BROOKLYN – Coming off a devastating loss, his first, last May, Accokeek native Jarrett “Swift” Hurd made some drastic changes in his life and his boxing team. The boxer moved out of his parents’ home and began living with his girlfriends.
He changed boxing trainers after mutually parting ways with long-time trainer Ernesto Rodriguez, switching to veteran amateur trainer Kay Koroma. Finally, the 29-year-old took his training camp to Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and his new training gym was located in Alexandria, Virginia, no longer using the Hillcrest Gym near Iverson Mall.
After an eight-month layoff, Hurd entered the ring at Barclays Center in Brooklyn as the co-feature to the Danny Garcia vs. Ivan Redkach fight on Jan. 25. He towered over his smaller and shorter opponent, Francisco Santana (25-8-1), throughout the bout. Hurd showed his growing maturity and dominated the Santa Barbara, California native in a unanimous decision win to improve his record to 24-1.
Against Santana, Hurd was on the attack early and often with an effective stiff jab, but Santana continued to move forward. However, the 33-year-old could not offer a response to Hurd’s jab and constant body movement.
Hurd used a sharp uppercut effectively all night, including knocking Santana down to his knees with two seconds left in the final round. Santana did get up in time, but the judges scored the fight 97-92 and 99-90 twice in favor of the former champion.
“We had a long layoff, and we got the job done,” Hurd said.
Since his first loss, Hurd’s training methods were new and needed adjusting. Koroma provides that help for Hurd. He has worked with several Olympic fighters, men and women, in the past.
While he is a soft-spoken man, he puts his foot down when first approached to train Hurd. The county boxer was in a contractual agreement for a rematch with Julian Williams, who had the WBA and IBO Super Welterweight championship belts once held by Hurd.
While the Accokeek fighter was anxious to regain those belts, Koroma cautioned his new fighter, telling Hurd that he would need a new trainer if he took the fight. Koroma agreed to train Hurd once he decided to take a fight before trying to get the belts back.
“He needed to get to know me, and I needed to get to know him,” Koroma said.
While the crowd booed Hurd’s non-flashy performance, Hurd was happy that his constant movement caused Santana to struggle.
“I loved it. We came out here and did what we wanted to do,” Hurd said. “It was definitely frustrating. We didn’t want to go toe to toe with him.”
Meanwhile, Washington, D.C. native Patrick Harris won in a unanimous decision, as did Keeshawn Williams from District Heights. Baltimore’s Lorenzo Simpson stayed undefeated with a unanimous decision against Antonio Louis Hernandez as part of the undercard.