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Jermell Charlo confronts Jarrett Hurd inside ring

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By Dan Ambrose: Jermell Charlo jumped inside the ring to confront IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd last Saturday night following his 4th round knockout win over his tune-up opponent Jason Welborn at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. WBC 154 lb champion Charlo, 28, looked like he was doing most of the talking in jawing at Hurd.

Hurd stopped Welborn (24-7, 7 KOs) in the 4th round with a body shot. The fight was far from a one-sided affair though, as Welborn got the better of Hurd in rounds 1 and 3. Welborn appeared to stun Hurd in the early going of round 4. Getting nailed hard by Welborn seemed to wake Hurd up, as he got off the ropes and opened up with some powerful shots that caused Welborn fold up right away. It was two different Hurds out there last Saturday night. There was the Hurd that was taking punishment from a fighter that was supposed to be a tune-up level opponent in 32-year-old Welborn, and then there was the Hurd that suddenly opened up with a salvo of heavy shots in the 4th round that caused the British fighter to hit the canvas from a body shot and not get back up. That version of Hurd is going to be a nightmare for Jermell Charlo. The other Hurd is going to be in trouble against an explosive guy like Jermell.

The two champions want to face each other in 2019 with the IBF, WBA and WBC junior middleweight titles on the line for the fight. The only belt that won’t be available for the Charlo vs. Hurd fight is the WBO strap, which is held by 22-year-old Jaime Munguia. Charlo and Hurd will be fighting at some point in 2019.

Before Charlo and Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) face each other next year, Jermell (31-0, 15 KOs) has a title defense this month against former Hurd knockout victim #4 WBC Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) on December 22 on Brooklyn Boxing Live on FOX & FOX Deportes at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Jermell is fighting Harrison in the co-feature bout on the card. Charlo’s brother interim WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo’s will be facing former two time middleweight world title challenge Willie Monroe Jr. in the main event on the card. Jermall and Jermell flipped a coin to decide which of them would be the headliner, and Jermall won the coin toss.

Kell Brook says he’s willing to fight Jarrett Hurd

In other boxing news, former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) was asked if he would be willing to fight Jarrett Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs), and he says he would definitely take that fight. The way that Brook, 32, sees it, he took on former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin when he was still unbeaten and a world champion, and he also fought Errol ‘The truth’ Spence Jr. last year in Sheffield. Brook says if he was willing to face GGG and Spence, he’d be willing to fight Hurd.

Hurd looked sensational in his previous fight beating the daylights out of former WBA Super World junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara in defeating him by a 12 round split deciion last April. Hurd came on strong in the 12th round to knock Lara down in a fight that he almost lost. Hurd took that fight with a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He had surgery afterwards, and his fight with Welborn was his first in coming back from the shoulder problem. Hurd didn’t seem to favor his left arm in the Welborn fight, but he clearly didn’t look like the same fighter that had beaten Lara last April. However, it’s quite possible that Hurd was taking it easy on Welborn in order to get some rounds in. But when Welborn started to light Hurd up in the 4th, he had no other choice but to go after him to get him out of there. Welborn was hitting Hurd with hard shots, and it would have been a risk for him to extend the fight in order to get rounds. There would have been a risk of injury for Hurd, and that’s something he couldn’t afford.

“I fought GGG and Spence back to back. Why wouldn’t I fight Hurd?” Brook said via Michael Benson.

Hurd would be a really tough fight for Brook. It’s hard to see the “Special One” doing well against a guy the size of the 6’1″ Hurd, who rehydrated to 172 lbs last Saturday after weighing in at 152 lbs last Friday at the weigh-in. Brook would be facing what amounts to be a middleweight if he were to face Hurd, and he would likely struggle in a major way against the American fighter from Maryland. For Brook to have a chance of beating Hurd, he would need to go after him right off the bat and look to take him out with power shots. Brook tried to do that against Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr., and he failed miserably against those guys in getting taken out. Unfortunately for Brook, that’s the only chance he would have of beating Hurd. If Brook lets Hurd walk him down in the later rounds, he would stop him the way he does all of his opponents. The only time where Hurd is vulnerable is in the first six rounds of his fights due to his habit of starting slowly.

Brook going down to 147 for a potential fight against Khan is a sign that he’s not too eager to fight Hurd. Brook is going in the opposite direction of Hurd in fighting Khan at 147. Brook is talking about wanting to fight Hurd, but the guys that he’s mentioning recently in wanting to fight are all from the welterweight division. Besides the Khan fight at 147, Brook says he’s interested in fighting Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and a rematch with Spence. Those guys seem to be the ones that Brook is targeting. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn is likely going to want to match him against one of the top welterweights rather than letting him move up to junior middleweight o take on a dangerous Hurd.

Hurd would get hit a lot in a fight against Brook, but he would walk him down in the same way that GGG did in 2016, and likely to get him to quit. Brook’s eye sockets have been fragile in his fights against big punchers in Golovkin and Spence. Hurd would be a risky fight for Brook in terms of his eye sockets. If Hurd lands a lot of shots on Brook’s face, you’d have to be a more than a little concerned about whether his eyes would hold together under the strain.

Brook is fighting a tune-up this Saturday night against Michael Zerafa (25-2, 14 KOs) in a 12 round fight on Sky Sports on December 8 at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. That’s supposed to be a fight that will get Brook ready for a mega-clash against Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) in March of next year on Sky Box Office. Brook and Khan still haven’t agreed to the terms yet for the fight. It’s hard to believe that the two won’t complete the deal with so much money on the line. Khan wants a 10 lb rehydration clause as part of the contract to limit how much weight Brook can gain back overnight after makes the 147 lb weigh-in limit. Brook doesn’t want to agree to the rehydration clause, as it’s going to be hard enough for him to just make 147. If Brook does make that weight, it’s going to be a monumental task, and he wants to be able to rehydrate all the way immediately rather than waiting until a secondary weigh-in on the day of the fight. Khan and Brook are going to need to decide which of them is going to give. If they don’t agree on a fight, then they’re going to make a lot less money fighting other opposition.

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