Liam Williams’ Renaissance
By: Ste Rowen
April 2017 – The bleeding right eye of Liam Williams continues to seep as the Welshman is sat in the corner, wondering whether a second wind was gonna come to him or not. But it ended up being out of his hands.
In the 9th round, of Liam’s bout with fellow Liam, ‘Beefy’ Smith, Williams’ trainer, Gary Lockett threw the towel in as blood seeped down the Welshman’s face. It was a decision that his corner seemed to live to regret. That is until the rematch when Liam Smith took Williams to a full twelve rounds and, to put it, frankly, outclassed the Welshman along the way.
It meant that Liam Williams had a rebuild job to overcome. Where did it go wrong? Was he outclassed or overwhelmed? Was he just not good enough?
Since that 2017 night in Newcastle, Williams has taken steps to re-establish himself, not just in the division above. From fighting at 154lb and falling short, Liam took the decision to shift up a division to the more prestigious division of middleweight.
After two run of the mill bouts, Williams took out the unbeaten, Mark Heffron in the 10th round, and two 2nd round maulin’s of both, Joe Mullender and Karim Achour. Those previous bouts set up a WBO eliminator against former world title challenger, Alantez Fox.
The slender man arrived into London with
all the confidence of a genuine world class contender, and not like a man who did nothing more than
a flash knockdown against current WBO world champion, and backwards fighting, Demetrius
But Williams was unafraid of the larger-than-fight, Fox, who struggled to maintain any kind of distance from the brawling Welshman.
The early rounds saw ‘The Machine’ Williams rifle his way into the subsequent fifth round stoppage, dropping the lanky American twice before a 5th round stoppage. A slightly unexpected finish, certainly not what Fox had envisioned but perhaps exactly how Williams had seen the fight going and not just hoped.
Now firmly in place amongst the top WBO ranked fighters, ranked just behind champion, Andrade and #2 Jamie Munguia, Williams, 22-2-1 (17KOs) has more than just inner belief to feel justified in thinking his first world title shot at 160lb could happen either at the end of this year or early 2021. Who knows, if not for Corona, Wales could have had its first world champion since Lee Selby claimed the IBF featherweight title in 2017, and its first ever middleweight titlist ever. But they do say good things come to those who wait.
So, can Liam beat Demetrius Andrade and
It does feel that more often than not that the Brits always go in as the underdog when facing an American, certainly in more recent times. Williams will need to defy the odds and avoid the fates of Khan vs. Crawford, Brook vs. Spence etc. But then again, Andrade, though he has his plaudits, has failed to capture the imagination or excitement that the aforementioned US boxers have done.
If all you had to go on was watching a few Demetrius bouts, you would be pretty certain he had a strong amateur background including reaching the 2008 Olympics and winning gold at the 2007 world championships. Both at the 69kg limit. It is not necessarily a criticism either and might be the perfect style to completely null the expected mauling attack that fans and pundits alike would expect to see if the two were meet.
‘Boo-Boo’s’ backwards, stick & move approach has leant itself to a 29-0 (18KOs) record, which includes victories across two divisions over the previously unbeaten Vanes Martirosyan in 2013, Jack Culcay to claim his first world title and a solid whitewash decision win over fringe-contender, Maciej Sulecki. But it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the viewership.
Williams may not be the top name that fans are hoping for, for Andrade when boxing fully returns, such as a previous fight on the calendar with Billy Joe Saunders, or an all-American affair against Jermall Charlo or Daniel Jacobs; but what can be guaranteed if Williams vs. Andrade happens, is that sparks will fly if, and it’s a big if, the Welshman is able to land.
Jarrett Hurd Expects Julian Williams to Bounce Back
By: Hans Themistode
It didn’t take very long in the 2020 boxing calendar for one of the biggest upsets of the year to take place.
Former unified Jr Middleweight champion Julian Williams suffered one of the biggest upsets in recent memory when he was stopped by the unheralded Jeison Rosario in their contest on January 18th, at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Ironically enough, former champion Jarrett Hurd, suffered the same fate at the hands of Williams in his most recent outing. Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs) was dropped and ultimately out boxed over the course of 12 rounds.
Since his aforementioned loss, Hurd has switched trainers and is looking to bounce back in a major way when he takes on Francisco Santana (25-7, 12 KOs) at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York on January 25th.
With Williams suffering his upset loss just one week prior, Hurd didn’t have much to say about the outcome as his focus is solely on his own contest.
“I saw it but I really don’t have any comment on it,” said Hurd. “I’m just focused on Santana, not anybody else.”
