Jarrett Hurd is unbeaten, wears three belts and returns from a victorious performance in a contender for fight of the year to appear in Saturday’s pay-per-view co-main event at Staples Center.
Hailing from Accokeek, Md. a small town 17 miles from Washington that was best known as the former home of Italian gun-maker Beretta, Hurd took the humble approach to first win the International Boxing Federation belt last year.
“I always believed I’d be a champion, but I wasn’t outspoken about it,” Hurd (22-0, 15 knockouts) said. “The world just had to see me show them. I’m not that type of guy to run around saying this, that and the other.”
Then, in an April unification bout against Cuba’s Erislandy Lara, Hurd brought the fight to Lara and scored a 12th-round knockdown in Las Vegas that decided his split-decision victory, awarding him the World Boxing Assn. and World Boxing Organization belts, too.
“I always knew with Lara in my weight class that this was the top guy I had to get ready for…,” Hurd said. “I developed the whole macho, walk-him-down style and that’s how I beat him.”
The Boxing Writers Assn. of America members will huddle starting this week to select the fight of the year, and Hurd-Lara is in competition against the Srisaket Sor Rungvisai-Juan Francisco Estrada, Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz and Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin 2.
“Every time I watch [my] fight, I’m glued to the TV. It’s so action-packed, I could watch it 100 times,” Hurd said. “People were saying it was going to be another Lara snooze-fest … but they saw the type of fighter who I am and learned that no matter who’s in front of me, it’s going to be exciting.”
After undergoing a minor procedure to address a slight rotator cuff injury, Hurd will meet England’s Jason Welborn (24-6, seven KOs), a British Boxing champion under Saturday’s Wilder-Tyson Fury main event on Showtime.
“Jason Welborn has nothing to lose. It’s an opportunity he may never get again, and he was preparing for a fight before my fight so a guy like that — so ready — will leave it all out there,” Hurd said.
He’s told powerful Premier Boxing Champions head Al Haymon that he next seeks a homecoming fight in Washington in the first half of 2019, and then meet World Boxing Council champion Jermell Charlo for a 154-pound four-belt unification.
Hurd said he visualizes the showdown with Houston’s Charlo “all the time,” and it’s one of the primary reasons he’s fighting a right-hander Saturday.
“I’ve thought about it so much … I’ve got what the game plan is going to be down pat,” Hurd said. “I need to get back in the groove of fighting right-handers, to get back to moving defensively and being a little more slick because Charlo is a bigger puncher.”