Luis Arias insists the only thing separating him from Jarrett Hurd is matchmaking.
Arias claims Hurd has benefited from getting the right fights at the right time, whereas Arias often fought out of his weight class, in the 168-pound division, before boxing as a middleweight. The 30-year-old Arias also is confident that working with a new trainer, respected Cuban Ismael Salas, will help him upset Hurd in a 10-round middleweight match on the Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul undercard Sunday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs) has heard similar promises from Arias (18-2-1, 9 KOs) and pointed out that his upcoming opponent’s performances typically don’t justify his pre-fight talk.
“Come on, man,” Hurd stated during a recent conference call. “We saw this story before, man. You know, he talks a good game, that’s what he does. You know, look at his last three fights. I mean, he talks. He says he has this power, this unknown power that nobody ever, ever experienced. And he only has nine knockouts, this, that and the other.
“But at the end of the day, at 154, 160, no matter what the weight class is, Luis Arias know. You know, I mean, I did suffer a loss, but I’m back on the winning [side]. I’m on the ups. You know what I mean? He’s the one who hasn’t come back [with] a win yet. You know what I mean? He’s used to losing.”
Arias is 0-2-1 in his past three fights.
He hasn’t fought in nearly two years, not since Ireland’s Luke Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KOs) dropped Arias twice and beat him on points in a 10-rounder in August 2019 at Feile Marquee at Falls Park in Belfast. Milwaukee’s Arias fought to a split draw with Philadelphia’s Gabe Rosado (25-13-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC) in his previous bout, a 12-rounder in November 2018 at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
In the bout before his draw with Rosado, Arias suffered his first professional defeat, a 12-round unanimous decision to former IBF and WBA middleweight champ Daniel Jacobs (37-3, 30 KOs). Brooklyn’s Jacobs soundly beat Arias in their November 2017 bout at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
The 30-year-old Hurd, of Accokeek, Maryland, will end a long layoff as well. The former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champ will fight for the first time since he out-boxed Francisco Santana (25-9-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-rounder 16 months ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Showtime Pay-Per-View will televise Hurd-Arias as the second bout of a four-fight event Sunday night (8 p.m. EDT; $49.99).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.