By Keith Idec
Austin Trout is confident Jarrett Hurd has never encountered an opponent like him.
But Trout, a former champion who has more experience against top competition than Hurd, boxed someone similar to Hurd in just his last fight. Like the 6-feet-1 Hurd, Jermall Charlo was a big, strong opponent that Trout tested in a fight for the IBF junior middleweight championship Hurd has since won.
Trout thinks the 6-feet Charlo is a better fighter overall than the undefeated Hurd, who will defend his IBF 154-pound crown against Trout on October 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Showtime).
“In my opinion, I do feel like Charlo is the better fighter between him and Hurd,” Trout told BoxingScene.com. “He’s definitely strong, kind of the total package. He had a good jab, he had decent footwork, and in my opinion, Hurd just comes forward and is gonna try to overpower me. I hope he has a Plan B or Plan C. And if he does, we still have plans for that, too.”
Trout (30-3, 17 KOs), a southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico, made his fight against Charlo more than competitive. Houston’s Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) won their 12-round bout by unanimous decision (116-112, 116-112, 115-113), but he praised Trout for giving him a difficult fight.
Unfortunately for Trout, he hasn’t boxed in the 16½ months since Charlo beat him in May 2016 in Las Vegas. That long layoff aside, Trout remains confident he’ll be able to win the IBF junior middleweight title this time around.
“He’s never fought people like me, although I’ve fought people like him or better,” Trout said. “As a matter of fact, my last fight, I feel like was the same situation with Charlo. A big junior middleweight, undefeated, IBF champion, and I lost that by inches.
“They’re not the same person and I’m not treating them as such. But at the same time, it has definitely helped me prepare to know what I’m getting into. With Charlo, he was a bigger guy, but he didn’t bully me. He wasn’t able to push me around the ring or anything like that. And we’re not gonna let Hurd do that, either.”
Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, won the title Charlo gave up to move up to middleweight earlier this year. He stopped Detroit’s Tony Harrison (24-2, 20 KOs) in the ninth round of a close fight February 25 to win the then-vacant championship in Birmingham, Alabama.
Hurd will make the first defense of his title against Trout. Theirs will be the first of three 154-pound championship matches Showtime will televise a week from Saturday night from Barclays Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.