Former unified Junior Middleweight champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs) may have found himself back in the winners circle when he took on Francisco Santana (25-8-1, 12 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, but it wasn’t the sort of performance that will have anyone clamoring to see him in a big fight anytime soon.
After losing his WBA and IBF titles to Julian Williams near his hometown at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia, Hurd made wholesale changes to his team.
Coming into this contest against Santana, Hurd was expected to show off some of the new wrinkles he had been working on during his training camp with his new trainer, Kay Koroma. If there was one thing Hurd has been known for throughout his career, it would be for his action-packed fights.
Yet, with two fight of the year candidates under his belt already, Hurd was tired of having so many back-and-forth contest. He wanted to become a boxer, not a brawler.
When the opening bell kicked off to start their match, Hurd was on his back foot. Yes, you heard that right. The former unified champion was actually boxing.
It wasn’t very effective throughout the first few rounds as Santana came forward and landed a ton of power shots. Unfortunately for Santana, he just didn’t have the power to earn the respect that he needed.
Once Hurd decided to put on the pressure, he walked right through the shots of Santana.
As the contest continued, Hurd began to really get in a groove and slip the punches that were coming in his direction. For the most part of this contest, Hurd dominated.
Slipping shots and landing whenever he chose, it was exactly what Hurd wanted.
He effectively, and seemingly overnight, became a boxer as opposed to an all-out action fighter. Hurd may have gotten the performance that he wanted, but the Brooklyn crowd on the other hand was not pleased with what they watched.
Fighting in front of a crowd of New Yorkers is never easy. Action is demanded at all times, but Hurd just wouldn’t give them any of it. Because of it, the crowd booed endlessly.
With the win all but his, Hurd attempted to close the show with a 12th-round knockdown, which almost ended the night. If Hurd was granted just a few more seconds in the contest than there is little doubt that he would have.
The crowd may not have been pleased with the lack of action, but Hurd easily won a unanimous-decision victory.
“We came out here and did what we wanted to do,” said Hurd. “The crowd didn’t love it, but you gotta understand, I got the unanimous decision and I did what I wanted to do.”
The scores following the contest were 97-92 from one judge, while the two remaining judges had it 99-90.
Final Grade For Jarrett Hurd: B
It was a very good performance from Jarrett Hurd.
He proved that he can actually box and look comfortable while doing it. He may not be the action-packed fighter that he once was, but with his new fighting style it could lead him to more success.