By: Hans Themistode
When Jarrett Hurd walked around the Jr Middleweight division as a champion, it was thought that he could not be beat. The 29 year old had already collected the names of Tony Harrison, Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara on his resume. So when Julian Williams was chosen as his next man in line, no one thought much of it.
Williams was good, maybe even really good. But great? Absolutely not.
The book on Williams was already released. In terms of skills, he’s second to none. But he just flat out can’t take a shot. In 2016, Williams was stopped in his first bid to win a world title against then champion Jermall Charlo. Call it unfair if you want, but once a fighter suffers a brutal knockout loss, not much is expected of them.
With Hurd being just as big and just as strong as Charlo, the unified champ was expected to walk right through him on December 1st, 2018, in front of his hometown fans at EagleBank Arena, Fairfax Virginia.
Boxing, like always, is the theater of the unknown. You just never know what you’re going to get once a fighter walks inside of that ring.
Williams may have been a heavy underdog, but remove the word under, and that will show you what he was on the night. A dog.
Williams dropped and beat down Hurd to take away every single one of his three Jr Middleweight straps.
Surprising? Yes. But even more so was what happened next.
Hurd elected to not pick up his immediate rematch clause with Williams. The criticism quickly came flying and Williams led the way.
“I’m just a bad style matchup for him,” said Williams a few months back. “I’ll beat him every single time, so no, I’m not surprised that he didn’t take the rematch.”
Sometimes karma can take a really long time to come back full circle. But make no mistake about it, she always comes back.
On May 11th, 2019, Williams found himself on the wrong end of an upset victory of his own at the hands of Jeison Rosario, in front of his hometown crowd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The loss was surprising, but not nearly as much as what happened more recently.
Williams had no choice. He had to take the immediate rematch with Rosario, even if he didn’t want to. The former unified champ had gone on record several times criticizing Hurd for not doing the same. If Williams chose to go in another direction, then that would be ironic to say the least. Well, it now seems as though Williams will be following in those same critiqued footsteps.
Williams has officially decided to forgo his rematch option and instead will choose to rest after recent surgery. So now, the playbook of Rosario which contained only one name before the news Williams broke, has now opened up in a big way.
Fights with WBC titlist Jermell Charlo, along with former belt holders Erislandy Lara and Tony Harrison are now officially on the table. Still, assuming he is still a belt holder down the line, Rosario could still be matched up with Williams after he has recovered.
For now, the same criticism that Hurd was forced to deal with for months on end, will now be placed on the shoulders of Williams. No one, especially former champion Jarrett Hurd will feel apathetic towards his situation.