A Swift rise from big fish in a little pond, to going fishing for a dangerous Trout
This Saturday “Swift” Jarrett Hurd will face fan-favorite Austin Trout in his first defense of the IBF World Title he won just a few months ago. While a glance at Trout’s resume would suggest that he’s lost three of his step-up fights (Canelo, Lara, Charlo), nuance tells a story of a man that never had Lady Luck’s favor when it came to the scorecards.
Three of the four fighters in the main and co-main events on Showtime’s talent-packed answer to SuperFly may carry more fan-recognition than Hurd: “Cinnamon’s Bane” Erislandy Lara faces unknown amateur stand-out Terrell Gausha in what appears to be a mismatch while Jermell Charlo takes on meteoric prospect Erickson Lubin. And of course, Trout has been in the ring with some of the sport’s best.
With names like Lara and Charlo, it could be easy to gloss over the opening fight of Saturday’s card. The idea of a young champion facing an aging veteran would make it seem easy to sleep on Jarrett Hurd’s first title defense, but as is often the case in boxing, the devil is in the details.
Hurd made waves coming up the ranks in 2015, blitzing through all of his opponents, stopping all three in seven rounds or less. 2016 went just as spectacularly; Hurd fought twice and continued his stoppage streak. The impressive string of victories and fan friendly style earned Hurd Prospect of the Year honors.
Hurd’s first fight of 2017 was originally set to be a final eliminator against Tony Harrison to challenge then-champion Jermall Charlo. Jermall opted to move up to 160, upping the stakes of the fight to the vacant title itself. Had Hurd’s time arrived?
Harrison seemed off to a great start; his movement was giving Hurd problems. It appeared that Hurd was on his way to his first loss. But with the application of steady pressure and a powerful right hand, Hurd managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Where most fighters would take an easy first defense, Hurd has opted instead to take one of the better challengers available: Austin Trout. Of those few who can claim a W over Trout, they are all names any boxing fan would know immediately: Lara, Charlo, and Canelo (all of which where Trout made a good showing of himself).
Rather than take the easy way out and fight someone from the obscure pages of BoxRec for a soft touch, Jarrett Hurd instead looks to add himself to the Trout Mount Rushmore. The promise of a knockout victory is as lofty a promise as Hurd’s career appears to be. Beating a skilled, battle-tested vet in a manner boxing’s elite couldn’t is exactly what a young champion like Hurd needs for the boxing world to put some respect on his name.
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Jarrett Hurd — From 2016 Prospect-of-the-Year to Defending World Champion was originally published in sundaypuncher on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.