Jarrett Hurd’s last-gasp knockdown secured his split-decision victory over Erislandy Lara, in their super-welterweight unification bout at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Hurd’s 12th round knockdown gave him the edge on the scorecards of both Dave Morretti and Glen Feldman, who scored the contest 114-113. The third judge, Burt Clements, scored the bout 114-113 in favour of Lara.
In victory Hurd was able to add both the WBA and IBO titles to his IBF super-welterweight crown.
Hurd maintained pressure throughout the contest, and while Lara looked less agile than he has in previous fights, he was still able to cause problems for Hurd.
In the opening round, Lara found success with his left hand while Hurd tried to get up close and personal.
Moving into the second round, Lara opted to trade with Hurd, landing with the left on several occasions. Hurd, however, maintained the pressure and was able to land a sweet right hand at the end of the second round.
Lara’s success with the left hand continued into the third round, while Hurd was once again able to land a clean right hand.
In the fourth Lara’s left hands landed at will as Hurd barged forward looking to attack Lara’s body.
Hurd’s body attacks continued in the fifth, but the Maryland native failed to break through Lara’s defence successfully.
In the sixth Lara landed a mean uppercut, stunning Hurd, who continued to press forward.
Lara unleashed several combinations in the seventh round, before being caught with a hard right hand as the round drew to a close.
In the eighth round, Hurd found success with the right hand, landing a sweet uppercut that rocked Lara.
Round nine was up close and personal with both men finding success, Hurd with worked the body well, while Lara fired back with left hands.
In the tenth, both fighters landed cleanly with some exciting exchanges toward the end of the round.
Lara found himself hurt in the dying seconds of round eleven after being caught with a right hand from Hurd.
In round twelve an exhausted Lara was bombarded with right hands, and eventually tasted the canvas courtesy of a left hook, with just 37 seconds left on the clock.
In a post-fight press conference, Hurd stated that he felt in control throughout the fight and that he didn’t think he needed the knockdown to win.
“It was a tough one, but I went out there and did exactly what I said I was going to do – fight all 12 rounds and get the victory,” Hurd said. “I didn’t feel like that [I needed a knockdown to win]. I feel like I was in control the whole fight, applying the pressure.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with age. I think it was me and the game plan we had to apply the pressure.”
When asked if he would be willing to fight Jermell Charlo next, Hurd replied:
“‘Swift’ isn’t ducking anyone. I’m No. 1 now. We’re calling the shots.”
Lara, unhappy with the decision, felt that he was in control of the bout and the knockdown should not have affected the outcome.
“Besides the last round, I thought I was winning this fight easily,” Lara said. “That’s not to decide the fight. I was winning the fight. One punch in a fight doesn’t determine the fight.
“It was a great fight for the fans. I stood there, fought and it was fun. I thought I clearly won the fight. Once again a decision goes against me, but hey we just have to do the rematch.”