In another ultra-loaded week of the sweet science the performance handed in by Philadelphian Julian “J Rock” Williams stands alone, Williams’s major upset scores him our Fighter Of TheWeek award. It was an outstanding performance handed in by J Rock and an even more impressive game plan drawn up by trained Stephen “Breadman” Edwards” Williams traveled the two hours down I-95 and entered the Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax Virginia a prohibitive 7 to 1 underdog and given almost no chance by anyone to upset the WBA/IBF unified 154-pound champion. “Swift” Jarrett Hurd who was universally considered the best in the weight class. Williams was expected to be little more than an opponent for Hurd’s big homecoming defense in front of thousands of his adoring fans. Williams refused to comply and handed in the performance of a lifetime in what is the fight of the year and captured the unified super welterweight titles and handed Hurd his first career loss in Hurd’s own back yard
Williams took control early in the fight boxing beautifully and landing the champ in the opening stanza. The Philly native then scoring a second-round knockdown to set the tone. Williams looked to be the more precise fighter landing cleaner shots and out landing and beating Hurd up on the inside. Traditional logic would have said that a scrap fought on the inside would favorite the freakishly strong Hurd. That proved not to be the case at all. Williams stayed on the inside and snapped Hurd’s head back with quick uppercuts and short rights hands. Hurd rallied in the middle rounds and got the fight close on the scorecards but by the eighth round, the challenger seized back control of the fight and refused to relinquish it seemingly winning every one of the heated exchanges in the later rounds and having an answer for everything Hurd had in store. Williams trainer Stephen “Breadman,” Edwards said they wanted “to replicate the Shane Mosley vs Antonio Margarito game plan. We had to stay in his chest and smother his punches” The game plan that was thought up by famed Philly trainer Nazim Richardson worked perfectly for Sugar Shane and again yesterday for J Rock in capturing the WBA/IBF titles by a unanimous decision with scores of 116-111 and 115-112 twice.
Williams was an afterthought in the crowded division after his devastating knockout loss to Jermall Charlo back in 2016. He ran off a couple of decent wins over the likes of Ishe Smith, Nathaniel Galimore, and others but nothing to suggest that he could hand in the nearly perfect performance he did on Saturday night. The newly crowned Williams is now in control of the 154-pound division and can call his next shot. He will likely choose between a rematch with Jarret Hurd. A fight he and his team insist happen in Philidelphia this time, that Hurd come to his hometown it also stands to reason Hurd who has a rematch clause will want to make a return bout happen ASAP. Or he can wait for the winner of the Tony Harrison vs Jermell Charlo WBC title rematch that takes place next month at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.