Hurd stops Lara to unify 154-pound division

Jarrett Hurd unified boxing’s junior middleweight division by knocking down Cuba’s Erislandy Lara in the 12th round to earn a stunning spit decision victory on Saturday.

The undefeated American is now the WBA, IBF and IBO 154-pound champion as he scored a shocking win over Lara, who suffered his first loss in over three years.

Hurd’s final round knockdown proved to be the difference in the fight as all three judges scored it 114-113 with two having it in favour of the American.

“It was a tough one but I went out there and did exactly what I said I was going to do,” said Hurd, who improved to 22-0 with 15 KOs. “I felt like I was in control the whole fight. I was putting pressure on him.”

Hurd, 27, hit Lara with a right left combination that sent the former Cuban Olympian to the canvas. Fighting in close, he popped Lara’s head up with a right uppercut then delivered a vicious left hook that to the right side of Lara’s head.

Lara took a standing eight count from the referee before resuming and then barely holding on until the final bell at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Hurd said the left hook was a punch he was hoping to land after watching tapes of Lara’s previous fights.

“I felt his hands low and I pulled that same hook because I saw before that he was vulnerable.”

The 34-year old Lara dropped to 25-3-2 in his career as he was making his seventh title defence. (AFP) Photo by The U.S. Army

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