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Jarrett Hurd talks changes in camp, looking for redemption against Julian Williams

The former champion talks about his path towards avenging his loss to Williams and trying to win back his belts.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Ahead of this weekend’s fight on Showtime when former unified junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd returns to action against Francisco Santana, Hurd talks to the media about wanting to regain his belts and looking towards a rematch with Julian Williams. Check out some excerpts below...

Hurd on changes in training for this fight:

“Going out of town and training and not being at home with a lot of distractions and things like that. And another thing we worked on with my previous trainer is we worked on a lot of conditioning, as far as stamina, and working through 12 rounds, 12 hard rounds...Now with my training coach we worked on fundamentals. It’s not that we didn’t have fundamentals back then, but we kinda forgot about them, we didn’t pay as much attention to them.

“But now we see how important it is. It’s not your work ethic and your heart and your will that’s gonna get you every fight. Sometimes you have to sit back and go back to the basics, and that’s what we’re doing.”

On his thoughts on Julian Williams suffering the big upset loss last weekend:

“I really don’t have no comment on it. I mean, I gotta focus on January 25th so the same thing won’t happen to me. I mean it is what it is, it wasn’t his night that night. He bounced back before so most likely he’ll bounce back again.”

On if he still wants a rematch with Williams:

“We gotta see because he doesn’t have the belts no more so I don’t know what’s gonna happen. We gonna have to sit back and wait for my team — who knows what could happen...”

On what he makes of his opponent Francisco Santana:

“He’s a guy that comes forward. People think this is like a tune-up fight for me — which it kinda is, I went down to a 10-rounder. It’s more of a fight where I wanna see how things work out with me and my coach and my corner, but this is like a guy like Rosario who is coming to fight and not just coming to get a paycheck so I gotta be on my toes.”

On trying to work on becoming more defensively responsible:

“I look back at my fights and it kinda like scare me a little bit...I look at some of them fights and, man, them guys wasn’t even getting hit as much as I was in the fights, you know what I mean? And it really made me wake up and say ‘I’m blessed’ because I had back-to-back fights of the year. When you have Fights of the Year that means it’s not a one-sided fight, that means it’s back-and-forth.

“So I’m like ‘Man, I don’t wanna have these Fights of the Year each and ever year...I wanna have one-sided fights and not be so back-and-forth. So it really opened my eyes that I know it’s exciting and I know that’s what people like to see, but I gotta think about myself and put myself first and my health, and I gotta get back to defense and moving my head.”

On how much longer he plans to stay at 154:

“I was so close, this close, to becoming undisputed, man. I was right there. Of course I had the hiccup against J-Rock, and that’s still a goal of mine that I want to accomplish in the 54 division before I move up. So without that happening, man — I know for a fact that was a bad night for me, it was a J-Rock night. Like I said, the team was a new team that I thought we had, and it was just a small hiccup and I know that wasn’t me and I’m coming to get where I’m supposed to be, in that #1 spot, best in 154 before I go to 160.”

On if he could pick any one fighter to face next, who would it be:

“It would be J-Rock. J-Rock, but like I said, I don’t know how things will go. I mean, he did just lose, he might have the rematch, I don’t know. But ya’ll know I wanted my titles back all along. My coach told me though, he said “Man, if you got into this rematch under those conditions I’m not gonna train you.’ So at the end of the day, it was really more being smart and worrying about myself. I can’t let my pride get in the way of not being smart...”

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