WBA, IBF and IBO Jr. Middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) will be looking to keep his titles as he takes on former title challenger, Julian Williams (26-1-1, 16 KOs) at the Eagle Bank Arena, in Fairfax, Virginia on Saturday, May 11.
For years, Williams had been touted as the next great Philadelphia fighter. He proved his believers right as he dominated his competition. Wins over Marcello Matano and Luciano Leonel Cuello propelled him to his first title opportunity. Williams had the daunting task of defeating–at that time–the IBF titleholder Jermall Charlo back in 2016. Three knockdowns ensued, which lead to a fifth-round stoppage and the first loss for Williams.
It was a devastating loss but, he has since bounced back with four-straight victories. He has now positioned himself once again to challenge for yet another world title. Jarrett Hurd is not only considered by many to be the best Jr. Middleweight in the world, but he is also the biggest fighter that the division has to offer by far.
Hurd has fought a who’s who of fighters and has dominated in the process. The unified champion often uses his much bigger frame to overpower his opponents. He comes into this matchup with a three-inch height advantage and a four-inch reach advantage as well. Although Hurd is often times the bigger fighter, he doesn’t exactly have one-punch knockout power. Instead, he uses more of a pressure game plan and uncorks more punches than his opponents can handle.
This contest will be a clash of styles. The blueprint to defeat Hurd has always been there, outbox him. Use the entirety of the ring and make him miss, but also make him pay. It seems simple enough, but there is a reason why no one has been able to implement it against him.
Both men have plenty to lose. Unification fights are just within his grasp if he is able to pull off this victory. As for Williams, another loss, albeit against a great fighter in Hurd, will push his title dreams down the drain for the foreseeable future.