By Marc Livitz: “Swift” Jarrett Hurd successfully defended his IBF junior middleweight title at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night after his opponent, former champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout was unable to answer the bell for round 11. Trout was fighting for the first time since May of 2016, which was a stint of inactivity after losing a close decision to Jermall Charlo in Las Vegas.
Each man looked to establish their respective timing and distance in the opening three minutes. Jabs and body shots were exchanged. Trout (30-4, 17 KO’s) remained patient and the New Mexico native looked to negate the three inch height as well as four inch reach advantage possessed by his opponent from Virginia. In the second, Austin connected out of his southpaw stance with a few impressive uppercuts.
Hurd answered from the onset of round three. He held his guard high and scored with his jab and left hook. Later in the period, Trout looked to split Jarrett’s tight defensive stance with his right cross and uppercut.
Trout enjoyed a superb fourth round. HIs left hand found the target on numerous occasions and it would remain to be determined whether or not the damage would eventually add up. Hurd (21-0, 15 KO’s) connected with a hard right midway through the fifth which sent Trout’s head backward for just a moment. Austin answered. He wasn’t the taller man, just the quicker one. The sixth looked much the same, as Trout’s shots held a greater amount of mustard and he had Hurd out of sorts until he found himself on the receiving end of a straight right which caused him to wobble backwards just a bit. Halfway through the championship contest, a good one was certainly upon the crowd in Brooklyn.
Jarrett Hurd had a terrific seventh until he appeared to lose his head of steam. His overhand left popped Trout’s head sideways and a straight right added to the mix. Just before the eighth was underway, the ringside physician examined a gash above Hurd’s left eye, which was caused by a clash of heads. Seconds into the period, he landed a crushing right which momentarily stunned his Las Cruces, N.M. foe. Trout was visibly moving slower, although Hurd wasn’t exactly on skates. Swelling began to surface under Austin’s right eye as the tenth approached. His activity level had noticeably dropped and his punches held little affect.
As the round ten was underway, Trout appeared to be looking to score points instead of ending the night. The 32 year old’s left jab and hook connected as before, yet Hurd was always ready to answer. The dying seconds saw him saved by the bell. He absorbed numerous shots without replying, which caused his corner to stop the bout before the eleventh could begin.
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