Jarrett Hurd
Jarrett Hurd basks in the glory of local love. (Photo by Juan Marshall)

“Seat Pleasant has Kevin Durant and Accokeek has ‘Swift’ Jarrett Hurd,” Prince George’s County Council member Mel Franklin proudly exclaimed as he and his council colleagues recently paid tribute to a native son who has reached the upper echelons of the boxing world – and remained committed to those back home.

The council honored the IBF/WBA/IBO 154-pound world champion Jarrett Hurd with a proclamation during a special ceremony at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro. A strong contingent of fans and family members attended the event.

The Accokeek, Maryland, native received the honor for his career to date, including Hurd’s 12th round split decision victory over Erislandy Lara on April 7 in Las Vegas. During the ceremony, Hurd thanked his team and his parents, Fred and Brenda Hurd, for their support.

“My mom allowed me to follow my dream and my dad was my biggest fan,” Hurd said. “My fights were always on in our house.”

Life has changed dramatically, according to Hurd since his victory on April 7th and he’s now doing his vest to deal with the sudden change.

“It’s definitely life-changing and it’s overwhelming,” he said. “It’s a lot to take in but at the end of the day, I’m ready for it. I’m still living in my parents’ home even though I’ve been able to actually unify the titles.”

“I have a lot of people coming at me – big sponsors,” Hurd continued. “A lot of people want to work with me and are reaching out to me. I can’t wait to take it all in.”

Hurd also reflected on the Lara contest, including the dramatic left hook that sent Lara to the canvas with 35 seconds remaining in the bout’s final round.

“I didn’t feel like I had to get the knockdown,” Hurd said. “I thought I was ahead on the cards. Ernesto [Rodriguez, Hurd’s trainer] grabbed my face and said, ‘you are the unified champion. All you have to do is get through this round.’ But I’m glad I had the war mentality. I wanted to close the show.”

The champ’s trainer said Hurd wants to get better — and win.

“Jarrett is a great listener,” Rodriguez said. “Jarrett is one of those kids who always tries his best to follow the instructions you give him.”

Brenda Hurd said that her son seems to be keeping things in perspective while she can barely contain her excitement.

“It’s just amazing and it’s unbelievable,” she said. “You’d never think your child would be famous but I’m also trying to make sure he remains grounded – that he’s still Jarrett Hurd no matter where he is in life. Just stay focused on who you are. That’s what’s most important.”

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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