The pay-per-view telecast of Floyd Mayweather’s return saw veteran contender Luis Arias score a split-decision victory over former unified 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd in an action-packed 10-round affair.
Arias controlled the early rounds of the duel, attacking Hurd with numerous combinations that landed flush.
His clean power punching was an advantage throughout, as he out-landed Hurd in power punches by a total of 153 to 120 while landing over 40% of those shots.
Hurd began to mount a comeback in rounds five and six, closing the distance effectively and finding a home for short right hooks and right uppercuts. Arias even acknowledged that he was made unsteady after the action.
In a fight with two brief delays to weather affecting the ring surface, Hurd scored a knockdown in round nine with a glancing right hand after Arias appeared to slip on the ring.
Despite the advantage on the scorecard, the uneasy footing affected Hurd’s plan to box Arias from the outside.
Arias bounced back effectively from the knockdown in the final round, with his onslaught eventually forcing Hurd to look to hold on in the final minutes to reach the final bell.
In his first outing with new trainer Ismael Salas, Arias ended the night victorious, with one judge scoring the fight 95-94 for Hurd, overruled by scores of 97-93 and 96-93 for Arias.
“The game plan was to jump on him, get the early lead and keep it,” said Arias. “I felt like in the middle rounds I was winning the fight.
“But you never know because I wasn’t the A-side in this fight. So I buzzed him a lot, especially on the inside.”
“I came in here and challenged the number one guy at 154 pounds, and we fought somewhere halfway, and I was able to edge a decision,” added Arias.
“Props to Jarrett Hurd. You fought a great fight. Honestly, you could have had me out of there. He definitely buzzed me. If you had found a way, I definitely would have gone down.
“I would like to thank Ismael Salas. I came to him semi-late. About six or seven weeks, I needed to change something in my game plan to beat Jarrett.
“The things I was doing before would have gotten me a loss tonight. So I needed somebody to tweak a little bit and put my game up a little bit so I could beat this champion.”
Hurd was at a loss to explain his defeat.
“I’m not sure what went wrong tonight,” he said. “I believe I won the fight, and I had a knockdown. I could make a hundred excuses, but it wasn’t a great performance.
“The plan coming out in the first round was to box,” said Hurd. “I wasn’t as confident in my feet as the rain came down, so I had to go toe-to-toe more.
“That wasn’t really what we trained for, so I was a bit sloppy.”
“I’ll take the rematch at whatever weight,” said Hurd. “I know I’m the better man.”