Jarrett Hurd once had it all. Marquee wins, a kind-and-compelling persona and a unified world title. Often compared to Antonio Margarito, with the reckless aggression he showed and used in his fights, Hurd proved doubters wrong, beating Frank Galarza, Tony Harrison, and Erislandy Lara, all from the wrong corner.
Hurd showed being tough and physical was a skill, not unlike like a good jab. That was until Julian “J-Rock” Williams dethroned Hurd a Hurd homecoming fight. Williams coming in was seen as a B or C side.
I knew the fight was going to be tough for Jarrett Hurd, because I watched Hurd defeat Austin Trout, and sat beside Julian Williams as he watched the fight. Williams watched on with eagerness, and was hopeful he would land the fight. Williams saw something, and when he fought Hurd he showed it.
The modern classic between Hurd and Williams took a lot out of both fighters because neither have been the same since. Williams would lose to Jeison Rosario in his next fight, and Hurd would beat Francisco Santana only to lose to Luis Arias in a bizarre fight. Hurd fought once in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and many thought he'd retired.
In the midst of all of this Hurd lost his father, Fred Hurd Sr. It seemed the pain of a pillar no longer there replaced that easy smile. We saw different eras of Jarrett Hurd, the naïveté in the beginning when defeating Galarza and Harrison, the triumphant optimism when he became a centerpiece of the Showtime Championship Boxing schedule. Then the last act, the man who is struggling with life's hardships thrown at him in the midst of being an overnight success story.
Jarrett Hurd was very genuine, someone who even if you knew someone fighting him, you couldn't help but root for him. I saw him once in Reno, Nevada for Shakur Stevenson vs. Joet Gonzalez, in which Stevenson won his first world title; he wasn't Hollywood, he was human.
Hurd has a new team that involves former professional fighter Andrew Council, a fellow Maryland native, the man who has lead Travon Marshall (7-0) to success in the pros. Also, one of my favorite coaches in the sport of boxing, Darrell Davis, the coach of one of the best amateur boxers of the last 30 years from the United States, Jahmal Harvey.
“He hits so hard,” confided Davis in a conversation with me on Sunday night.
Hurd has bounced around a bit since his losses, but now in his perhaps last-stand as a fighter he's looking to get one last opportunity. Anyone with a brain would look at the rumored June 17th fight date for Jermall Charlo, and assume that if Hurd looks good, that will be his last chance at greatness. A showdown with Charlo is mouth watering. But first Jarret Hurd has a task in the form of Jose Resendiz (13-1 with 9 KOs; from Mexico) to deal with. Hurd-Resendiz unfolds Saturday night, on Showtime.
Just a few years ago, Resendiz was thought to be a potential Mexican star. He ran into “Kilo the Kid” Madera, who also called out Jarrett Hurd recently at an event while hanging out with Nate Diaz, and won a SD. Next fight, Resendiz lost to Marcos Hernandez, UD10. He downed Heber Rondon, then 20-1, in his last start, in October 2022.
If Resendiz, age 24, loses this fight he will either fill an unenviable role of having to be the man who sits at the gate stopping fighters from getting to the top of the division, if not hear the words no athlete ever wants to hear, ‘get a job'.
The stakes are high, and the odds reflect that as Hurd is a -450 favorite. Hurd has to win this fight, and beyond that, he has to look good as well.
Everything that Jarrett Hurd worked for in this sport is now on the line with each and every fight. Hurd worked so hard to become a household name, but he has to work twice as hard to keep his spot in line against the great fighters looking to take everything he worked for. Hurd is the ultimate pack-a-lunch guy in the sport of boxing, someone who is blue-collar to the core. He lived with his parents for an extended period of time to save money, even while winning meaningful fights and getting larger purses.
On Saturday, we simply see how much of the pre-made lunches he often makes and brings to the ring, are left in his brown paper bag that is his training camp. Hurd fights this Saturday in Ontario, California, as part of a triple-header on Showtime Championship Boxing.