Jarrett Hurd Unifies WBA/IBF Junior Middleweight Titles, Viewership Less Than 500,000

Jarrett Hurd has started boxing's mission to crown the true top boxer at 154 pounds when he defeated Erislandy Lara on Showtime.

Thanks to a knockdown in the 12th round, Hurd was able to squeak past by Lara to unify the WBA "super" and IBF junior middleweight. The fight, which headlined the April 7 Showtime Championship Boxing card, ended with Hurd getting the win by split decision (114-113, 113-114, 114-113).

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Hurd brought the fight to Lara from the start, pressuring Lara throughout most of the fight. Hurd was able to attack Lara's body, but Lara was able to counterpunch numerous times, making the fight an extremely close and competitive affair. But the deciding factor was Hurd's knockdown of Lara in the final round which swung two of the three scorecards in Hurd's favor, just enough to give him the win.

Also on the card was a rematch between Caleb Truax and James DeGale for the IBF super middleweight title. In their first fight last year, Truax won the title off of DeGale in one of the biggest boxing upsets of 2017. The rematch, however, proved to be DeGale's redemption fight as the British boxer won back the IBF title when he defeated Truax by unanimous decision.

The main event of the fight did draw in a higher viewership from the network's last boxing telecast on March 31, which was Anthony Joshua's win over Joseph Parker in another world title unification. Lara vs. Hurd averaged 490,000 viewers on Showtime, higher than the 346,000 viewers Joshua vs. Parker drew on March 31.

The next Showtime Championship Boxing card will take place on April 21 at the Barclays Center, headlined by Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas. Two other title fights will also be on the card: Gervonta Davis vs. Jesus Cuellar for the vacant WBA "super" super featherweight title and Jermall Charlo vs. Hugo Centeno Jr. for the interim WBC middleweight title.

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