By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Austin Trout was impressed with the heart Jarrett Hurd displayed by stopping Tony Harrison in his last fight.
Trout thinks Hurd was losing to Harrison before he came back to win by ninth-round technical knockout and captured the then-vacant IBF junior middleweight title February 25 in Birmingham, Alabama. The former WBA 154-pound champion also commended Hurd for embracing an optional defense of his title against an accomplished, experienced southpaw who’s still in his physical prime.
Trout also thinks Hurd made a matchmaking mistake for which he’ll pay October 14 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
“He ain’t ready, man,” Trout said after a press conference Wednesday at Barclays Center. “He ain’t ready, but it’s gonna be interesting. He’s gonna get up for the fight. He’s been training; I’ve been training. In my mind, he’s better than me, and I’ve gotta get better than him. But he’s not. That’s just me motivating myself to be better than I am. I don’t think he’s ready and I’m gonna prove it October 14th.”
The 27-year-old Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, has defeated Harrison, JoJo Dan, Oscar Molina and Frank Galarza in his past four fights. Those opponents entered the ring against Hurd with a combined record of 89-4-3, but the 31-year-old Trout (30-3, 17 KOs) is certain they didn’t prepare Hurd for what he’ll encounter October 14.
“They’re not on my level,” Trout said. “They were good opponents for an up-and-comer, but they’re not on my level. I would dispatch of any of those guys, too.”
Hurd-Trout will be one of three 154-pound championship bouts Showtime will broadcast next month from Barclays Center.
Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs), a Cuban southpaw based in Houston, is set to defend his WBA super world super welterweight title against Cleveland’s Terrell Gashau (20-0, 9 KOs) in the main event. The telecast also will include a bout between WBC super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs), of Houston, and mandatory challenger Erickson Lubin (18-0, 13 KOs), of Orlando, Florida.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.