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Hurd vs Munguia? Trainer says Kell Brook is Hurd’s target

Jaime Munguia announced his arrival at 154, but Jarrett Hurd’s trainer says their focus is elsewhere.

2018 Showtime Championship Boxing Event Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

This happens every now and again, not as often as we’d like, maybe, but often enough to help you remember that this sport is quite cyclical. New talent lurks, then pops up, announces itself violently, as it did on Saturday night, when Jaime Munguia became “Monster Munguia,” with his very assertive showing against Sadam Ali on HBO.

Munguia had been turned down by the Nevada Athletic Commission as a fill-in foe for Gennady Golovkin, because while he was a promising prospect, the oversight body felt he wasn’t experienced enough to meet GGG at a higher weight class.

At 154 pounds at Turning Stone, the Mexican Munguia looked like a light heavyweight in with a welterweight, as his height and bulk and power punching advantages spelled doom for the Brooklyner Ali.

Zanfer promotes Munguia along with Golden Boy, and those guys are getting poked now all the time, people wondering when the 21-year-old will return to live action. Eric Gomez, the Golden Boy executive, told me it’s too early to speculate on what’s next for the WBA 154-pound champ. He will meet with Team Munguia in “one week” to start sorting that out.

On Saturday night, the Twittersphere was in salivating mode. What about, they said, a smashup of 154 beasts, Munguia against Jarrett Hurd? Both jumbo 154s, and we’d see how that Munguia power worked against a true 154 in Hurd.

I reached out to Team Hurd, in the form of trainer Ernesto Rodriguez, to see what’s what.

“We are targeting Kell Brook right now,” Rodriguez told me. “Munguia just won his title. He is an exciting young fighter with much ahead. No need to call anyone out. We will wait and see what happens. He still has a fight left with Golden Boy and after that, anything is possible. Very good fight for us and anyone in 154, but unification is definitely in the near future.”

The trainer told me he saw the Munguia vs Ali smashdown, and, “I was not surprised with the outcome. Ali was too small for 154, no power and looked a little soft around the body. Munguia is tough and raw, power puncher looking for opportunities. Reminds me of Jarrett, never needed to say much out of the ring, talking all done in the ring.”

He suggested that a stronger scouting job might have told pertinent people that this matchup might not have been ideal for Ali. I will note that it’s hard for sometimes even the most astute to really get the clear picture of things until the two men are in the short pants, squaring off in a ring. Only then can you see a gap in physical attributes.

“We hold three belts (IBF, IBO, WBA),” Rodriguez continued. “And every fight from here on out is about making the best of it before moving up to 160. The Jermell Charlo fight will happen before moving up, one hundred percent.”

As for Brook, no word on that. “We have not heard anything. That’s the fight we would like,” the trainer stated.

So, inside 154, we get Jermell (WBC 154 champ) vs Austin Trout next up, June 9. Might Hurd fight the winner?

“Not yet. We need to get a right-handed fighter before Charlo. Last two and three of last four lefties were our last opponents. As a trainer, it’s not too smart to go into a fight with a guy like Charlo before getting my fighter totally prepared.”

He told me that the WBA is wanting to make a rematch with Erislandy Lara next for Hurd.

“Not if it’s up to us,” Rodriguez said. “We are trying to get ready for Charlo. Jarrett wants his ass bad. But I’m not letting that happen until we get a right-handed fight, fully be back on rhythm. Brook would be perfect, big name, top three, good financial reward, plus he called out Jarrett.”

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