Jarrett Hurd is back and looking to take back the 154-pound division. The former unified 154-pound champion lost his belts and suffered his first loss to Julian Williams back in May. Hurd was supposed to fight Williams again this month, but he decided against it, and now, he will return on January 25 to battle Francisco “Chia” Santana at Barclays Center in Brooklyn,
On Wednesday, at a press conference in Brooklyn to promote his upcoming fight, Hurd explained why he turned down the rematch against Williams.
“This is my first time doing interviews since I fought Julian Williams,” Hurd said. “Last time I was up here, I was an undefeated fighter, and then I suffered my first loss.
“We had the rematch set up for this December, but with me going through a switch in trainers and still in the process of searching, I wasn’t in condition for it. It was the hardest thing possible to not take the rematch, much harder than taking it.
“I’ve been training in Colorado with Kay Koroma and getting away from everything. We’re focused strictly on boxing. I cut the hair off too because I was just ready for a change. The work so far is showing me how much work I have left to do and how much room I have to grow.
“I will stay at 154-pounds and fight for my titles again. I’m not looking past Francisco Santana because he’s a great fighter. I’m working hard to get back to the old me.”
Also, Hurd reflected on his loss to Williams, and according to the 29-year-old Hurd, Williams was just the better man on that day.
“I would never say I overlooked Julian Williams,” Hurd said. “There’s no excuses. Julian was the better man that night. When I look back, there were probably some things that could have affected me, but Julian deserved to win the fight.
“I don’t know if I’m a better fighter now, but the loss opened my eyes to some things. My new coach has really opened my eyes to some things that I need to work on. Using my jab more and my footwork specifically.”
While Hurd wants the big guys at 154, his focus is on Santana.
“I’m not thinking about anyone but Francisco Santana,” he said. “I look back at my fights and realize that I won those fights on pure heart and determination. We’re doing things different this time and working behind strategy and skills.”
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