by David P. Greisman, photo by Ryan Hafey
Jo Jo Dan wasn’t the foe Jarrett Hurd originally expected, but the late replacement opponent still was beneficial to the junior-middleweight prospect’s development.
“This does a lot for me,” Hurd said afterward. “These fights I'm getting are bringing me closer to the belt. Hopefully this moves me up the rankings.”
Hurd won by sixth-round technical knockout, moving to 19-0 with 13 KOs. Dan was able to land at times on Hurd, though he was undersized, a former welterweight who never had Hurd hurt or in danger.
“We knew he was a crafty southpaw. We wanted to take our time because we didn't know how he would come out. We felt him out at first,” Hurd said. “We didn't think he'd come in as much. I thought he'd try to move around. But he brought the fight a little closer than I expected. My defense was a little off because [of] being prepared for a right hander. We fixed that in the last round and got the stoppage.”
Hurd was originally supposed to face Jorge Cota, who had to pull out with a medical emergency. The fight was offered to Willie Nelson, who opted against the deal. Instead, Hurd ended up with Dan, who was in his second fight since being blown out by welterweight titleholder Kell Brook last year.
Hurd, who has now been spotlighted in three straight fights on Showtime’s “ShoBox,” CBS and now on Spike TV, wants to build on that, which will mean facing a higher level of opposition.
"There are a lot of great fighters in this division,” he said, “and whoever I can get in there with, I'll be ready for."
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