In the first of the two (possibly the lone) legitimate boxing matches included in Sunday night’s spectacle event, Jarret Hurd (24-2) took on Luis Arias (19-2-1) in a 10-round Middleweight contest.
Hurd and Arias each made their return to the ring following long hiatuses. Hurd had not fought since January of 2020, while Arias hadn’t competed in even longer, since august of 2019 in a loss to Luke Keeler.
Leading into the fight, Hurd discussed his desire to utilize his counterpunching and his ranged boxing skills in this fight and moving forward in his career.
Hurd certainly attempted to fight from the outside in the first, but Arias made it clear that the bout would be fight on the inside if he had any say.
Not only did Arias have a say, but he demanded the contest be fought in the phone booth with his relentless pressure and infighting throughout the entirety of the evening. Hurd quickly accepted the fate of the bout, leaning in and embracing the in-fighting.
Arias came out swinging in the Third round, landing a number of overhand rights. Hurd, although rocked at the end of the second, was able to eat the majority of Arias’ shots without the too much immediate effect, although they certainly wore him down throughout the course of the night.
Hurd again demonstrated his chin while Arias continued to find success with his overhand right and action pressing pace.
In the fifth round, Hurd found success landing a number of right uppercuts which culminated with a left hook that seemed to knock arias off balance at the tail end of the round. To that point in the fight, it was clear we were witnessing a war of near classic proportions.
The second half only added to the excitement and intrigue of the bout.
In the sixth, Hurd again found success against Arias, landing a number of power shots that seemingly stunned the fighter that clearly controlled the early stages of the fight.
Round 7 only added to the overall roughness of the fight, with both fighters gutting out each combination and power shots. Hurd landed a pair of low blows as well, which Arias was able to power through much like he powered through everything else thrown at him.
In the ninth round however, Hurd did score a knockdown in what was later revealed as a mere slip, but was nonetheless scored.
In the opening of the 10th, Hurd rocked Arias. However Arias, in a display of pure heart, continued to press forward landing continued overhand rights which stunned Hurd himself.
As the bell rang, Hurd landed a right hand that sent Arias to the canvas, but the knockdown was not counted as it happened at or after the bell. Hurd needed a knockdown to win the fight entering the final round, but missed it by a split second.
The 10th round perhaps best exemplified the grit and overall story of the fight, with Hurd finding moments of success, but Arias ultimately persevered by out throwing and fighting his way out of the danger and edging the round and fight.
Hurd certainly had moments of success throughout, but Arias regularly out landed and out gutted the former champ. The fight went to the cards, as neither fighter was willing to give an inch and likely would have fought to the final bell in a 20 round bout.
Arias won a well earned Split Decision in what will be a long remembered wore of attrition type fight that could likely be considered a Fight of the Year candidate.