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 barcla
yscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
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
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.”
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
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
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:
“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.”
“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
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.
Unified and undefeated IBF and WBA 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd held a media workout at his gym in Temple Hills, Maryland on Tuesday as he prepares for his hometown return in a title defense against top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams Saturday, May 11 that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will see Hurd return to defend his titles in front of a hometown crowd for the first time since becoming a world champion. A native of Accokeek, Maryland, this is Hurd’s first fight in the region since his 13th pro victory in 2014 that took place at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
This is Hurd’s second fight since he had shoulder surgery last June, and at this point, according to Hurd, the shoulder is not an issue.
“I feel strong and the shoulder is 100 percent,” Hurd said. “In sparring and hitting the bag, I forgot I even had surgery. That’s how good I feel.”
One knock on Hurd is that some believe he gets hit too much. However, Hurd believes looks are deceiving.
“My defense is getting better, but what people have to understand is that I kept stepping up the competition I was facing,” Hurd said. “So, of course, I got hit more, but if you look at the stats, my opponent got hit even more than me. Because of my style it looks like I take a lot of punches. I expect to get hit in this fight but, I’m ready to hit him more.
“It’s hard to tell what type of fight this is going to be. I want to say that he’s going to try to box, but I said that about Erislandy Lara and we saw that he stood toe-to-toe with me. Because of my size, I don’t really think Julian Williams is going to try to do that. He’s going to try to get his shots off and score points and make it through 12 rounds.”
Hurd’s ultimate goal is to be the undisputed champion at 154, and if he beats Williams, he may get that opportunity in the near future.
“I want to be undisputed champion at 154-pounds. The plan is to go after the WBC belt next. I’m inspired to do it and I see it right in front of me.”
Photo: Fernando Castro/Team Swift
For Julian Williams(26-1-1, 16 KOs), May 11 could be a day of redemption as he battles unified junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd(23-0, 16 KOs) at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.
The last time Williams had a title shot, back in 2016 against Jermall Charlo, it did not end well. Williams was dropped three times by Charlo and was stopped in the fifth round. It was the first time Williams tasted defeat as a pro.
Since that fight, the Philly native is on a four-fight win streak and now will have a chance to capture that elusive title against Hurd.
“I had to get over the loss quick,” Williams recently said about his loss to Charlo. “You can’t dwell on that. Am I going to mope? No, it’s who’s up next? I can’t even put it into words how hungry I am.”
Hurd will not be easy for Williams, and Hurd has beaten some very good fighters over the few past years, including defeating Erislandy Lara to unify the titles last year, but all that does not matter to Williams.
“I’m not Erislandy Lara,” Williams said. “I’m going to fight a completely different fight than he did. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to win. That’s the kind of fighter Hurd is, so that’s the kind of fighter I have to be.
“I think I’m going to win in a classic. We’re probably going to have to do it a second time it’ll be so good.”
To defeat Hurd, The 28-year-old Williams plans to use the same strategy he employed to beat Nathaniel Gallimore, who Williams defeated by majority decision last April.
“Hurd is definitely a really exciting fighter. He gives that extra each fight, but I’ve seen some things. I have a way of wearing guys down myself. I wore Nathaniel Gallimore down fighting off my front foot, and I think I’ll do the same to Hurd.”
Hurd does not make boring fights, so expect a great night action against Williams on May 11.
Photo/courtesy: Kent Green