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Julian Williams fought such a perfect fight Saturday against Jarrett Hurd in their bout in Fairfax, Virginia, for the IBF and WBA super welterweight titles that he found it difficult to find the proper words to describe his feelings after it was over.
Williams was magnificent on the inside, raking Hurd with crunching hooks and uppercuts at close range. He put the previously unbeaten Hurd down for the first time in his career in the second when he landed a short right and then a left that appeared like it may have landed on the top of Hurd’s head.
Hurd quickly got to his feet, but he was never able to find an answer for Williams’ work on the inside.
Judges had it 115-112 twice and 116-111 for Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs), whose only loss came on Dec. 10, 2016, in Los Angeles when he was knocked out in the fifth by Jermall Charlo in a bout for the WBC super welterweight title.
“I worked so hard,” Williams said through his tears of joys. “They told me I was done. They told me I had no chin. I just got basic.”
He proved himself in a big way on Saturday at Eaglebank Arena on the campus of George Mason University. He took on the 23-0 Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs) in front of Hurd’s hometown crowd and was cool as if he’d done it 100 times before.
He was consistently landing the harder and sharper punches and fended off a charge from Hurd by standing his ground and landing strikes to Hurd’s head.
Hurd dismissed any notion that his performance suffered because he was nervous fighting at home.
“No, no, no,” Hurd said. “It’s just that J-Rock was the better man tonight. He put me down for the first time in my career and he came out with the victory. Nerves didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Williams was brilliantly prepared by trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards, who had a great game plan and made all the right adjustments during the fight. When Hurd started to get momentum, Williams picked up the pace and blunted it.
“I’m so blessed,” Williams said. “I’m so, so blessed.”
He’s also the unified champion with a lot of options. There is a rematch clause in the contract, and so he could fight Hurd again, but he also could choose to face the winner of the June 23 bout for the WBC title between champion Tony Harrison and Charlo.
Williams, though, didn’t want to talk about that on this night. He wanted to savor a hard-earned, well-deserved victory.
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