The former unified champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd returned to the ring for the first time since losing his titles to score a unanimous decision over Francisco “Chia” Santana in their 10-round super welterweight contest.
“We’ve moved on from the Julian Williams fight,” said Hurd. “We came out here, we had a long layoff and we got the job done.”
This was Hurd’s first fight with his new head trainer Kay Koroma, who he trained with in Colorado, taking him away from his home in Accokeek, Maryland for the first time leading up to a fight. Hurd looked to show off improved defense and use his height and reach advantage to dominate with his jab.
“There was definitely no frustration in there,” said Hurd. “We didn’t want to go toe to toe and we didn’t want to make this a risky fight.”
Hurd was able to control much of the fight from the outside, landing 80 jabs throughout the fight, connecting on 22%. He also proved elusive in the ring, allowing Santana to only land five jabs throughout the fight. Santana was able to impose his style at different points though, closing the distance on Hurd and peppering him with combinations punctuated by straight right hands.
Santana’s style however left him vulnerable to Hurd’s counters, which he took advantage of most clearly in the fifth round, countering with numerous straight right hands that rocked Santana consistently. Santana’s 737 punches thrown out paced Hurd’s 684, but Hurd’s 34% connect rate was superior to Santana’s 13%.
Hurd continued to use his feet and evade the charging Santana, before he eventually punctuated his performance by dropping Santana in the closing moments of the fight, first hurting him with a left hook and then putting him on the mat with an uppercut.
“In the last round I wanted to come forward and close it hard, but I got a little bit careless for a second,” said Santana. “In boxing you have to stay focused for every second of every round. He caught me with a good shot.”
Santana was able to make it to his feet and see the final bell, but Hurd was the victor on all three cards, by scores of 97-92 and 99-90 twice.
“We want the belts,” said Hurd. “We want the best. I’m not exactly sure what’s going to be the next move, but we want the belts.”