By David Robinett at ringside
Photos: Esther Lin/Showtime
Unified (WBA/IBF) junior middleweight champion Jarrett “Swift” Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) turned back a spirited challenge from unheralded challenger Jason Welborn (24-7, 7 KOs), providing a sudden end to what was becoming a great fight with a one-punch body shot knockout at 1:55 in round four of scheduled twelve round bout on Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Welborn, who vacated his British middleweight title to drop down in weight to challenge Hurd, was intended to provide competent but limited competition to ease Hurd back into shape from his June rotator cuff surgery. However, the Englishman didn’t appear to have read the script and clearly came to America looking to capture Hurd’s belts.
Welborn came out firing from the opening bell, taking the fight to Hurd and trying to work him along the ropes. Hurd seemed content to take his time and counter the offensive-minded Wellborn, landing some nice shots to the body as Welborn pinned him along the ropes and then catching the Englishman with crisp jabs coming in when the action moved into the center of the ring.
The strategy seemed to be working early on for Hurd because, while Welborn’s aggression was flashy and drew cheers from the crowd, he was landing few clean punches during his flurries. That all changed in round four, when Welborn’s punches starting breaking through Hurd’s guard, prompting Hurd to try and hold for a breather but getting pushed back into the ropes by Welborn, who kept on punching. Hurd was able to pivot away and back into the center of the ring.
Welborn followed and swung at Hurd but missed, opening a window for Hurd to deliver a picture-perfect right uppercut to Welborn’s sternum that immediately dropped the challenger for the full count. By all accounts Hurd’s surgically repaired shoulder held up and both fighters came out of the contest elevated by their performances.