By Keith Idec
Jarrett Hurd is the man Jermell Charlo really wants to fight.
For now, the unbeaten WBC super welterweight champion will settle for facing an opponent Hurd has beaten. ESPN.com reported Tuesday that Houston’s Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) likely will make an optional defense of his 154-pound championship against Austin Trout on June 9 in Los Angeles.
The Charlo-Trout fight will be broadcast by Showtime as part of a doubleheader that’ll feature a featherweight championship rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares at Staples Center. A press conference took place Tuesday for the Santa Cruz-Mares rematch, but Trout wasn’t announced as Charlo’s opponent as part of that event.
The 32-year-old Trout (31-4, 17 KOs), a former WBA super welterweight champion from Las Cruces, New Mexico, has lost two of his past three fights. The 27-year-old Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) became the first fighter to beat Trout by knockout or technical knockout when the veteran southpaw declined to leave his corner for the start of the 11th round October 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In his previous fight, Trout lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs), Jermell’s twin brother. Jermall Charlo, now a middleweight contender, was the IBF junior middleweight champion when he out-pointed Trout in May 2016.
Trout won his last fight, an eight-rounder against Colombia’s Juan De Angel (20-8-1, 18 KOs), by unanimous decision February 17 in El Paso, Texas.
If Jermell Charlo beats Trout, too, he is expected to fight Hurd in a 154-pound title unification fight later this year. Hurd, of Accokeek, Maryland, added the WBA and IBO super welterweight titles to his IBF junior middleweight crown by defeating Erislandy Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) by split decision Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Jermell Charlo, 27, has scored sensational knockouts in each of his past two title defenses.
He knocked out Dallas’ Charles Hatley (26-2-1, 18 KOs) in the sixth round last April 22 at Barclays Center. Then he knocked out Erickson Lubin (18-1, 13 KOs) in the first round October 14 at Barclays Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.