for a rematch, but the judges scored it 115-113 on all three scorecards for Keith Thurman.
The crowd thought otherwise and booed, loudly, the judges decision.
Undercard Quick Results:
Heather Hardy (17-0) defeated Kirstie Simmons (8-2) by decision in the featherweight division with scores of 79-73, 78-74, and 78-74.
David Benavidez (15-0) defeated Francy Ntetu (16-1) by TKO in the light heavyweight division at 1:30 of the seventh round.
Jonathan Alonso (10-0) defeated Brian Jones (13-6) by decision in the junior welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.
Regis Prograis (18-0) defeated Luis Florez (21-4) by TKO at 1:47 of the fourth round for the NABF Junior Welterweight TItle
Josue Vargas (5-0) defeated Ryan Picou (2-10-1) by decision in the junior welterweight division with scores of 40-36 on all three scorecards.
Nicklaus Flaz (3-0) wins by knockout at 1:13 of the first round over Mack Babb (1-7) in the junior middleweight division