By Keith Idec
Jarrett Hurd is the only opponent who has stopped Austin Trout since Trout turned pro 12½ years ago.
The bigger, stronger Hurd wore down Trout during their fight October 14 in Brooklyn, until Trout felt like he couldn’t continue. Their scheduled 12-round championship match had been very competitive before Hurd’s physicality overwhelmed Trout, who was down on all three scorecards when their bout was stopped after the 10th round (97-93, 96-94, 96-94).
Jermell Charlo is bigger than Trout, too, yet not quite as large as the 6-feet-1 Hurd. Charlo stands 5-feet-11, about 1½ inches taller than Trout.
Trout won’t only face a size disadvantage during their June 9 bout, though. The former WBA super welterweight champ pointed out during a conference call Wednesday that he’ll also encounter a much more skillful opponent in Houston’s Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) than when he challenged Hurd.
“Jermell has a boatload more skills,” Trout said. “In my opinion, Hurd’s not very skilled. He’s just a big, tough dude, you know? Jermell, he’s tough and, you know, he’s bigger than most junior middleweights. But he’s awfully skilled, so we definitely have gotta worry about his skill set, as opposed to him just taking punishment and making me [wear] down from beating him up. That’s what happened with Hurd – I just beat him up until I ran out [of gas], until I couldn’t beat him up no more.”
The 32-year-old Trout (31-4, 17 KOs), of Las Cruces, New Mexico, suffered from dehydration the night he challenged Hurd for his IBF junior middleweight title at Barclays Center.
“I was just worn down and, again, I had to go to the hospital for dehydration, which I’ve never experienced,” Trout said. “But, you know, we were throwing some heat from the first six, seven rounds. And we buzzed him a couple times, and I felt like just a little bit more [worn down], just a little bit more each round, until I had nothing left. And that’s when he came on.”
If the 28-year-old Charlo can successfully defend his WBC super welterweight title against Trout, he probably will face Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) in an intriguing title unification fight later this year. Hurd edged Erislandy Lara by split decision in his last fight, April 7 in Las Vegas, to retain his IBF title and win the WBA and IBO championships from Cuba’s Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs).
The Charlo-Trout bout will open Showtime’s doubleheader June 9 from Staples Center in Los Angeles. In the main event, Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs), of Rosemead, California, will defend his WBA “super” featherweight title against Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) in a 12-round rematch.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.