Jarrett Hurd vs. Francisco Santana on Jan.25 LIVE on Showtime

By Boxing News - 12/16/2019 - Comments

By Allan Fox: Former IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs) will be squaring off against the capable journeyman Francisco Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs) next month on January 25 in the co-feature bout on the Danny Garcia vs. Ivan Redkach card on Showtime. The card will be taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The televised portion of the Garcia-Redkach card begins at 9:00 p.m., ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Hurd coming off loss to J-Rock Williams

This is Hurd’s first fight since his narrow 12 round unanimous decision defeat against Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams on May 11 in Fairfax, Virginia.  Hurd, 29, could have faced J-Rock, but he opted to take a 10 round tune-up fight against the 33-year-old welterweight Santana.

It’s a questionable move on Hurd’s part, since he’s going to be called a “weight bully” by boxing fans for choosing to fight an opponent from the 147-lb division in journeyman Santana instead of a junior middleweight. Picking a non-contender is viewed as a negative, and it doesn’t help that he fights at welterweight instead of junior middleweight.

Williams is defending his IBF/IBO/WBA junior middleweight titles against Jeison Rosario next month on January 18 at the Liacouras Center, in Philadelphia. Rosario (19-1, 13 KOs) has done a lot more to rate a world title shot against Williams than Santana has done in deserving to fight former champion Hurd.

The fans want to see Williams and Hurd battle it out in a rematch, as their fight last May like watching rock ’em sock ’em robots for 12 rounds. That was one of the best fights in 2019. Hurd might have won had he not had recent surgery. Since having surgery following his 12 round split decision win over Erislandy Lara last year in April, Hurd hasn’t regained the form he had in that fight.

Hurd choosing to stay at 154 despite his HUGE size

The hulking 6’1″ Hurd should have moved up to middleweight a year ago after his win over Erislandy Lara, because he’s arguably too big for the 154-lb division. It’s got to be tough for Hurd to make weight for the junior middleweight division, and he’s missing out on a lot of big money fights against the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin.

It might be too late for Hurd to get a fight against Canelo, but not GGG. He’s still fighting at 160, and he appears to have a few more years left before his career reaches it’s end.

It’s unclear Hurd hasn’t moved up already, but it’s possible that he likes have a big weight and size advantage over his shorter, and lighter opponents in the 154 lb division. When fighters like Hurd get used to being the bigger fighter, it’s sometimes difficult for them to move into the weight class that is normal for their frames. Hurd would have problems taking the big power shots from guys like Golovkin, Canelo and Jermall Charlo at 160 if he moved up in weight.

Santana has losses against these fighters:

  • Jose Benavidez Jr
  • Mahonri Montes
  • Jermell Charlo
  • Sadam Ali
  • Karim Mayfield x 2
  • Abel Ramos

Santana fought J-Rock Williams to a six-round draw in May 2011. That was way back when Santana was younger and in the prime of his career. He’s not fighting at the same level now, and that’s probably way he’s been picked out for Hurd to fight.

Another tune-up fight for Garcia

Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) is staying busy facing van Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) in a 12 round fight in the main event. This isn’t a great fight for Garcia, but it’s keeping him busy until he gets a world title shot. Garcia, 31, is already coming off of a 7th round knockout of Adrian Granados last April in a stay busy fight in Carson, California, and the fans were expecting him to step up. Garcia won’t do it yet, and you can’t blame him.

If Showtime is willing to put his fights against guys like Redkach, there’s no reason for him to show any sense of urgency to fight someone good.

Garcia was supposed to be challenging IBF/WBA welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. on Fox Pay-Per-View on January 25, but Spence was injured in a car crash last October. If and when Spence returns to the ring, he could face Garcia shortly after. That’s a natural fight.