THREE PUNCH COMBO — Jarrett Hurd puts his undefeated record on the line this Saturday when he faces once beaten Tony Harrison for the vacant IBF Junior Middleweight title. Hurd, considered by many boxing insiders as a future star, has put on some scintillating performances in his most recent bouts. But could that be a mirage and could he be in for trouble on Saturday?
There’s no disputing that Hurd has looked spectacular in his last three fights. Looking closely at those performances, there is one common element. And that is that all three opponents he faced fought a very similar style that allowed Hurd to shine. They were all aggressive fighters who pushed forward throwing punches and brought the fight to him. Hurd, an excellent counterpuncher, was given many openings and to his credit exploited those openings. Also, all three opponents were slow methodical fighters and Hurd was easily able to control the action with his speed.
Harrison (pictured socking Sergey Rabchenko) was once highly thought of, similar to what many insiders now think of Hurd. He appeared to have stardom written on his career before running into Willie Nelson in 2015. However, since that misstep Harrison has rebounded well and fixed some of the issues that were apparent in the Nelson fight. Unlike Hurd’s recent opponents, Harrison is a boxer-puncher and relies on his legs as well as his natural athleticism. He has excellent hand speed and Hurd won’t possess that advantage like he has in recent fights.
Harrison is a totally different opponent than anyone Hurd has ever faced. Both stylistically and athletically, Harrison offers a new set of challenges that Hurd has yet to face as a pro. In this sport we often see fighters look great against certain opponents, but when a different style is thrown their way, the adjustment proves to be too much of a challenge. Tony Harrison may just have the style and skills to halt Jarrett Hurd’s rise as a future star in this sport.
Hurd vs. Harrison will be televised live on Fox and Fox Deportes. It is the co-feature to the heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Gerald Washington.
What’s Next For Broner and Peterson?
Adrien Broner and Lamont Peterson each scored decision victories this past weekend in Cincinnati. In the immediate aftermath of their respective wins, the question becomes what is next for each man.
Broner needs to decide if he will remain a welterweight or drop back down a weight class to junior welterweight. He is clearly more effective as a junior welterweight but seems lukewarm about fighting in that division. If he were to go to 140, the most obvious move for him would be to face the winner of the Ricky Burns-Julius Indongo title unification fight in April. On multiple occasions, Broner has been close to facing Burns and Broner’s advisor Al Haymon has a good working relationship with Burns’ promoter Eddie Hearn. Indongo seems willing to face anyone and travel to do so. If Broner were to fight the winner and prevail, he’d then be in line for a super fight in 2018 with division kingpin Terence Crawford.
At welterweight, one logical option is Thomas Dulorme. Broner and his team may elect to have another nice payday in Cincinnati, as well as look to put on a better performance to drive his price up for future bigger name opponents. Dulorme recently signed with Mayweather Promotions and after defeating journeyman Brian Jones in January is seeking a bigger opportunity. He is a recognizable name and an opponent who suits Broner. Dulorme hasn’t been very active and has defensive liabilities as well as a shaky chin. He could be just the opponent needed to re-establish Broner’s credentials.
Peterson has a couple options. One would be to go after a rematch with Amir Khan. However, Khan seems intent at the moment of chasing bigger fights. He probably would not be willing to accept what financially would be offered to face Peterson.
The more realistic option for Peterson is Luis Collazo. My guess is Peterson does not want to sit out a long period of time again but yet also does not want to risk a big opportunity down the line at welterweight. Realistically, he could be in line to face the winner of Danny Garcia-Keith Thurman. But the winner of that fight may not want to jump right back into a big fight. So Collazo makes sense to keep Peterson active while he waits for that bigger opportunity.
With their big wins this past weekend, both Adrien Broner and Lamont Peterson will be exploring their respective options for the future shortly. Expect both to come back to the ring later this year and keep their names relevant as they seek bigger fights and paydays down the road.
Under the Radar Fights
Once again there are a few under the radar fights this coming weekend that are very intriguing. ShoBox is once again delivering excellent bouts at the start of 2017 and this Friday returns with an excellent matchup in a high stakes crossroads fight between Christopher Pearson and Justin DeLoach. On Saturday, another interesting fight on the Wilder-Washington undercard pits Dominic Breazeale against Izuagbe Ugonoh.
Pearson, a southpaw, was once a highly touted prospect and seemed to have the skills to one day be a future champion. However, his motivation and focus have come into question. Two fights ago, Pearson looked somewhat disinterested in losing a wide decision to unknown Eric Walker. DeLoach was also a touted prospect but a surprise TKO loss in 2015 to the unheralded Cesar Vila lessened expectations. Since that fight, DeLoach has put together a six fight winning streak with some pretty impressive victories. The question in this fight is what Pearson will show up. If focused, Pearson has the skills to possibly stop DeLoach’s streak and make for a very entertaining as well as competitive fight.
Ugonoh is a recent addition to Al Haymon’s stable and a fighter with some promise. The undefeated heavyweight possesses athleticism as well as legitimate one punch power in the right hand. He also has an impressive 84-inch reach and raw tools that if put together could make him a force in the division at some point. Ugonoh takes a big step up in class in facing Breazeale. The former US Olympian is coming off his first career loss to Anthony Joshua and looking to get back in the mix. He offers an interesting test for Ugonoh in a contest that on paper is hard to predict.
Pearson-DeLoach and Ugonoh-Breazeale are well matched competitive fights on paper that should produce solid action in the ring. They may be flying under the radar but should not be missed this coming weekend.
Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.