It is back to the norm for boxing as Jarrett Hurd meets Erislandy Lara in front of a far more humble setting. For those of you that have stayed with us, here is Peter Wells’ preview for this weekend’s action.
The publicity afforded to Jarrett Hurd vs Erislandy Lara sums up the coverage that the entire Super Welterweight division is lacking right now.
The slick skills of Cuban maestro and WBA kingpin Lara, meets the brute strength of Maryland banger and IBF ruler Hurd.
The latter has a significant edge in height, but he is as likely to use that to its full potential as Lara is to go toe-to-toe. Hurd relies on his size in a very different way, walking down his opponents with a swagger that suggests his confidence in his chin is bordering crazy.
But Lara 25-2-2(14KO’s) will care very little about Hurd’s approach.
The purist is happy to pot shot from round 1 to round 12, so relying on Lara to remain disciplined should be considered a banker. But, should Hurd 21-0(15KO’s) increase his intensity early enough then history shows that Lara is never far away from involving himself in a tear-up.
Both have the need to have the last punch, and while that has worked a treat for Hurd when walking down his opposition, it has been both a positive and a negative for the betting favourite.
In contests where the judges may favour the aggressor, landing the final punch has the power to sway judges in close rounds, but it can also leave Lara in range for too long, allowing his opponent to capitalise.
There is a chance that Lara could box rings around Hurd in Las Vegas, keeping his poker face on as Hurd continues to raise even when the cards are against him. That could result in a one-sided – if not brutal – beating.
But Hurd will not fear those consequences. How the fight unfolds seems to faze him very little, so long as he has the belief in himself to eventually take control. And he will feel this way until the final bell.
But in order to come out victorious, the IBF champ will have to come out with something a little more original than he did when retiring Austin Trout after 10 rounds.
More spring in his step and plenty of fakes should help to close the gap and bring the contest into his sort of range. It is also paramount to cut the ring off and not just follow Lara around the ring.
Lara is a seasoned veteran and he will not crumble under any level of pressure.
It is the confidence in himself that should separate Lara from previous Hurd opponents. Lara will not be forced into changing his plan, and that is what will drive him towards a narrow victory.
Hurd will find himself in a deep hole after 5 rounds, but his punching power will make things interesting down the stretch.
Lara continues to move, but he will slow as the fight enters the final third and here, Hurd can really begin to rally. But even scoring a late knockdown may not be enough to convince at least two of the judges that he has completed the comeback.
With early rounds in the bag, Lara will take a majority decision to claim another scalp in a career as underrated as the division he will end the bout sat atop.