Hurd’s relentless style versus Welborn’s unorthodox aggression is must-see TV tomorrow night on Showtime PPV.
It’s a fight fan’s dream: two aggressive power-punchers meeting in the center of the ring to do battle. In this case, one is a unified world champion and the other has proven himself at the national level.
This Saturday, December 1, when unified world super welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) defends his belts against British Commonwealth middleweight title holder Jason Welborn (24-6, 7 KOs), live on Showtime pay-per-view.
Hurd’s recent performances prove he’s all action and has no reservations about letting his hands go. This will be his first bout since his impressive April points victory over long-reigning world champion Erislandy Lara. Hurd, an Accokeek, Maryland native, was in tough against the highly-skilled Lara; but his tenacity, stamina, and strength prevailed as he floored Lara in the last minute of a thrilling contest.
While American fight fans may not yet be familiar with the name Jason Welborn, most British boxing buffs are. Welborn, 32, rose up from blue-collar beginnings and overcame a major health issue, Perthes’ hip disease, to get where he is today. When he was diagnosed with the disease as a child, he was told to avoid any highly physical sports. He endured surgeries and the hope-dashing experience of doctors telling him they weren’t sure he would walk again.
Welborn persevered, rising through the national ranks in the United Kingdom and defeating Tommy Langford twice earlier this year for the British Commonwealth middleweight crown.
The 6’1” Hurd will have a height and reach advantage over the challenger. While the champion is a large super welterweight, Welborn has been campaigning at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds for the last two years. Nonetheless, Hurd’s physicality and sheer strength will doubtless come into play against the naturally smaller man—despite Welborn coming down a division for this opportunity.
However, Hurd, 28, doesn’t always fight tall. This could present chances for the shorter Welborn. Jarrett sometimes forgets to move his head or employ lateral movement with his feet, particularly when he’s on the hunt.
Nevertheless, Hurd is adept at using this to his advantage; his pressure style and endurance wears opponents down as the fight progresses—and the periodic lack of lateral foot movement enables him to consistently be in power punching position.
Hurd’s ability to dig deep and survive difficult moments, then come on like a freight train in the late rounds against world class opposition, is a tall order for anyone in the 154-pound division. No doubt we’ll see more of his grit on Saturday.
Welborn is an aggressive fighter who throws looping punches to the head and body. While straighter blows might benefit him in the long run, he has had tremendous success with his wide shots, catching opponents when they don’t see the punches coming in their peripheral vision.
Jason’s tendency to hold his hands a bit too low could pose problems for him against a strong and smart fighter like Hurd. He also sometimes squares up as he gets inside. However, he can use his smaller frame to work his way into close quarters and make himself a smaller target against Hurd.
The British champion doesn’t have a high number of knockouts on his resume but has shown the ability to hurt his opponents, as he did in his last fight, versus Langford, registering two knockdowns. If Welborn can maintain position and land cleanly, it's clear from observing his opponents that his shots cause damage.
Hurd vs. Welborn is a classic matchup between two pressure fighters. For fight fans who enjoy the old give-and-take, this battle is a must-see.