Jarrett Hurd returns with 4th-round KO of Jason Welborn, exchanges words with Jermell Charlo
LOS ANGELES — Jarrett Hurd was on the mend following a hellacious brawl with Erislandy Lara in April, the leading contender for fight of the year honors.
Hurd (23-0, 16 knockouts) injured his left shoulder during training camp and elected for surgery to repair his torn rotator cuff following the bout. So when he was ready to return to the ring, he was matched up against a limited foe, England’s Jason Welborn.
The unified junior middleweight champion told The Ring on Wednesday he planned to box more than usual over the first two or three rounds before putting his opponent away in Round 4. That’s exactly what he did.
The boxing wasn’t always pretty; Hurd is a pressure fighter who excels because of his tremendous size and strength. The change in strategy allowed Welborn (24-7, 7 KOs) to deliver some surprising moments Saturday at Staples Center, but the punches never created any effect. After one such output of punches, Hurd walked through them and then ended matters with a single, devastating right hand sunk into Welborn’s midsection.
Referee Lou Moret reached the count of 10 at 1:55. As Hurd began his post-fight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray, it was immediately interrupted by Jermell Charlo. The pair exchanged words ahead of a potential showdown in the fall that would crown a new Ring champion at 154 pounds (Hurd is No. 1; Jermell is No. 2).
“I’m just coming of surgery so I wanted to see how I worked off the jab,” Hurd said. “I felt good I was working behind the jab. I got caught on the ropes and got caught with some shots and said ‘that’s enough. He got enough TV time.’
“We definitely want Charlo. I’m calling the shots. I’m number one right now. When I say answer the phone, answer the phone. I got the date.
“I’m going to have a hometown fight. I’m coming off two fights with southpaws so I want to fight a right hander and then I want the Charlo fight.”
Hurd told The Ring that he plans to fight a top-flight opponent in the spring before a showdown with Charlo that could come toward the end of the summer. It’s one of the best fights that can be consummated in the sport.
“This is easy money,” Charlo said. “I like those belts – they look real good on you. He said he wants another fight. I’m ready now.”
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger