Dirrell, J-Rock return on Morrell-Yerbossynuly undercard

A jam-packed three-bout lineup of exciting undercard attractions featuring a longtime contender, a former unified world champion and a pair of unbeatens will stream live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and Facebook page this Saturday, November 5 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Armory in Minneapolis preceding SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

Andre Dirrell will battle Yunieski Gonzalez in a 10-round light heavyweight clash.The action also includes former unified champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams taking on Argentina’s Rolando Mansilla in an eight-round middleweight affair, plus unbeatens Kent Cruz and Enriko Gogokhia will duel in an eight-round super lightweight rematch of their split-draw in February kicking off the streaming presentation.

The streaming fights lead into SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT headlined by WBA Super Middleweight Champion and Minneapolis fan-favorite David Morrell Jr. looking to thrill his hometown crowd against unbeaten mandatory challenger Aidos Yerbossynuly.

A bronze medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games, Dirrell (28-3, 18 KOs) rose to the top of the super middleweight division during an impressive run in his career that included a victory over  then-unbeaten Arthur Abraham and decision defeats to Carl Froch and James DeGale. The Flint, Michigan-native has won back-to-back fights via knockout since moving up to light heavyweight, stopping Christopher Brooker most recently in July 2021. He takes on Cuba’s Gonzalez (21-4, 17 KOs), who has challenged top light heavyweights including Gilberto Ramirez, Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Jean Pascal. Now fighting out of Miami, Gonzalez won three-straight bouts before losing to Ramirez in a December 2021 slugfest.

Philadelphia’s Williams (27-3-1, 16 KOs) became a unified world champion at 154-pounds in May 2019 when he upset Jarrett Hurd in one of the year’s best fights, winning a close-quarters brawl by unanimous decision. The 32-year-old dropped the titles in his first defense, losing to Jeison Rosario in January 2020, before coming up on the short end of a narrow decision to Vladimir Hernandez in October 2021. He will take on Mansilla of Parana, Entre Rios, Argentina, Mansilla , who looks to rebound from back-to-back defeats against Cesar Mateo Tapia in May and Derrick Colemon Jr. in September. Mansilla (18-11-1, 8 KOs) has fought professionally since 2013 and was unbeaten in his first 11 fights.

The 29-year-old Cruz (16-0-2, 10 KOs) and 31-year-old Gogokhia (13-0-1, 8 KOs) fought to a split draw in their February clash, with Cruz hitting the canvas twice, as they both look to leave no doubt in the rematch. The St. Louis-native Cruz had bounced back from a 2018 draw to Carlos Mohamed Rodriguez with triumphs over Travis Hartman and Erik Humberto Castillo before the Gogokhia fight. A former kickboxing pro, Gogokhia is a native of Georgia but now resides stateside in Woodland Hills, California and had stopped five consecutive opponents before facing Cruz.

The non-televised undercard will also include unbeaten super featherweight Demler Zamora (9-0, 8 KOs) battling Texas-native Clay Burns (10-13-2, 4 KOs) in a six-round fight and unbeaten Cuban prospect Yoenis Tellez (2-0, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight attraction against California’s Dario Guerrero-Meneses (1-2-1).

Rounding out the lineup is Kazakhstan’s Ablaikhan Zhussupov (2-0, 1 KO) facing Arkansas-native Demarcus Layton (8-3-1, 5 KOs) in a six-round welterweight bout, a four-round super featherweight duel between Jose Perez (10-1-2, 4 KOs) and Angel Luna (15-11-1, 8 KOs) and welterweight prospect Maximus Garland (2-0, 2 KOs) in a four-round contest taking on Alex Cortez.

Berlanga, Williams to return on Fury-Wilder III undercard

Brooklyn’s newest young knockout prodigy and a former unified world champion from Philadelphia will see action Saturday, Oct. 9 at T-Mobile Arena in preliminary bouts before the highly anticipated heavyweight trilogy grudge match between WBC and lineal heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and former heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder.

Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga will fight former world title challenger Marcelo Esteban “El Terrible” Coceres in a scheduled 10-round showdown for the vacant NABO super middleweight belt, while Julian “J-Rock” Williams will face Mexico’s Vladimir Hernandez in a 10-round junior middleweight bout in his first fight since losing his title belts.

Berlanga-Coceres and Williams-Hernandez will be televised live at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, FS1 and FOX Deportes, and simulcast on ESPN+. Preliminary bouts will stream live on the ESPN App and FOX Sports App starting at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT.

The all-heavyweight Fury vs. Wilder III ESPN+ and FOX Sports PPV bonanza begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features 2016 Nigerian Olympian “The One and Only” Efe Ajagba squaring off against fellow unbeaten Frank “The Cuban Flash” in the 10-round co-main event; the highly anticipated 12-round rematch between Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius and Adam “Babyface” Kownacki; and the eight-round PPV opener featuring 21-year-old sensation Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson versus Russian veteran Vladimir Tereshkin.

Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs), the Brooklyn-bred puncher with Puerto Rican roots, became one of boxing’s most talked-about fighters by scoring first-round knockouts in his first 16 fights. The 2020 Prospect of the Year, he’s walked to the ring with mentor and multi-platinum hip hop artist Fat Joe and become a social media sensation with his highlight-reel stoppages. The knockout streak ended in April, as Berlanga knocked down Demond Nicholson four times in eight rounds and had to settle for a unanimous decision. Coceres (30-2-1, 16 KOs), from Argentina, challenged Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO super middleweight world title in November 2019 and was nearly level on the scorecards before being knocked out in the 11th round. He last fought in June, knocking out Nelson Nicolas Rosalez in the second round.

Berlanga said, “I am thrilled to be fighting on the Fury-Wilder III card, and I am coming do what I always do, which is to steal the show and knock out my opponent in devastating fashion. Coceres is in for a rude awakening on October 9. Do not get up for a snack when I’m fighting. It’s going to be a short, brutal night. Count on it.”

Philadelphia’s Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs) became a unified world champion at 154-pounds in May 2019 when he upset Jarrett Hurd in one of the year’s best fights, winning a close-quarters brawl by unanimous decision. The 31-year-old dropped the titles in his first defense, losing to Jeison Rosario in January 2020. Williams had been riding a five-fight winning streak going into the Rosario matchup, in which he added victories over former champion Ishe Smith and hard-hitting contender Nathaniel Gallimore to his ledger. He returns to action on Oct. 9 against the 32-year-old Hernandez (12-4, 6 KOs). Originally from Durango, Mexico, Hernandez now lives in Denver, Colorado, and most recently earned a decision victory over longtime contender Alfredo Angulo in August 2020.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to compete on this amazing card,” said Williams. “I’m excited to be getting back in the ring and starting my journey back to the very top of the division.”

Preliminary bouts include a 10-round featherweight bout between two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez (7-1, 4 KOs) and unbeaten Puerto Rican prospect Orlando “Capu” Gonzalez (17-0, 10 KOs), heavyweight phenom Viktor Faust (7-0, 5 KOs) in an eight-rounder against Mike Marshall (6-1, 4 KOs), the pro debut of former U.S. amateur star Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington in a four-round featherweight contest against an opponent to be named, and junior welterweight standout Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez (11-1-1, 10 KOs) versus Victor Vazquez (11-5, 5 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

Rosario on Williams: ‘I knew that my power was affecting him right away’

Jeison Rosario captured the WBA and IBF Super Welterweight World titles with a shocking fifth round stoppage of hometown favorite Julian “J-Rock” Williams Saturday night in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

“As soon as I stepped into the ring, I knew he could not hurt me,” said Rosario. “I knew that my power was affecting him right away. This is a big victory for me and for the whole Dominican Republic.”

“Rosario was the better man tonight,” said Williams. “It was a great homecoming for my fans and I’m sorry I let them down. What went wrong tonight needs to and will be fixed. We’re going to an immediate rematch and we look forward to returning the favor.”

In his first world title fight, the Dominican Republic’s Rosario landed power punches from the outset and opened up a cut on with a punch over Williams’ right eye in the second round. Williams was landing power punches of his own, but was unable to stop Rosario from coming forward.

Watch round two highlights where Rosario opens the cut over Williams’ eye here.

“I’m so emotional in this moment right now,” said Rosario. “When I lost my last fight I said I will never lose again until I become champion of the world and that’s what happened tonight. I came prepared. I knew before the fight that I was going to win it.”

In round five Rosario landed the punches that would ultimately lead to the end of the fight, hitting him with hard straight right hands that immediately slowed Williams.

“I have to give a lot of credit to my team,” said Rosario. “I had a 16-week training camp and that prepared me for this. My life is changed forever and I can support my family in a whole new way. I realized that I was going to win, once I was offered the fight. I knew that if I made the sacrifice, that I would do what I did tonight. I knew it 16 weeks ago.”

Rosario sensed his moment and came forward with big punches, while Williams tried to hold and survive. Eventually the onslaught proved to be too much, and referee Benjy Esteves halted the bout 1:37 into the round. At the time of the stoppage, Rosario led 39-37 on two cards, with the third card scored 38-38.

“I wasn’t surprised he was so good,” said Williams. “I told everybody he’s a real fighter. I have to accept it. The cut blurred my vision a little bit but it wasn’t the reason why I lost. He was the better fighter tonight. We’ve got a rematch clause. I’ll see him again soon. I’ll be back.”

Watch Rosario finish Williams in Round 5 here.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Hurd on J-Rock: ‘The rematch just couldn’t happen sooner because of my circumstances’

Former unified 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd shared his thoughts on his ring return taking place Saturday, January 25 against Francisco Santana live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

“This fight isn’t about making a statement,” said Hurd. “I just want to get the win and fight a great fight. I’m going to remind the boxing world what it’s like when I bring a storm to Brooklyn.”

The January 25 co-main event will be Hurd’s first fight with new trainer Kay Koroma. While Koroma trains fighters at the Alexandria Boxing Club in Virginia, not far from Hurd’s Maryland home, he is also an assistant coach for the USA amateur boxing team, having helped various boxers win Olympic medals.

“Camp has been going great with my new trainer Kay Koroma,” said Hurd. “We’ve been working on a lot of head movement and jabs. We’re strictly focused on boxing and working on all the areas where I have room to grow. He’s really opened my eyes to a lot of things.”

For the Accokeek, Maryland native, this will be his first fight training outside of his home area as a pro fighter. He has been in Colorado Springs training since January 2 and has experienced both the positives and negatives of camp away from home.

“The positives are that there’s literally nothing to focus on out here except boxing,” said Hurd. “No distractions at all. The only negative is you can get homesick. I miss my girlfriend and my family. Also, I just got a new puppy named ‘Bolt’ and I miss my little guy too.”

Hurd will be fighting again after losing his WBA and IBF 154-pound titles in May 2019 against Julian Williams. It was one of the most exciting fights of last year, and one that Hurd will hope to be running back soon, after a victory on January 25.

“The rematch with Julian Williams is what I always wanted,” said Hurd. “I had no intentions of moving up in weight. Unfortunately, the rematch just couldn’t happen sooner because of my circumstances.”

For his first fight back, Hurd will be facing a tough veteran in Francisco Santana, one who has faced other top 154-pounders, including Williams and Jermell Charlo, and who always comes forward and brings the fight to his opponent. If Hurd is unprepared, it will show against his hard-charging opponent.

“We just wanted a matchup to get back in the groove of things,” said Hurd. “I’ve been inactive for the better part of the last year. Santana being a smaller fighter, he will stay close and try to outwork me. I know he’s coming to win, so I’m not thinking about anyone but Francisco Santana. We’re going to work behind strategy and skills to get the victory.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on-sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

J-Rock: ‘The task at hand is being pound-for-pound best in the world’

Unified 154-pound champion and Philadelphia native Julian “J-Rock” Williams showed off his skills and previewed his upcoming hometown title defense at a media workout Wednesday, as he prepares to face hard-hitting Jeison Rosario Saturday, January 18 in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes from Temple University’s Liacouras Center.

After winning the title in one of 2019’s best fights against then unbeaten Jarrett Hurd, Williams will fight in his hometown for the first time since 2011 when he competes on January 18. Here is what Williams had to say Wednesday from James Shuler’s Memorial Boxing Gym in Philadelphia:

 On training and fighting in his hometown…

“I try to just block myself from the world… Especially with a hometown fight, people are pulling you 50 different ways, tickets, asking me stupid questions. It’s crazy, so I just try to block myself from the world.

“It’s not about enjoying, it’s about winning. I don’t care about enjoying. You’re not supposed to enjoy camp. It’s supposed to be a grind.”

On what he expects out of Rosario…

“Rosario brings ambition to the table. I think he’s an ambitious kid. I don’t think it’s a difficult fight (for me), to be quite honest. I just think it’s a matter of being focused and on top of my game, and I think I’ll take care of him. I don’t think it’s difficult, though. He’s a decent fighter. We’re not going to make him out to be Ray Robinson.

“He has put together a good string of wins, and he’s tough and he’s coming to win. So that’s more important than anything. He has the ambition to win, so you can’t underestimate him.”

On growing up in Philadelphia…

“Seeing all the stuff that I saw growing up (in West Philadelphia) made me hungry, made me want to get out and make a better life for myself. All you have to do is walk outside and go down Lancaster Ave. If that’s not motivating for you then nothing will.”

On his celebrity now that he’s a world champion…

“I’ve got a little more notoriety now. To be honest, I stopped thinking about it because I want to stay focused on the task at hand. The task at hand is being pound-for-pound best in the world. I’m not satisfied with just being the best super welterweight in the world. I’m just not satisfied with being unified champion of the world. Why sell myself short when I have the drive and the ability to be the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world? I’d be selling myself short. I’d be leaving millions of dollars on the table.”

On the history that he made for himself and Philadelphia when he defeated Hurd…

“I’m one of three men (from Philadelphia) who can say they’re a unified champion of the world.”

Photo: Darryl Cobb/TGB Promotions

Williams on fighting in Philly: ‘I can’t wait to get back in the ring in front of all my people’

Unified 154-pound world champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams will defend his WBA and IBF titles in a Philadelphia homecoming against the hard-hitting Jeison Rosario on Saturday, January 18 in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes live in primetime from Temple University’s Liacouras Center.

The action will also feature undefeated rising star Chris “Prime Time” Colbert taking on former champion Jezreel Corrales for the Interim WBA Super Featherweight Title as the co-main event of the broadcast that begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Philadelphia’s Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs) captured his world titles in a FOX main event in May when he upset Jarrett Hurd’s homecoming defense in a fight that is a frontrunner for 2019 Fight of the Year. Williams took full advantage of his second title opportunity with a spirited performance and an impressive game plan that negated the hard-charging and physically bigger Hurd.

The 29-year-old will now headline in his hometown, marking the first time he’s fought in Philadelphia since a 2011 victory over Eberto Mendoza. Williams earned his title opportunity by winning four-straight fights after a defeat to Jermall Charlo in 2016, including wins over former champion Ishe Smith and Nathaniel Gallimore.

“This is going to be great having a homecoming fight back in Philadelphia,” said Williams. “I’m excited for the crowd that’ll be at the Liacouras Center and to be back fighting on FOX. I haven’t fought in Philadelphia since 2011, so I can’t wait to get back in the ring in front of all my people. Rosario is a good fighter and I’m very familiar with him. I know he packs a solid punch and that he’s been on a tear ever since his lone loss to Nathaniel Gallimore. So he’ll be a stiff test for me, but I’m prepared to win. Most of all, I’m just excited to defend my titles and as a unified champion in front of my hometown crowd.”

Born in the Dominican Republic and now fighting out of Miami, Rosario (19-1-1, 13 KOs) will take an eight-fight unbeaten streak into his first world title fight on January 18. The 24-year-old has taken down a slew of contenders and rising prospects including Jamontay Clark, Justin DeLoach and Mark Anthony Hernandez, all of whom were either stopped or knocked down against Rosario. Most recently, Rosario won a decision over veteran contender Jorge Cota in April.

“I’m very thankful and excited for this opportunity,” said Rosario. “I’m going to take advantage of it. I plan to bring these titles back to the Dominican Republic by knockout, but if I have to go 12 rounds, I’m ready. I learned a lot from my first defeat, and it will never happen again. I also want to thank PBC, my promoter Sampson Boxing and my manager Caesar Mercedes for putting in this position. I can’t wait to make the most of it.”

One of boxing’s top rising prospects, Colbert (13-0, 5 KOs) showed off his emerging power with a sensational one punch knockout of Miguel Beltran Jr. in the first round of his most recent fight in September on FS1. The 23-year-old from Brooklyn, New York had an impressive amateur career and has already taken down three unbeaten fighters in his short pro career. He will look to kick off a big 2020 on January 18 after earning four wins in 2019.

“This is the stage that I’ve been waiting for,” said Colbert. “My last fight was the co-main event on FS1 and now we’re moving up to FOX. It’s time to show out! I’m going to show the world what the hype behind me is all about and prove that I’m a soon-to-be champion of the world. All I know about Corrales is that he’s a former champion who’s going to bring his A-game, but I’m looking to get him out of there. I’m excited to be back in Philly and I’m definitely going to have my crew and fans coming down from New York to show support.”

The 28-year-old Corrales (23-3, 9 KOs) will look to rebound after a narrow split-decision defeat to Ladarius Miller in July. Fighting out of San Miguelito, Panama, Corrales won a super featherweight title in 2016 when he went to Japan and knocked out Takashi Uchiyama before winning a decision in their rematch. He also owns victories over current 130-pound champion Rene Alvarado and Robinson Castellanos.

“Colbert is a good fighter but he’s not ready for what I can do in the ring,” said Corrales. “I’m going to show that I’m still one of the best in the division. This is a great opportunity to prove that. I’ve been training hard to be the best Jezreel Corrales. Thank you to my whole team for helping me get this fight. You’re not going to want to miss my performance on January 18.”

We expected Charlo-Hurd; what we could get is Harrison-Williams

The beauty of boxing is the unexpected can happen at any time. For example, look at the 154-pound division. In 2018, the thought was that then undefeated champions Jermell Charlo, and Jarrett Hurd would battle it out in unification fight. However, Tony Harrison happened. He beat Charlo by unanimous decision last December in Brooklyn to take Charlo’s WBC belt, and on Saturday night in Fairfax, Virginia, Julian Williams happened.

Williams shocked Hurd by unanimous decision, including dropping Hurd in round 2 to capture the IBF, IBO, and WBA belts.

Both Charlo and Hurd were headliners in their bouts against Harrison and Williams, which may have been something that overwhelmed them. There is a lot of things a fighter has to do when headlining a show: the appearances, the media, family, and more.

The 28-year-old Hurd said he didn’t feel like himself in the fight against Williams. Fighting in front of a raucous hometown crowd filled with family and friends as he hails from nearby Accokeek, Md.

“I wasn’t able to get off. I can’t really call it right now. I have to go back and watch. I was loading up on my shots instead of just letting my hands go,” Hurd said. “J-Rock was just the better man tonight. There’s definitely a rematch clause in our contract, and I’m going to go for it. I’m going to come back better than I was tonight.”

The 154-pound division is very deep. Besides the champions, you have Erislandy Lara, Erickson Lubin, Brian Castano, and more.

Charlo and Hurd won’t happen anytime soon, and in reality, if Harrison beats Charlo in their rematch in June, there is a chance we could see Williams-Harrison in a unification bout sometime in 2019. No one would have ever expected that one, but that’s boxing for you, the “theatre of the unexpected.”

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Williams: ‘Maybe I wasn’t ready for the title the first time I got the shot’

Julian “J-Rock’’ Williams knew he was walking into the lion’s den when he traveled from Philadelphia to Virginia to face undefeated unified super welterweight champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd in his backyard. But Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs) wasn’t afraid.

He came. He saw and he conquered Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs), scoring a 12-round unanimous decision, handing Hurd his first loss and taking the IBF, WBA and IBO championships before a hometown crowd at the EagleBank Arena on the campus of George Mason University.

The crowd and the primetime audience, which tuned in to FOX and FOX Deportes, witnessed a valiant performance from both Williams and Hurd in what will certainly be a “Fight of the Year’’ candidate. The judges had Williams handily defeating Hurd with scores of 116-111 and 115-112 twice.

Williams had come up short in his previous attempt at a world title when he was stopped on via TKO by Jermall Charlo in 2016. He was overwhelmed by emotions after his upset victory over Hurd, who was a presumptive favorite over the 29-year-old Williams.

“I am just overwhelmed. This is such a great feeling. I outclassed him. I am one of the best fighters in the world,” said Williams. “Maybe I wasn’t ready for the title the first time I got the shot. I took the loss. I took it like a man and the whole world doubted me. I went into this fight a five to one underdog.’’

“This is a dream come true. I have been waiting for this for years. I never ditched the gym. I never got into girls or left the gym. I am from the streets, but I was never in the streets. I was in the gym practicing my craft.

“The only people that believed in me were my team, but all I can say is ‘and the new’!”

Williams jumped on the defending champion right out of the gate, throwing crisp punches behind a pistol-like jab. Williams dropped Hurd in the second round with a shot to the temple.

Sensing he had stunned Hurd, Williams came out firing in the next round. He picked up the pace and Hurd decided to match the ferocity of the attack rather than wither under it. Midway through the third round, Hurd landed a blistering left uppercut that snapped Williams’ head upward and slowly started to regain his form.

By the seventh round, the fight had become a war of attrition and a test of wills. Hurd was cut over his left eye in the eighth round. By then, Williams was completely in control.

You have to feel good for Williams. He was determined to beat Hurd, and it showed. Due to a rematch clause, we’ll probably see Williams against Hurd again, which is not a bad thing after what we saw on Saturday night in Virginia.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotion

 

Hurd: ‘There are some nerves fighting at home, but they’re good nerves’

Before they square-off this Saturday night, unified 154-pound world champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd and top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams faced-off at the National Mall and Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Thursday as they near their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes main event live from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

A native of Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd will be making his return to defend his titles in front of a hometown crowd for the first time since becoming a world champion. Saturday marks Hurd’s first fight in the region since his 13th pro victory in 2014 that took place at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Philadelphia’s Williams will look to spoil Hurd’s homecoming and become a world champion in his second title opportunity.

Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday afternoon:

JARRETT HURD

“I feel great right now. I’m here in my city. This is where I wanted to bring the fight. Only two more days. I’m ready and I can’t wait.

“There are some nerves fighting at home but they’re good nerves. The energy I’m going to feel in the arena is going to get me hyped and ready to go.

“I have to treat it like any other fight. When I go out there and do what I know how to do best, I always get the win. Julian Williams is going to come on top of his game, but a graceful Jarrett Hurd is a bad night for anyone.

“My city has been behind me since day one and I made a promise to bring a fight back to them. Here I am. ‘Swift Nation’ is going to be in the building Saturday night.”

JULIAN WILLIAMS

“We had a really good camp. It was easily one of the best I ever had. I’m not worried about his fans. I’m just focused on what I have to do in the ring Saturday night.

“Every fight is a stepping-stone for the next chapter. I’ve just been trying to win and get back to this position. I’m coming to win this however I have to win.

“I can’t concern myself with things that are out of my control. I can’t control the fans or the atmosphere. I can’t worry about it, so I don’t worry about it.”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Hurd: ‘I think I have a better resume than guys at the top of the pound-for-pound list’

Unified junior middleweight champion is on a nice run right now, and he has beaten some quality fighters along the way. Hurd has beaten one current and two world former world champions in three out of his last four fights, and on Saturday, he will be facing a guy who many believe has championship caliber ability in Julian Williams.

Hurd and Williams will battle it out at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia, which air on FOX.

The undefeated Hurd(23-0, 16 KOs) believes he has established himself as one of pound-for-pound best in the sport of boxing, and he thinks he has the resume to prove it.

“I don’t want this fight to be close,” said Hurd about his fight with Williams on a conference call last week. “I’m trying to get the recognition that I work hard for. I think I have a better resume than guys at the top of the pound-for-pound list. I’m going to come out and prove it Saturday night and make a statement on FOX.”

Hurd is usually a guy that keeps coming forward, which makes for exciting fights. In April 2018, Hurd unified 154-pound titles by defeating WBA titlist Erislandy Lara in a thrilling contest that saw Hurd drop Lara in the final round to edge the decision on the scorecards. It was the consensus 2018 Fight of the Year, including recognition from the BWAA, ESPN, Sporting News and more.

“For me to be in a Fight of the Year against a fighter with Erislandy Lara’s style, I must be an exciting fighter,” said Hurd. “When fans tune-in to watch me, they know the fight is usually action-packed. I go out there and leave it all in the ring and give it my all every time.”

Hurd is definitely climbing the pound-for-pound list, and if he keeps winning and keeps collecting belts, he might make his way to the top. No matter what happens, here’s one thing you can guarantee with Hurd: it’s going to be fun to watch.