BATB has learned that the 12-round contest between undefeated Accokeek, MD super welterweight "Swift" Jarrett Hurd and Tony "Superbad" Harrison of Detroit, MI on Saturday, February 25th at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, AL will now be for the vacant IBF Super Welterweight title! The bout will shown live on the Fox Network and on Fox Deportes with the telecast beginning at 8 PM ET.
The title became vacant after titlist Jermall Charlo dropped the belt to move up to middleweight to seek bigger challenges in a new division.
Hurd, the 2016 co-Beltway Boxer Of The Year (19-0, 13 KO's), is coming off an outstanding six-round TKO over Jo Jo Dan on November 12 in Philadelphia, PA. Hurd has knocked out his last five opponents and is ranked third in the world by the IBF.
Harrison (24-1, 20 KO's) is ranked number two by the IBF and has won three straight since suffering his only loss to Willie Nelson by ninth-round TKO in July of 2015 in Tampa, FL. Two of Harrison three wins came against Beltway Boxers. Harrison won a 10-round unanimous decision over Cecil McCalla in October of 2015 in Houston, TX then defeated Fernando Guerrero by sixth-round TKO on March 5 in Bethlehem, PA.
Here's what boxing people --and the boxers themselves -- are saying about this quality matchup.
"These guys have already shown their mettle by agreeing to fight each other - No. 2 versus No. 3 - for the No. 1 spot,'' said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. "Having this match be for a world title is a great reward for two young guys who have shown a willingness to face each other.''
"Boxing writers and fans are already buzzing about Harrison versus Hurd, an explosive matchup," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "The winner will now be the IBF champion, bringing greatly increased significance to what should already be a war."
"This is the moment every boxer dreams of, becoming the world champion,'' said Hurd. "I finally get that opportunity on the big stage - on the Deontay Wilder heavyweight championship card and on FOX in prime time on national TV. I'm blessed. I want to thank everyone for getting me to this point. Tony Harrison is a great fighter. It's not going to be an easy fight. Tony Harrison is top-level competition and I'm a top level competitor. Two great fighters going after something they want. But I have to say my pants are falling and I need my belt.''
"I've been waiting on this for a long time. This the biggest shot of my life. It's like my son being born all over again,'' Harrison said. "This just made the fight that much more interesting. As a boxer this is what you dream of - the day you fight for a world title. Santa came early. We're both 26 years old. It's a dream come true for both of us. It doesn't change the approach. It just makes it much sweeter and puts that much more respect on the winner of this fight.''
Beltway Boxers have opportunities to win two belts on this card. As BATB posted earlier, Alantez Fox of Forestville, MD will challenge Kenneth McNeil of Birmingham for the vacant NABF Middleweight championship on the undercard.