All photos by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing
The opening bout of the CBS telecast featured a matchup of undefeated super welterweights as Jarrett Hurd graduated from prospect to legitimate contender in the stacked 154-pound class with a dominating 10th round TKO over Oscar Molina.
Hurd (18-0, 12 KOs) got to work early, flooring Molina for the first time in his career in the opening round with a powerful counter right uppercut. The bigger and taller Hurd was the more active fighter from the outset, dismantling the previously unbeaten Mexican Olympian with a supremely effective inside game. Hurd threw nearly 750 punches over 10 rounds, compared to just 376 for Molina, connecting on 220 power shots at a nearly 40 percent clip.
Hurd put a stamp on his performance in the final round, closing the show by out landing Molina 33-7 in the final round. With Molina taking a brutal beating and seemingly defenseless in the final minute of thefinal round, Ricky Gonzalez stepped in to halt the contest at 2:02.
“This fight here puts me up with the top contenders in the division. I felt like I could have gone three or four more rounds. I was getting stronger as the fight went on. We’re going right back to the gym so we can get in there again.”
Molina (13-1-1, 10 KOs) protested, but barring a stunning knockout he was just seconds away from suffering the first loss of his career via a unanimous decision.
“I felt like Hurd was throwing a lot of punches in the tenth round but they weren’t really hurting me,” Molina said. “He was staying busy but he was never really hurting me.
“I went low and I had my head down and he caught me with that uppercut in the first round. He got me with a shot I wasn’t expecting but it was definitely a flash knockdown. I wasn’t hurt.
“I was supposed to use my footwork a lot more but I ended up smothering my shots. He had an awkward defense with a lot of bending down and I couldn’t get into a rhythm.
“This was a big opportunity for me and I felt like I fought a good fight. I’m going to come back stronger. We’re going to work on a lot of things and get back in there.”