On Saturday, December 1, 2018, “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) returns to the ring for the first time since defeating Erislandy Lara in a hotly-contested Jr. Middleweight scrap that will surely make the short list for Fight of the Year nominees in 2018.
Saturday will also be the first time that Hurd will fight since his arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. That injury came during training camp as he prepared for the title unification bout against Lara.
Rather than postpone the fight, Hurd trained through the pain–a difficult task that I witnessed firsthand during a training camp visit only a couple weeks before the Lara fight.
“Preparing for the Lara fight I had a slightly torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder,” said Hurd via Twitter. “I was receiving cortisone shots to numb the pain, but that was only temporary. Now the issue is taken care of. Thank you to everyone that wished me luck on my procedure (Monday). Be back soon.”
After a successful surgery and follow up physical therapy sessions, Hurd told us he’s feeling better than ever. He promised fans that he’d sneak one more fight in by the end of the year, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.
Although the UK native Jason Welborn (24-6, 7 KOs) is unknown to the American public, Hurd felt he was the right opponent to come back against–not the toughest in the world, but also not a push over.
Hurd is expecting Welborn to give him rounds and allow him the opportunity to work off any ring rust that may have accumulated since he fought Lara in April.
“I want to be an active champion because I didn’t have a lot of amateur fights,” said Hurd earlier this week. “I need to stay in the ring and get all the experience I can. I want to get these good fights in while I’m still young and healthy.”
Although he says the verbal jabs people throw at his boxing and defensive ability don’t bother him, it’s obvious that Hurd has been listening to the criticism as he wants to prove more naysayers wrong.
“Saturday night I want to show my versatility,” said Hurd at the final conference on Thursday. “Everyone has seen that I’m electrifying. I bring the action. But I want to show that I am swift and I do have defense. I know how to use my height and range. I’m still going to bring the action on Saturday, so you have to make sure to tune-in.”
The Welborn fight seems to be just a formality as Hurd has already said he’s got a date in the summer of 2019 set aside for his bitter rival and WBC titleholder, Jermell Charlo.
It’ll be interesting to see what new wrinkles Hurd shows fans on Saturday night as he attempts to continue and march through the 154-pound division.
“I’m going to go out and display why they call me Swift,” said Hurd at the weigh-in on Friday.