The World Boxing Association (WBA) Classifications Committee announced its rankings for April, which includes the 15 best boxers in the 17 weight divisions. Only these boxers have the possibility of aspiring to a world title fight within their respective divisions.
The “Boxer of the Month” distinction was awarded to “Swift” Jarrett Hurd who beat Erislandy Lara via split decision to be crowned the Super WBA Super Middleweight Champion.
The fight itself was a very good one, with Lara fighting at the distance he wanted early on only to have Hurd ramp up the pressure, undeterred by the champions straight left hand that was landing. The rounds were fairly difficult to score on the whole, with good ebb and flow back and forth between the two fighters. Lara landed some very good straight lefts while Hurd was putting out a higher volume of punches with his great work rate and conditioning.
Both men were in excellent condition but it was Hurd, the larger man, that ramped up his work rate in the second half of the fight while the pressure and pace was starting to wear down Lara bit by bit. Hurd took over in the late rounds, for the most part, and was able to put Lara down on the canvas in the twelfth and final round with only about thirty seconds left in the fight. It was a sensational knockdown that would end up winning him the fight on the judges cards in a fight that might make some lists as a candidate for fight of the year.
With the victory “Swift” moved his record to 22-0 with 15KO’s and officially became a world class fighter while winning the coveted WBA Super Champion status. Hurds boxing story is not the very first of it’s kind but an interesting one nonetheless.
Jarrett does not have a lengthy or decorated amateur career. The highlight of it was winning the 2008 Nationals, only to go on and lose in the 2009 Golden Gloves. His amateur days were over and so he decided to get a regular job. His “regular job” was at Safeway, about as regular as a guy can get. It was at that job when Hurd got the phone call that changed his life in 2010. His longtime friend, mentor, and trainer Thomas Browner was dead.
It was at Browners funeral that another disciple and fighter of Browners, Ernesto Rodriguez, asked Jarrett when he was coming back to the gym. Just like that, Swift put in his two weeks notice and went back to the gym full time. Rodriguez told him to give it six years. Six years being the amount of time that he should either be breaking through or has broken through. If he wasn’t, he could go get a job at Safeway again.
Fast forward five years and sixteen fights later and Swift was getting a chance on ShoBox as a main event fighter after Gary Russell Jr vs Oscar Escandon fell off due to Russell suffering a cut in training camp. The chance was right at Hurds doorstep; the moment Jarrett had been waiting for.
Hurd came into the Frank Galarza fight as the underdog. Galarza, despite being 30 years old, was proven on the network numerous times previously as a good spoiler – in particular his head snapping knockout of the undefeated John Thompson who went on to win the Boxcino tournament on ESPN after suffering the first round knockout loss.
What unfolded was not what many people had in mind as Hurd busted up Galarza from both the outside and inside from the body to the head. Galarza suffered the first knockdown of his career from an uppercut in the fourth round and despite getting up he did not really appear to want to continue by the look on his face. This showed further when in the sixth round he turned his back on Hurd instead of taking more punishment, effectively ending the fight. Susan Sarandon, who was ringside and a big supporter of Galarza’s, was in shock like most of the rest of us.
Congratulations to “Swift” Jarrett Hurd on becoming the WBA Super Champion at Super Welterweight and also the “Boxer of the Month” for April of 2018.
Gervonta “Tank” Davis is the honorable mention for the WBA “Boxer of the Month”. Davis scored a sensational technical knockout over Jesús Cuéllar, winning the WBA Super Featherweight Championship. This win brought “Tanks” record to an eye opening 20-0 with 19KO’s.