Ernesto “Nesto” Rodriguez, the head trainer of WBA, IBF, IBO junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs), feels very confident that his boxer could defeat WBC world champion Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) - who some regard as the top fighter at 154-pounds.
Based on his big win this past April in Las Vegas, Hurd is now on top of the world - after dropping division ruler Erislandy Lara in the twelfth round of their grueling bout to win a close twelve round decision to unify their three world titles.
The victory capped off a solid string of wins for Hurd - who captured the IBF title in February 2017 with a TKO of Tony Harrison, and then he became the first man to stop Austin Trout a few months later. Charlo recently went the full twelve round distance with Trout.
Rodriguez has been studying Charlo and he sees some obvious flaws that he will work in Hurd's favor.
“Jermell is a very good fighter—very strong, technical, and can box. But I think I see some doubt, psychologically. He breaks down and panics when things don’t go his way. I think we can take advantage of that, because when the mind goes, the body follows," Rodriguez told Boxing News.
“If you watch Jarrett, he stays cool under pressure, even when things aren’t going his way. Doing that allows you to preserve energy. Jermell is the opposite. You can see it in his personality. You say something and he don’t want to hear it, he’ll go off. That’s just his character and we plan on exploiting it.”
Rodriguez warned that if Charlo fights Hurd in the same manner that he fought Trout - he will never see the final bell.
“Charlo’s time will come,” Rodriguez says.
“We’re not here to disrespect any fighter and we think he’s an excellent one. But we have to keep it 100. Trout moved, clinched and used veteran tactics and Charlo’s mental game broke down. He couldn’t finish Trout. He got tired. And if he fights like that against us, he ain’t seeing the end of the fight, I guarantee you that.”
Hurd is recovering from injury and plans to fight again in the final quarter of the year, while Charlo is also planning to return to the ring in the coming months. They are likely to face each other in the first quarter of 2019.