AVENTURA, Florida – Floyd Mayweather went off of what he saw from Luis Arias in the retired legend’s gym, not Arias’ past three fights, when Mayweather decided to re-sign Arias to a promotional contract earlier this year.
Arias is just thankful that the greatest boxer of this generation still believes in his abilities. Mayweather was largely sold on embarking on a new partnership with Arias, whom his company promoted earlier in Arias’ career, after Arias and Mayweather sparred against each other a few times over the winter.
The 30-year-old Arias (18-2-1, 9 KOs) is anxious to show Jarrett Hurd and the rest of a disbelieving boxing world what he can do Sunday night. Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs), a former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champion from Accokeek, Maryland, has dismissed Arias as all talk and little action during the buildup toward their 10-round middleweight match on the Mayweather-Logan Paul undercard at Hard Rock Stadium (Showtime Pay-Per-View; $49.99; 8 p.m. EDT).
Hurd has emphasized that Arias, a Milwaukee native who resides in Boca Raton, Florida, is 0-2-1 in his past three fights.
He lost a 10-round decision to Ireland’s Luke Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KOs) in his most recent bout, which took place in August 2019 at Feile Marquee at Falls Park in Belfast. He settled for a split draw with Philadelphia’s Gabe Rosado (25-13-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC) in his prior appearance, a 12-rounder in November 2018 at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
Arias suffered his first professional defeat to former IBF middleweight champ Daniel Jacobs (37-3, 30 KOs), who decisively defeated Arias on points in their 12-rounder in November 2017 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
“Everyone’s looking at the last three Luis Arias fights,” Arias told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Friday at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa. “But that’s not the Luis Arias we have right here. All those losses and experiences I went through with the game, and having to fight all these fights, and having to go all the way here to fight, and fighting someone that I shouldn’t fight, but I have to fight, I’ve learned what I need to do outside the ring to make sure my chances in there are a lot better.
“And I’ve put all that together for this fight. And it’s a perfect opportunity, a perfect opponent, with a perfect name, to show everything that I’ve learned. Like I said, man, I’ve talked enough of a good game these last couple years, and on Sunday I will show what all the talk has been about.”
Hurd hopes to show that his second camp with trainer Kay Koroma has helped hone the boxing skills he attempted to display during their first fight together. He out-boxed Francisco Santana (25-9-1, 12 KOs) in that 10-rounder 16 months ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but Arias promised to draw Hurd into a slugfest, no matter how Hurd hopes to fight.
“I think that’s not gonna go too well,” Arias said. “I mean, it didn’t go so good versus Santana. He tried to box a 140-pounder and he was still getting pushed back. He was still getting hit a lot. Boxing is you hit them and they don’t hit you. But he gets hit a lot, and getting hit a lot by someone who doesn’t hit hard is whatever – you can keep fighting. But getting hit by someone who hits kinda hard and hits just as hard as you, if not harder, it’s gonna make you switch it up. So, I think I’m gonna force the old Jarrett Hurd to come out because he’s gonna have no choice.”
The 30-year-old Hurd has scoffed at Arias’ suggestion that he is a puncher.
“You can’t go off my knockout ratio,” Arias said. “My first 10 fights were at super middleweight, and I’m really a 154-pounder. And even then, I was able to knock out a lot of guys. I’ve got a lot of power. It’s not one-punch power, but I’ve got a lot of consistent power. You can’t go off my last three performances. You have to look at the whole record. You think I’m not gonna be prepared for the biggest stage of the year? Come on, man, this is gonna be the strongest, fastest, hardest Luis Arias that there has been. So, I think he’s gotta be prepared for that. And if not, he’s gonna pay the price.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.