MIAMI BEACH, Florida – Now that Jarrett Hurd and trainer Kay Koroma are more comfortable together, Hurd envisions a more polished performance against Luis Arias than he produced in his first fight with Koroma in his corner.
Hurd was tempted to revert back to his stalking style when he faced Francisco Santana in January 2020, but Koroma continually convinced the former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champion to apply what they practiced in the gym. A more disciplined Hurd definitively defeated Santana on points in their 10-round bout, but Hurd wasn’t entirely pleased with how he fought.
Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs) intends to impress people more with the way he wins against Arias (18-2-1, 9 KOs) on the Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul pay-per-view undercard Sunday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens (8 p.m. EDT; $49.99). The 30-year-old Hurd hopes a victory over Arias in their 10-round middleweight match leads to the fight he truly wants within the junior middleweight division – a showdown with Jermell Charlo.
A Hurd-Charlo clash seemed inevitable before Tony Harrison upset Charlo in December 2018 and Julian Williams upended Hurd in their 12-round, 154-pound title fight in May 2019. Charlo won back his WBC championship from Harrison the following December and later added the IBF and WBA belts by stopping Jeison Rosario, who upset Williams.
If Charlo beats Brian Castano in their title unification fight July 17, he’ll become the first fully unified champion in the history of the 154-pound division.
“I would love it to be my next fight,” Hurd told BoxingScene.com during a press event to promote the Mayweather-Paul show. “I don’t want no other fight besides that. I mean, I would love to have that fight next. Hopefully, we can get that one done. I’m ready, man.”
Hurd, of Accokeek, Maryland, predicted Charlo will become the first fighter to defeat Argentina’s Castano, who owns the WBO junior middleweight title.
“I think Charlo will win,” Hurd said. “I haven’t seen much of Castano, but I don’t think he has faced the competition Charlo has faced. Charlo has proven himself. He is a great champion. He has stopped some good opponents. I’m not sure what Castano could do with him. He’s a much shorter and smaller fighter than Charlo. I’m not sure about a stoppage, but I think Charlo will win the fight.”
Hurd wants to finally fight Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs), even if the Houston native loses to Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs) in a bout Showtime will televise from an undetermined site.
“I prefer Charlo to win,” Hurd said, “because I feel like even if Castano were to win, before I move up, I would have to face Jermell Charlo.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.