AP NEWS

Jarrett Hurd wants to become ‘face of DMV’ boxing

May 3, 2019

Brenda Hurd’s ultimatum for her son Jarrett is a well-known story in the Hurd household. She told Jarrett by the time he turned 25, she wanted to see real progress in his boxing career or else he’d not only have to move on from the sport, but out of the house, as well.

These days, depending on who you ask, there’s disagreement on whether she actually meant it.

“She really wasn’t going to do anything to him,” said Fred Hurd, Jarrett’s father.

“Oh yes, I was,” Brenda said.

Jarrett Hurd, however, didn’t doubt his mother.

“Oh, she was definitely serious,” Hurd said. “If my career wasn’t turning out the way it was and I was having ups and downs in boxing, then she’d [have] sat me down and said, ‘Jarrett you gotta start thinking about something else than boxing.’”

Fortunately for the Hurds, that discussion never happened. When Hurd turned 25, he was already fighting on television and on the undercard of some of the world’s best fighters. The following year, he won his first title becoming the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior middleweight champion.

Now at 28 and a unified champion, Hurd is preparing for another title defense this time just a few miles away from his hometown of Accokeek, Maryland. On May 11, Hurd (23-0, 16 knockouts) will face Julian Williams (26-1-1, 16 KOs) at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. The fight, televised on Fox, is Hurd’s first local bout since 2014.

Through it all, Hurd still lives at home with his parents. But his life also significantly changed after becoming a champion.

When Hurd goes for a run, for example, he’s recognized. Cars honk and spectators stop him for pictures. He’s also being recognized outside his local community: He has partnered with the Washington Redskins to become a “team ambassador.” Fancy title aside, several players from the Redskins will walk Hurd to the ring on May 11 with the boxer wearing burgundy and gold trunks.

Outside of the perks, Brenda Hurd said her son becoming a champion set him down a clear path.

“He’s focused on his goals,” Brenda Hurd said. “He’s not wandering off, ‘Oh, let me go party over here and all that.’ He stays really focused and when he sets a goal, he just goes toward that.”

In boxing, it’s typical for fighters to map out their career. If Hurd beats Williams, for instance, the 28-year-old wants a fight with Jermell Charlo, one of the other titleholders in his division. Then after that, Hurd plans on remaining in his weight class until the end of 2020 and then he’ll eventually move up to middleweight.

Hurd, though, is starting to expand his interests away from the ring. He has become interested in promoting fights, forming his own promotional company, “Swift Promotions.” He said he wants to “be the face of the DMV” and bring back fights to the area. He also plans to work closely with other local fighters to prop them up. Hurd has sought business advice from his manager, Al Haymon, and worked closely with his former promoter, Ross Molovinsky.

But first, Hurd’s main priority is to beat Williams. This will be Hurd’s first test since undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in June 2018. In his last fight, which took in December, Hurd easily dispatched Jason Welborn in four rounds, but that was a tuneup fight.

Williams, on the other hand, is ranked as the eighth-best junior middleweight by The Ring magazine and has won four straight.

“He’s very dangerous,” said Ernesto Rodriguez, Hurd’s trainer. “I’m sure he’s going to come in the best shape ever. I think that he’s going to put on a good fight and going to be an entertaining fight for everyone.”

As for Hurd’s living situation, Brenda Hurd said Jarrett is talking about moving out at the end of the year. But they’ve been down this path before. Hurd has thought about getting his own place, but “the next thing you look up, you’re getting another fight. You say, ‘Alright after this one,’” Hurd said.

Brenda Hurd first gave her ultimatum because she admitted she doesn’t want her kids living at home forever. She wanted for them to have a direction.

“When his brother was 20, he owned a house and was ready to get married,” said Brenda Hurd, who has three children. “You’ve got to be making steps toward your future. You can’t just be sitting at home doing nothing.”

Hurd may still be at home, but his family understands the circumstances.

“Now she’s saying I can stay as long as I want,” Hurd said.