It's no secret that PBC had been building towards a three-belt junior middleweight title unification between Jarrett Hurd and Jermell Charlo for 2019, but things went awry late last year.
Charlo lost his WBC title to Tony Harrison in Brooklyn last December and things simply went downhill from there. Hurd was able to make a successful title defense against Jason Welborn, but his big money fight was suddenly taken from him.
For a while, Hurd, who was in attendance that night in Brooklyn where Harrison beat Charlo, wasn't exactly thrilled to know that a Hurd vs. Charlo fight wasn't happening anytime soon, if not ever.
"When it first happened, I was kind of upset because it was this whole big thing with Hurd-Charlo, Hurd-Charlo," Hurd said told Fightful in a recent media call. "That was the matchup at 154, but at the time when Harrison won, I was upset I thought I wasn't going to have the big Hurd-Charlo matchup."
But as time passed on, Hurd would get over the fact that a future fight against Charlo is in jeopardy, realizing that his career won't be defined by that fight. Even as Hurd approaches his May 11 fight against Julian Williams, the unified WBA and IBF champion still has aspirations of unifying the 154-pound division further and even making a splash at the 160-pound division.
"I kind of thought about it and said, 'Why do I care?' My legacy isn't going to end with Charlo. Charlo doesn't define my career," Hurd said. "I got bigger fights at 160 that I know can be made. Even if that fight [against Charlo] never happens, who cares?"
With Charlo now in the rearview mirror, Hurd's focus now lies with Williams, the former title challenger who has worked his way back to title contention since being knocked out by Charlo in a title fight back in 2016. This will be Hurd's first real test since his incredible fight against Erislandy Lara in 2018.
Since that fight against Lara, Hurd had to undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and his fight against Welborn late last year was more of a way to test out his surgically-repaired shoulder. When asked about his confidence level heading into the fight against Williams, Hurd responded in the affirmative.
"My confidence level is sky high. The Welborn fight only was brought up because of the surgery. I didn't plan on having a fight of that caliber. I just wanted to get into the groove of fighting right-handed fighters. Because I was coming off of two fights fighting southpaws, I wanted to have a right-handed fighter before I go into unification. But since I had to get surgery on the shoulder, that's when the fight with Welborn came up. It was an opponent I wanted to work some things with. I just want to get in the groove and fight right handed fighters because in a unification, both [of the other champions] are right handed, so it was more so trying to get back into the groove of fighting right-hand fighters. The Julian Williams' fight probably could have come sooner if I didn't get the surgery," Hurd said.
Hurd vs. Williams will headline the May 11 PBC on Fox card from the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. You can listen to Hurd talking to Fightful in the video at the top of the page.