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Story by Frank Bartolini


This Saturday night at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, VA, DC-area boxer, Jarrett “Swift” Hurd, Accokeek, VA, returns home to defend his WBA, IBF & IBO junior middleweight belts against Julian “J-Rock” Williams, of Philadelphia. Although he’ll be fighting in the tiger’s lair of frenzied DMV (DC, MD, VA) fight fans, Williams still appears to be Hurd’s toughest opponent to date.

It has been two and a half years since Williams, 26-1-1, 16 KOs, suffered the lone loss of his twenty eight fight career. That defeat came at the hands of then IBF junior middleweight king Jermall Charlo, via fifth round kayo, when J-Rock challenged for that title. Over the course of his nine year career, Williams has established himself as a take-on-all-comers boxer. Because of this, Williams has the best resume of any combatant that Hurd has faced.

Born and bred in Philadelphia, which is a two hour Amtrak train ride away from Fairfax VA, Williams is a decided underdog in his latest title fight. Being from one of the toughest fight scenes in the world, Williams’ effort will not be affected by the unfavorable odds or the boisterous hometown supporters of Hurd.

Even Philly’s most prolific boxing scribe, Ken Hissner of, thinks the cards are stacked against Williams saying, “I thought J-Rock would win the first time he challenged for a title but the Philly Jinx happened. J Rock isn’t beating Hurd”. 

Not at all overconfident, Hurd is not taking his challenger lightly and is still hashing out his strategy. “It’s hard to tell what type of fight it's going to be,” Hurd said. “I want to say he’s going to try to box and get through the twelve rounds”.

It is likely Hurd that will employ his usual style of moving forward behind his jab, and stepping aside to uncork combinations. Eventually Hurd tends to wear down his opponents with his size and strength. Using these tactics, Hurd usually gets to his opponents in the second half of contests. He’ll try to do the same with Williams.

Addressing the shoulder surgery that saw Hurd sit out for eight months in 2018 he said, “I feel strong and my shoulder is one hundred percent. During training, I forgot I even had surgery.”  

In hopes of a homecoming celebration, Hurd said, “I’ve got the city behind me and I couldn’t be happier about that.”  Meanwhile Williams has plans on ruining that party. 

The match will be broadcast live nationally in prime time, on the Fox network.




Frank Bartolini - Philadelphia - May 07, 2019