By Lemuel Satterfield
IBO/IBF/WBA 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd’s hopes to emulate heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who twice made bold, public appeals for desired fights.
“The Bronze Bomber” disrupted Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz’s post-fight in-the-ring interview in December 2017 following his second-round knockout of Daniel Martz, challenging him to and winning a fight by three-knockdown 10th-round stoppage in March.
Wilder did so again in August after being ringside for a unanimous decision by lineal champion Tyson Fury over Francesco Pianeta, and will be after his eighth knockout in as many defenses against Fury on December 1 on Showtime Pay-Per-View and December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) hopes to earn his third defense and eighth knockout in nine fights on the Wilder-Fury undercard against Jason Welborn (24-6, 7 KOs) of England before being ringside at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on December 22, where WBC counterpart Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) pursues his fourth defense against repeat title challenger Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs), and twin sibling Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) his initial defense and fourth straight stoppage against southpaw two-time title challenger Willie Monroe (23-3, 6 KOs).
“I will be in attendance when Jermell Charlo fights Tony Harrison, and listen, if they ask for me to come up into the ring, then I’m coming up,” said Hurd, who won his title by ninth-round TKO over Harrison in February 2017, to BoxingScene.com.
“Hopefully the Jermell Charlo fight’s one that can be made sometime during 2019, maybe next summer, because I know I can definitely stop him.”
Talks regarding 154-pound unification supremacy escalated on the night of October 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, where Hurd, Jermell Charlo and Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara made their first, second and seventh title defenses.
Charlo registered a sensational first-round stoppage of previously unbeaten southpaw Erickson Lubin, and Hurd won a Fight Of The Year caliber battle by 10th-round KO of left-handed former titleholder Austin Trout. Hurd overcame a deep and bleeding cut over his left eye to stop Trout for the first time in his career.
Lara scored a fourth-round knockdown during a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha, his sixth straight win (two knockouts) since losing a disputed split decision to Canelo Alvarez in a 155-pound non-title fight in July 2014.
Since that night, Hurd has won a split-decision over Lara in April, scoring a final-round knockdown to add Lara’s WBA crown to those he already owned. Meanwhile, Charlo earned a two-knockdown majority decision over Trout in June.
“Before Jermell fought Austin Trout and beat him by decision, all you heard from him is that he wanted to fight me,” said Hurd in August. “But after he beat Trout, and the way I beat Trout, I haven’t heard too much from him about wanting to fight me. I’ve said things to try to hype up the fight, but lately, he hasn’t responded.”
Hurd was once again in proximity of the 28-year-old Charlo twins at Barclays Center in September as the trio was ringside for Shawn Porter’s unanimous decision victory over Danny Garcia to claim the WBC’s 147-pound title.
“For the record, this will be officially the first fight where I’ll be able to watch Charlo from ringside because when we fought together at Barclays, he was against Lubin and I was on the undercard against Trout, so I didn’t get to watch his fight,” said Hurd.
“I’ve seen interviews where Jermell Charlo’s saying I’ve been at all of his fights, but this will be the first fight where I’ll be coming live to watch him perform. Of course, I’ll be comparing his performance against Tony Harrison to mine, just like I did with our mutual fights against Austin Trout.”
So who wins Charlo-Harrison?
“Tony Harrison bounced back from the loss to me with three straight wins, and he looked really good in his last fight beating [former champion] Ishe Smith, who looked better in his previous loss to Julian Williams than he did losing to Harrison,” said Hurd.
“Now, Tony and I are friends, so he’s my boy, and I want him to go out there and do his thing because he’s my guy. But I also don’t want Tony to win because, deep down inside, I wanna be the first man to beat Jermell Charlo.”