By Keith Idec
Jarrett Hurd expects to fight Jermell Charlo next.
If Charlo wins his fight against undetermined opponent June 9 in Los Angeles, Hurd and Charlo both have stated that they want to fight for Charlo’s WBC super welterweight title and Hurd’s IBF, IBO and WBA 154-pound championships. Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza also has expressed interest in airing that intriguing matchup on the network later this year.
Beyond boxing Charlo, though, Hurd has his sights set on bigger paydays for high-profile fights in the middleweight division. Hurd’s reported purse for his split-decision victory over Erislandy Lara was $500,000, half of the $1 million Lara earned for their 12-round, 154-pound title unification fight.
Now that he has established himself as an elite fighter at 154 pounds, the 27-year-old Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) wants to maximize his earning potential while he is in his physical prime. The 6-feet-1 Hurd would be a big middleweight, too, thus there’s no hesitation about moving up to 160 pounds for the right fights.
“When I defeat Charlo, if I get a chance at the WBO [title], I’m moving up,” Hurd said. “I’m not staying to defend the titles. I’m going up to bigger, better things at 160. When I defeat Charlo, if I don’t get a chance at the WBO, it depends on how long it’ll take before we get it. And I’m still moving up. The bigger fights, the big-money fights are up at 160, and I wanna go up there and fight those guys.”
If Hurd defeats Houston’s Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs), another tough opponent, he also would welcome an opportunity to completely unify the 154-pound championships.
That would require Hurd winning the WBO super welterweight title, which Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) will defend against former champion Liam Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) on May 12 in Verona, New York. Hurd and England’s Smith have exchanged words on social media.
“Eventually, we want guys like Triple-G and Canelo, Kell Brook,” Hurd said. “Liam Smith is about to fight Sadam Ali. Me and Liam Smith had a few words. You know, we’re talking about unifying, also. So at the end of the day, if he has a belt, we’ll take it from him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.