by David P. Greisman
Jarrett Hurd arrived for his fight against Oscar Molina in Brooklyn as an undefeated junior middleweight prospect. He left with another victory, this one by 10th-round technical knockout, and with a belief that he’s advanced past the prospect level.
“I feel like I’m leaving now as a contender,” he said afterward.
The victory brought Hurd to 18-0 with 12 KOs. And it came in the opening fight of the primetime CBS broadcast of Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter. That was a big opportunity for Hurd, one that became available barely a week before the fight. Originally, Abner Mares vs. Jesus Cuellar was supposed to open the broadcast, but it was canceled when Mares was taken off the card due to an eye injury.
Hurd also benefited last November, when Gary Russell Jr. had to pull out of his fight with Oscar Escandon. That pushed Hurd’s fight against Frank Galarza into the main event of a special Saturday edition of “ShoBox: The New Generation.”
“I’m the kid that no one never really heard of. So when these opportunities come and I go out there and perform the way I do, it opens up a lot of doors for me,” Hurd said. “The performance I put on tonight, I’m very happy with it. Whatever’s next for me, I’m ready.”
One thing he’s hoping is next will be a step up in opposition.
“We want to get former champions like [Cornelius] ‘K9’ Bundrage, Ishe Smith, fights that put me in a better position to fight a champion” Hurd said. “I’ve only had two fights on the big stage. We want to take the right route to where I need to be.”
Bundrage was taken out in three rounds by Jermall Charlo last September. He is now 43 years old. Smith dropped a majority decision to Vanes Martirosyan in September and then came back in December with a victory over Tommy Rainone.
“They’re former champions. I want to get that experience,” Hurd said. “I want to know if I can stand in there with crafty fighters with a lot of tricks and a reputation. Basically, I want to test myself.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]