By: Hans Themistode
Unified Jr Middleweight champion Julian Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs) shocked much of the boxing world when he unseated former champion Jarrett Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs) on May 11th, earlier this year. It was even more shocking to hear that their highly anticipated rematch, which was slated to take place sometime in December, was called off.
Hurd initially opted to have an immediate rematch to avenge his lone defeat as a pro. With the news of the former champion electing to go in a direction however, it has left several scratching their heads.
Standing at six feet one inches, Hurd has always been viewed as the biggest fighter in the division. He has also at times struggled to make weight. A move up to the Middleweight division could be in the cards for Hurd.
The former champion had long expressed a desire to move up in weight, but first wanted to capture every title in the Jr Middleweight division. He was half way there as he picked up the IBF crown by stopping Tony Harrison in the ninth round of their 2017 matchup. He followed that up one year later by taking the WBA title away from long time belt holder Erislandy Lara via split decision.
The first contest between these two was competitive, but one that Williams won decisively. He floored the much bigger Hurd in the second round and had the former champion on his heels all night long. According to Williams, the decision made by Hurd was a wise one.
“Our first fight was a really good, fan-friendly fight, but it appears he has other plans. I’m not going to bash him. I don’t know what happened. You have to ask him,” Williams said. “Things change in boxing, man, what can I say. I don’t really know how to feel about it. If he doesn’t want to fight, that’s his prerogative. Smart move if you ask me. I wish him the best. I don’t have anything bad to say about him.”
The news of the cancelation of this contest is a tough pill to swallow for fight fans as the rematch was sure to be another action packed contest. Even with Williams needing to find a new opponent, his motivation to unify titles remains the same. The rematch between former champion Jermell Charlo and current WBC champion Tony Harrison is set to take place later on this year and Williams has been vocal about taking on the winner.
As for Hurd, his future is murky at best. He recently decided to part ways with long time trainer, Ernesto Rodriguez which adds to the uncertainty that currently surrounds him.
With his time at the Jr Middleweight division seemingly over, Hurd could have big matches awaiting him one weight class above.