Press Release: On October 14th, as part of a Showtime triple header from Brooklyn, New York, IBF 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd makes his first defense, taking on former champion Austin Trout. A former WBA 154-pound champion, Trout made four defenses including a well-known unanimous decision win over Miguel Cotto in December 2012. Here is what Hurd and Trout had to say on a media conference call yesterday:
Austin Trout: I've given all honors and praises to the most high and I am blessed with this opportunity to not only be a part of a great card like this but to be in a great fight with a champion like Jarrett Hurd. I have the utmost respect for the guy. He didn't have to take this fight and I want to thank him for making a defense like this. Camp has been great, my weight is good, I'm in shape, I'm feeling strong. I'm peaking at the right time and I'm more than excited to go out there and show everybody that not only am I a live dog but I'm championship material.
Jarrett Hurd: I want to thank everybody, we know who we're up against, he's a great fighter and this is something I need under my belt to solidify me as one of the greats. I'm just so grateful for the opportunity and I can't wait until October 14th.
Q: Can you speak to the reason for your long layoff Austin? I don't know if you've had any injuries or there was some other issue?
A. Trout: Actually no, there was no reason for the layoff, no injuries, no nothing. I really can't tell you why I've had such a layoff. I'm not happy about it but it is what it is but I thank God I've been in the gym and keeping in shape, call it vanity or not, trying not to get fat and trying to keep this beach bod so I'm still sharp, we've knocked all the ring rust out in camp. It's time to work.
I've been trying to get a fight, especially after Charlo dispatched Julian Williams I felt my stock grows and I should have been put right back in but things happen and things don't happen for reasons.
Q: Do you feel like you might have needed a single fight before you took this step up or are you satisfied to go back in the ring with what I think most people would perceive as a very dangerous fight?
A. Trout: I did want - not to say a tune-up but a get back fight - but at the same time you can't pass up these opportunities because they don't come too often. I wasn't going to turn down this shot. I had to come and take what they gave me.
Q: So what are your general thoughts about the type of fighter that Jarrett is?
A. Trout: Everybody knows that he's the undefeated champion for reasons so you can't smack on a kid like that. He is a big strong dude and it's crazy, because I don't know how these big dudes make 154 but I feel like I've been here before. My last fight was on a stacked card with Junior Middleweights and this guy was extremely big for the Junior Middleweight division, he was the undefeated champion of the IBF, former fight Deja vu. At the same time, him and Charlo are not the same person or the same guy. Again we see holes in his game. At the end of the day it's just going to end up being me and him and we have to punch through those holes.
Q: Can you just give me your prospective about taking on the caliber of an Austin Trout in your first defense?
J. Hurd: Yes, this is a fight I actually chose. We knew what was on the line with this fight with Austin Trout. He's no slouch and with his three losses, he had been in every fight so we knew this fight was going to be tough especially for a first defense but that describes me as a fighter including my mindset. I am a true champion, I want to fight the best and I don't want the fights that are not going to progress me and put me in line for the even bigger fights. I want to take the tough fights and I feel like if there's the slightest chance that an opportunity presents itself why can't I better myself? I'm willing to take that chance.
Q: Do you think that maybe you could basically just over power him and win this fairly easily, is that a thought in your mind?
J. Hurd: Yes, I'm definitely a bigger fighter but it's not in my mind to overpower him but I look at this fight different than with the Tony Harrison fight. My mind was on that fight because we know Tony Harrison is the type of fighter to gas out in the later rounds as pressure stayed on top of him and Austin Trout performs differently. He's going to be ready for 12 rounds, so I feel like this fight is going to be more technical and whoever the smarter guy in the ring is will win. I'm not really banking on Austin Trout to get tired off the pressure. He knows I'm ready for 12 rounds.
Q: How close attention are you going to pay to the other two fights because from what Lou DiBella [promoter]says and what the Showtime people say, the idea here is to have you guys separate yourselves on the card on October 14th and then hopefully put the winners together?
J. Hurd: After the success from October 14th, I'm not doing any interviews or anything, I'm going straight ring side until the end of both of those fights. That's why people ask me me, did you want to be the opener or would you prefer being the main event. I said, "I don't hate being the opener because once I finish handling my business in the ring, I can observe my future opponents ringside."
