Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) felt he was in control of his IBF/WBA junior middleweight unification fight last Saturday night against WBA Super World junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) in beating him by a 12 round split decision at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hurd didn’t see the 12th round knockdown that he scored as being crucial for him to win the fight.
(Picture credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME)
Hurd saw himself as having the fight in the bag going into round 12. The judges saw it differently. Two of them had the contest knotted up going into the 12th, and one of the judges had Lara up two rounds, which is hard to believe.
The 3 judges turned in these scores: 114-113, 114-113 or Hurd, and 114-113 for Lara. Boxing News Results gave the fight to Hurd by 8 rounds to 4. You can argue that Hurd might have done enough to win it 9 rounds to 3.
“It was a tough one, but I went out there and did exactly what I said I was going to do – fight all 12 rounds and get the victory,” Hurd said. ”I didn’t feel like (I needed the knockdown). I feel like I was in control the whole fight, applying the pressure.”
Hurd, 27, started a little late in the fight, waiting until round 4 to start walking down the 34-year-old Lara, and hitting him with clubbing shots to the head and body. Lara began to wilt almost immediately under the pressure from Hurd. The judges had a hard time picking out
With the big victory for Hurd, he’s on his way to becoming a pound-for-pound star in no time, and he’s clearly the NO.1 fighter in the 154 lb. division. That’s not a knock on WBO champion Sadam Ali and WBC champion Jermell Charlo, but they lack the work rate, chin, punching power and size of Hurd. He’s clearly the most exciting fighter in the junior middleweight today, and perhaps the most entertaining fighter the 154 lb. division has seen in many years. Saul Canelo Alvarez was an interesting fighter to watch when he was at 154, but he always needed a lot of rest breaks in his fights, and he was frequently fighting welterweights rather than the best guys from the junior middleweight division. When Canelo finally started fighting the junior middleweights, he was fighting in his specially made up weight class at 155.
Hurd still needs to beat Jermell Charlo to be recognized as the best fighter in the 154 lb. division officially. That fight could come next. We’ll have to see if it can be made. Jermell looked uncomfortable when he was in the audience after Hurd stopped Lara. Charlo obviously saw how Hurd was able to throw a ton of shots to beat a very good fighter. Charlo won’t be able to run from Hurd, because he’ll get caught eventually and then he’s going to have to actually fight, and I’m not sure he can do that long enough to beat him.