Jarrett Hurd hurdles Erislandy Lara, now ready for Jermell Charlo

After scoring the biggest win of his career Saturday night over long-reigning 154-pound champion Erislandy Lara, Jarrett Hurd ready to get right back in the ring for another title unification against WBC titleholder Jermell Charlo.

Jarrett Hurd talks with Jim Gray about his victory over Erislandy Lara. (Showtime Sports)

Unified super welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd believes he has gotten over the toughest hurdle in the 154-pound division after his narrow, split decision victory over Erislandy Lara Saturday night on the Showtime-televised card from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

And now “Swift” has set his sights on another title, before moving up to middleweight.

Lara, a Cuban southpaw, was the longest-reigning 154-pound champ before Hurd dethroned him. Hurd secured the victory with a knockdown with 37 seconds remaining in the fight—giving him a 114-113 margin of victory on two of the three judges’ scorecards.

Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) now turns his attention to Jermell Charlo, whom he believes will be an easier opponent than Lara. Charlo, who was watching ringside Saturday night, will defend his title against a yet-to-be-named opponent June 9 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

“Charlo didn’t say anything to me (after the fight). We all know I’m not running from anyone,” Hurd said. “I feel like I fought the best guy in my division and that Lara’s a tougher fight than Charlo.

“Charlo won’t have to come looking for me. That’s the fight I want. If the business is right for a Charlo fight, we’ll fight him next. Beating Lara sets me up for superstardom. I’m the best in the division right now. Fans love my style.”

Hurd added Lara’s WBA crown to his IBF version, winning the sixth unification fight in division history and joining  Canelo Alvarez and Hall of Famers Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Terry Norris and Winky Wright as the only boxers to unify 154-pound titles. 

Enthusiasm for unification supremacy escalated following October’s 154-pound championship defenses by Hurd, Lara and Charlo at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Lara defeated Terrell Gausha. Charlo knocked out Erickson Lubin in the first round. And Hurd made his first title defense with a 10th-round TKO victory over former champion Austin Trout.

Entering the unification fight against Hurd, Lara had won six straight, two by knockout, since losing a disputed split-decision to Alvarez in a 155-pound non-title fight in July 2014.

Charlo won’t have to come looking for me. That’s the fight I want. Beating Lara sets me up for superstardom. I’m the best in the division right now. Unified 154-pound World Champ Jarrett Hurd

If Hurd and Charlo do fight, Charlo said Hurd is in for a much different experience than the one he had against Lara. Charlo is very familiar with Lara, because he once worked in the same gym with the same trainer, Ronnie Shields, in Houston. Shields still trains Jermall Charlo, Jermell’s twin brother.

“I’ve been in there before with Lara and I know what he possesses. I’ve never been in the ring with Jarrett, but he got hit by Lara a lot,” Charlo said. “There’s no way Hurd can last getting hit like that by me. He’s going to have to get his defense together. Lara’s a great fighter, but I know that his movement has slowed down a little bit.

“If Lara could move like he did against Canelo, he would have made it out of this fight with a victory. I feel that Hurd only took a fight with Lara because he realizes that the bigger, harder, stronger fight is with Jermell Charlo. I punch way harder, and you can go back to my fight with Erickson Lubin to see that. I move just as much. I’m faster. I’m down with fighting Hurd. Let’s go.”

Hurd has evolved as a boxer-puncher and sometime sharpshooter with a propensity to brawl and a powerfully proficient inside game. He was a masterful counterpuncher with a sharp jab and body attack during his sixth-round TKO of previously unbeaten Frank Galarza in 2015. He used his inside game in his next bout, a 10th round TKO of Oscar Molina, who was also undefeated at the time.

“I’m usually a counter puncher, fighting on my back foot. I’m sharper than people think, but with some of the guys I’ve been fighting lately, I’ve had to fight in a pressure type of manner. Charlo is going to be much easier than Lara. I’m not going to have to go and look for Charlo,” Hurd said.

“He’s going to be right there—the type of guy where I go out there and show you what “Swift” Jarrett Hurd’s talents are about. When I defeat Charlo, if I get a chance to get the WBO title, then I’ll do that. I want to unify, but if that takes too long, then there are bigger and better things at 160.”

For a complete recap of Lara vs Hurd, visit our fight page.

WBC champ Jermell Charlo talks with Brian Custer about 154-pound unification bout with Jarrett Hurd. (Showtime Sports)

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