By Keith Idec
When Jimmy Lennon Jr. announced Tony Harrison as the winner over Jermell Charlo 4½ months ago, Jarrett Hurd admits he was bothered by the decision.
Not because he felt Charlo won, but because Hurd knew that what was supposed to be the fight at 154 pounds at least would be delayed. Hurd had hoped to win his own interim matchup, eventually revealed as an optional title defense against Julian Williams on Saturday night, before securing a showdown with another unbeaten champion in Charlo.
Harrison’s upset changed Hurd’s mood that night because he knew Harrison owed Charlo an immediate rematch. That second Harrison-Charlo clash is scheduled for June 23 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
If Charlo wins, particularly if he regains his WBC super welterweight title in convincing fashion, Hurd-Charlo chatter will begin again. If it doesn’t, that’s fine by Hurd, who could grant Harrison a rematch of a February 2017 bout Hurd won by ninth-round technical knockout.
Whomever wins the Harrison-Charlo rematch, the undefeated IBF, IBO and WBA 154-pound champion might move up to 160 pounds. It is getting increasingly difficult for the 6-feet-1 Hurd to make 154 pounds and there are more attractive financial opportunities at that weight, maybe even a fight against Jermell Charlo’s twin brother, Jermall, who owns the WBC interim 160-pound championship.
“Well, at first, when it first happened and I was at the fight, I was kind of upset,” Hurd said of Jermell Charlo’s loss during a recent conference call. “And I was only upset because of this big thing with Hurd-Charlo, Hurd-Charlo. I didn’t think it was gonna live up to the hype. That was the matchup at 154 at the time and when Harrison won, I was kind of upset because I didn’t think I was gonna have the big Hurd-Charlo matchup.
“But then, as a few days went past, I kind of thought about it and was like, ‘Why do I care? Because my legacy don’t end there, with Charlo. Charlo doesn’t define my career. You know, I’ve got bigger fights at 160 that can always be made.’ And, you know, I just kind of came back to reality. Like, even if that fight never happens, it doesn’t – who cares?”
The 28-year-old Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, is a 6-1 favorite over Philadelphia’s Williams (26-1-1, 16 KOs, 1 NC) entering a 12-round main event FOX will televise from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. FOX’s tripleheader is set to start at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.