Although his next fight will be contested at 160 pounds, former unified Junior Middleweight champion Jarret Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs) still plans to return to 154 pounds to handle some unfinished business.
The 30-year-old Hurd hasn’t competed since scoring a unanimous decision victory over Francisco Santana in January 2020. Like it was for many, 2020 was a difficult year for Hurd, who had to deal with the passing of his father, among other obstacles.
Due to the layoff and the hardships he faced during his time off, a return at 160 pounds made sense for “Swift”.
“I fought right before the pandemic hit, so I took some time off, and not only that, I was moving into a new home out of my parents’ house,” Hurd said on a recent edition of The Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer. “Taking some time off from my last fight, no gyms open no nothing, I’m just sitting around in the house, and I look in the mirror, and my weight is up to like 217! That’s a big drop going from there to 154, so for this fight, we’re going to step up to 160, we don’t want to drop too much weight, but this is just for this fight.”
His return bout is set for June 6 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami against Luis Arias. The bout will take place on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul exhibition fight, which will be shown live on Showtime Pay-Per-View and Fanmio app.
While some–including sports betting oddsmakers–may see the bout against Arias, who has lost two of his previous three bouts to Daniel Jacobs and Gabriel Rosado, as merely a tune-up for Hurd, the former titleholder will enter the ring looking to make a statement.
“A win over Arias, if I was to stop him, would separate me from a Danny Jacobs, from a Gabriel Rosado, and it would make me stand out as a fighter that does something that no other fighter has done,” said Hurd. “I don’t want it to be a close fight, I want it to be just one-sided, and I want to win in spectacular fashion.”
Should everything go to plan on June 6, Hurd will then shift his focus back to the Junior Middleweight division where big fights against names like Jermell Charlo and Julian Williams will await him.
Williams specifically stands out given the history between him and Hurd. The two fought in May 2019 when Williams scored a unanimous decision victory to strip Hurd of his WBA, IBF, and IBO titles. Charlo, meanwhile, is currently scheduled to face Brian Castano on July 17 in a bout that will determine the division’s undisputed champion.
“I’m 30 now, and it’s getting harder to make 154, but I got to have a rematch with Julian Williams and a fight with Jermell (Charlo) before I move up to 160,” Hurd said.
“If Castano wins and I face him for the belts, I feel like I still need to fight Jermell.”
Of course, Hurd needs to get by Arias on June 6 before looking ahead to the big fights that will surely await him. But despite his time away from the ring, his confidence is still where it needs to be, and the former champion appears determined to prove once again where he stands at Junior Middleweight.
“I’m the best at 154. The world just hasn’t seen it yet,” Hurd said. “Like I said, I had a hiccup, and some of the best fighters take a loss, but the loss is not just a loss. It’s a learning lesson. Look at Canelo Alvarez right now. He took a loss to one of the best in the world, and now he’s the best in the world.”