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Jarrett Hurd targeting Kell Brook

By Scott Gilfoid: The trainer for Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs), Ernesto Rodriguez, wants him to face Kell Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) in a warm-up fight to get him ready for a unification match against WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KO). That’s the fight that Hurd really wants before he moves up in weight to middleweight.

Over the weekend, Hurd called out newly crowned WBO 154lb champion Jaime Munguia for a unification fight following his 4th round knockout win over WBO junior middleweight belt holder Sadam Ali. However, Hurd’s trainer Ernesto Rodriguez feels there’s no need to rush to take the fight with Munguia, as his team needs to decide which direction they want to go in.

Ali has a rematch clause in his contract for the Munguia fight. Ali hasn’t said whether he’ll use it though. It might not be in the 29-year-old Ali’s best interest to fight Munguia again, because he was too small and weak to compete. Munguia weighed a solid 170 pounds on fight night after rehydrating. Ali was a fat-looking 169lbs, and he looked like he didn’t belong inside the ring with Munguia.

It was believed that Kell Brook and his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing were hoping to put together a fight against Sadam Ali if he’d gotten past Munguia, but not their plans have been foiled. It’s unknown if Hearn and Brook are still interested in fighting for the WBO junior middleweight title now that Munguia has won the belt. It would be a risky fight for Brook, because if he loses to the 21-year-old Munguia, it would be hard to live it down. Losing to the older, more accomplished 154lb fighters like Erislandy Lara, Hurd or Jermell Charlo wouldn’t be as bad a career blow for Brook as getting beaten by the 21-year-old Munguia. There would be no excuses from Brook that would work in explaining a loss to Munguia with the boxing public. Brook would almost have to move back down to welterweight after a bad defeat at the hands of Munguia.

Hurd, 27, beat WBA Super World junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara by a 12 round split decision in his last fight on April 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The outcome was decided in the 12th round when Hurd knocked Lara down and had him hurt and on the verge of a knockout.

“We are targeting Kell Brook right now,” Hurd’s trainer Ernesto Rodriguez said to “We have not heard anything. That’s the fight we would like.”

It’s not surprising that Brook isn’t showing interest in facing Hurd, because he’s a very good fighter and he might be the best at 154 at this time. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants to make sure he wins his next fight so that he can get to the Amir Khan match in December with a couple of wins under his belt. Brook needs to win his next fight for Hearn to properly sell the Khan fight to the British boxing public on Sky Box Office. Once that fight is done with, Brook will be faced with the reality of him needing to show that he has a place in the junior middleweight division, because he might not have enough size, power and talent to be a championship level fighter.

Brook turned 32-years-old earlier this month on May 3, and he’s arguably in the twilight of his career. He recently ended a 2-fight losing streak in beating Sergey Rabchenko by a 2nd round knockout on March 3. Before that, Brook had been knocked out in consecutive fights by Errol Spence Jr. and Gennady Golovkin. Brook said he would have given Golovkin problems if not for an eye injury he suffered in the 2nd round. The injury might have saved Brook from taking a beating though, as Golovkin was on a seek and destroy mission on the night, and was putting everything he had in his shots from round 3 until Brook’s corner tossed in the towel in the 5th.

It’s doubtful that Brook will fight Hurd in 2019, and it’s definitely not happening in 2018. Brook wants the Khan payday, and he won’t be able to get that if he fights Hurd and gets beaten in some form. It’s hard to say which direction Brook should go in, because the options are so bad for him. Brook has been banging on about wanting to become a world champion at 154, but for him to do that he’ll need to beat one of these guys:

• Jermell Charlo – WBC

• Jarrett Hurd – IBF/WBA

• Jaime Munguia – WBO

If Brook faces Charlo for his WBC belt or Hurd for his IBF/WBA titles, he’ll have a ready-made excuse to use with the boxing fans if he gets beaten by them. Those are two of the best fighters at 154, so Brook can tell the fans that he was beaten by one of the best talents in the junior middleweight division. If Brook loses to the 21-year-old Munguia, then it’s a different story, a much different story.

Munguia is 11-years younger than Brook, and there’s no excuse that he could give to the fans to convince them that he wasn’t beaten by a more talented fighter. Brook can’t keep using injury excuses to explain away his losses, because they’re getting tiresome to hear. The eye injuries that Brook sustained against GGG and Spence were result of him getting hit with hard shots. Unfortunately for Brook, Golovkin and Spence hit him hard enough to injure him. That’s how boxing is. Sometimes you face guys that hit so hard that they injure you.

If Brook faces Munguia and gets smashed by him, he would have to tell his boxing fans that he was beaten by someone with too much power and/or talent than him. It’s always better for a fighter to take the high road and give credit to his opponents than for them to start making excuses, and coming up with a different version of events. I think we saw that with Brook after his loss to Golovkin. Brook said that he was lifting Golovkin off the ground with his shots, and how he was winning the fight. It sounded sad to hear Brook putting a positive spin on his knockout loss instead of him telling it was.

Hurd will be fighting a right-hander in his next fight to get ready for a unification fight against WBC champion Jermell Charlo. It would be nice if Brook stepped up to the plate and faced him, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen. I doubt that Brook will ever fight Hurd. The Khan fight likely has nothing to do with it. Hurd is just too good for Brook in my estimation, and I don’t see him wanting to compete with the young talent. Hurd is too big, he throws too many punches, and he hits too hard for the likes of Brook.

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