Q: Do you feel like all your past experiences will help you go into this fight or is it like more of the same?
A. Trout: This is not my first time being laid off and for no good reason. So I've been here before, luckily I stay in the gym, just looking on the bright side. Maybe they had me laid off for most of these times to keep me preserved. I don't have as much wear and tear as most guys my age an fighting as long as I have, I'm still fresh, my legs are still strong and I'm ready to take full advantage of my physical peak that I'm in right now.
Q: Are you doing your whole camp in Las Cruces, New Mexico?
A. Trout: Yes, I have kept the whole camp here: we have good altitude, great running trails. Training from here is where I won my title and had success so we just brought it back to where we kind of started.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about your career and how it has developed and where do you feel like you are at right now in your career?
J. Hurd: We're exactly where we want to be. I've accomplished something that all fighters dream of and that's to win a world title and I don't feel like this is where my legacy ends. This is only the beginning. I set one goal and accomplished it and now is time to become legendary. I always say to myself I want to be one of them guys when my career is over that fighters look up on YouTube to study. Basically, I want to be a big name so fighting is my career so I took all the necessary steps, from fighting prospects, contenders to now fighting at a world championship level and I'm right where I want to be.
Q: When did you start boxing Jarrett and was it always your goal to be a professional?
J. Hurd: I started boxing at 15 years old and I was kind of in and out of the gym from 15 to 22 years old and I only had 30 plus amateur fights so I was in and out of the gym.. I'll fight all that come around and I ended up stopping boxing for a few years and my trainer, Ernesto Rodriguez, he was training me during amateurs and I was working at Safeway and he called me all the time and tells me, "Man you don't have to work if you know how to fight" and a long story short man he was at Safeway and I told him him I wanted to come back to the gym one more time and when I came back he told me if I come back I do it as a professional and that's where I am at now.
Q: Jarrett tell us why you think you have advantages over him in this fight?
J. Hurd: For one, I feel like I have more power. I feel I have the youth, I feel like I have the size and the length and those are pretty much the advantages I have, but like I said I have been in the game since age 15 and I've been in there with some of the best. I know the sparring is different from the fights but I've got a lot of experience and you'll find a lot of these fighters out here on TV now so Austin Trout is going to be a scrappy fighter in there but like I said, we have planned eventually for this fight.
Q: Jarrett, you've gotten a lot of knockouts recently: you have a big knockout streak. He's never been stopped as a professional so if this goes 12 rounds, how are you prepared for that?
J. Hurd: Well, I know I'm ready for 12 rounds, that's never a question for me. For my past fights I feel I get stronger as the fight goes on. If you look back on every fight I had, I was never the fighter that gassed out, I was always the fighter that got stronger so 12 rounds are not an issue and my flag gets stronger as the fight goes on, so with that, I'm definitely prepared for 12 rounds and hopefully it ends earlier.
Q: Austin we know you have the in-ring experience and have fought top opposition, other than just the simple experience what do you see as your advantages over Jarrett?
A. Trout: I feel like I have the superior footwork. I like my mental capacity as far as being able to adapt and figure him out, but beside experience, I can fight to. Not just box, I can fight so I think he feels he maybe the stronger guy but I'm going to go ahead and test that and see if he truly is.
Q: Do either of you guys want to make a prediction for the fight?
J. Hurd: Yes, my prediction is, I feel like 9th or 10th round it should be stopped around that time.
Q: Jarrett you're a champion making your first title defense against a very respected champ. Are you surprised at this climb? Where do you see yourself a year from now?
J. Hurd: I'm definitely surprised. Like I said boxing was something I always thought I wanted to do, something that came across giving another shot from my trainer and where I am today, people asked if I thought I could be world champion and I didn't think so but it crossed my mind after the Oscar Molina fight. I know I was a prospect who didn't have much amateur experience but when I beat an Olympian I felt like, dang man I can become world champion and my confidence just built from there. Looking now it seems 2018 will be some kind of unification definitely happening and I feel like I will be moving up a time or two in 2018 and 2019 and take over the 160-pound division.