NEW YORK – Jarrett Hurd’s goal is the same as before he lost three 154-pound titles.
The former IBF/IBO/WBA champion wants to become the undisputed ruler of that division before he moves up to middleweight. He didn’t mention Jermell Charlo, Jeison Rosario or Patrick Teixeira by name during a post-fight press conference early Sunday morning at Barclays Center, but those currently are the three title-holders he’d have to beat to transform that ambition into reality.
“Listen, I want the belts and I want the best,” Hurd said after defeating Francisco Santana by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder Showtime televised Saturday night. “I was this close to becoming undisputed champion and it’s right around the corner for me. That’s what I want – I wanna become undisputed, so whoever got the belts, that’s who I wanna fight.”
Houston’s Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs), who owns the WBC super welterweight title, appears to be the only one of the aforementioned champions who would be available to face Hurd next.
The Dominican Republic’s Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) owes Julian Williams a rematch after upsetting Williams by fifth-round technical knockout to win the IBF, IBO and WBA titles January 18 in Philadelphia, Williams’ hometown. Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs, 1 NC), who won those titles by upsetting Hurd by unanimous decision May 11, says he wants the Rosario rematch to happen immediately.
Brazil’s Teixeira (31-1, 22 KOs) has a mandatory defense of his WBO title due against Argentina’s Brian Castano (16-0-1, 12 KOs).
Hurd discussed the possibility of challenging Charlo next during an interview with BoxingScene.com before he beat Santana.
“That was always the biggest fight for me at 154 before the whole mix-up,” Hurd said. “I still think that’s the biggest fight for me. So, I mean, hopefully I can get that fight. But it doesn’t matter. I just wanna get back on top, as a world champion, and build my legacy at ’54 before I move up [to middleweight].”
The 29-year-old Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs) emphasized after dropping and out-pointing the smaller, slower Santana (25-8-1, 12 KOs) that he doesn’t intend to move up to the middleweight division any time soon.
“How much longer?,” Hurd said when asked how long he can make 154 pounds. “I don’t know an exact time, but I will be fighting more often than two times a year. I’m gonna try to at least, at the minimum, fight three times a year. And I’m gonna stick around [at 154 pounds] as long as I can, man. I’m gonna stick around until I’m missing weight. I’m gonna do whatever I can to, you know, accomplish that goal, where I wanna become undisputed before I move up [to the middleweight division].”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.