Following his loss to Williams, Hurd opted to forgo his rematch clause as he worked on perfecting the relationship with his new trainer. Yet, now that Williams has lost, don’t expect Hurd to regret his decision to walk away from the rematch.
“No man, no regrets. No matter what happened, it still didn’t change the situation that I’m in.”
Even with Williams handing Hurd the first loss of his career, there is no animosity between the two. Instead, Hurd is expecting Williams to make a speedy comeback.
“Julian Williams bounced back before and I’m pretty sure he’ll do again. We all have bad nights and that was just one for him. I’m sure he’ll be back.”
As for Hurd, his upcoming fight against Santana will see him enter the ring with a completely different trainer working his corner. Throughout the career of Hurd, he has become a fan friendly fighter. Often forgetting his defensive responsibilities to engage in the sort of fights that the fans love.
Fans across the world can expect to see a much different Hurd. It might not be what his adoring fans want to hear, but Hurd believes at this point in his career, it is completely necessary.
“I had back to back fights of the year. When you have a fight of the year that means it’s not a one sided fight, its back and forth. I don’t want to have these fights of the year all the time. I want to have one sided fights and not have it so back and forth. I know it’s exciting and that’s what people want to see but I gotta think about myself first and my health and get back to defense.”
Call him a more cautious fighter. Maybe even a smarter fighter but whatever you do, don’t call him a completely new one.
“People are saying this is a new Jarrett but I believe that this is just the old me. I’m just getting back to it. If people watched my old fights on ShoBox then they’ll know that I had defense but at the time when I was preparing for Erislandy Lara I was developing a pressure style so I kind of forgot about the fundamentals and basics.”
The term hittable, was becoming synonymous with Hurd so getting back to the basics makes a ton of sense. Bad nights happen. But at the age of 29 and coming off the worst performance of his career, Hurd knows that he can’t afford another one. His career isn’t spiraling downwards but with another loss on Saturday night, it certainly will be.
“I’ve got a lot on the line. This is a big fight for my career. I need to win this and do so in dominant fashion if I expect to get back to where I once was.”
Jeison Rosario Pulls the Upset and Stops Julian Williams
By: Rich Lopez
Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) started the New Year with a possible upset of the year candidate. The card was held at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and televised on FOX. It was supposed to be a homecoming win for local favorite Julian Williams. However, it turned out to be the Jeison Rosario show.
The upset took place in the main event as Jeison “Banana”Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic stopped Julian “J-Rock” Williams (27-2-1, 16 KO’s) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the 5th round. Rosario captured the WBA and IBF World Super Welterweight Titles and a new champion was crowned.
In the opening round, Williams started off by establishing his jab while Rosario was the aggressor. Williams had a good round and landed some good right hands on the head of Rosario. Once round two got underway, Rosario cut the left eye of Williams with a left jab. The cut bothered Williams and both fighters started to exchange punches with Rosario getting the better of them. Round three was action packed as both fighters traded punches in the inside. Williams landed more punches than Rosario but it was close. In round four, Rosario was starting to land his jab. In the center of the ring, both fighters traded blows again. Then disaster came for Williams in round five. Rosario landed a right hand followed by a left hook that wobbled Williams. Rosario went for it and threw many hard punches to finish off Williams. Williams grabbed Rosario and fell down. Williams managed to get up but very slow. Rosario went for the finish and landed a right uppercut and then a left hook that staggered Williams again which prompted the ref to stop the fight.
No complaints on the stoppage as Williams was basically out on his feet. The finish came out at 1:37 of the 5th round.
Julian Williams defeated Jarett Hurd last year to win the IBF and WBA titles. Once again the championship changed hands and according to the odds makers, it was a huge upset. Rosario was on a mission and trained very hard for the fight and it paid off. An emotional Rosario celebrated his victory while Julian Williams was in shock. Williams did not blame his loss on the cut and he gave Rosario his props for the victory. Williams made Philly proud for putting up a good fight. Jermell Charlo might be the top fighter in super welterweight division but now we have Jeison Rosario to look out for.
In the co-feature, Chris “Primetime” Colbert (14-0, 5 KO’s) of Brooklyn, New York captured the vacant Interim WBA Super Featherweight Title. He won a twelve round unanimous decision over former world champion Jezreel “Invisible” Corrales (23-4, 9 KO’s) of Panama. The fight was a test for Colbert as he faced off against a former world champion. The first round was a feel out round with not much action with both fighters keeping their distance. Colbert moved forward in round two and Corrales landed body shots towards the end of the round. The fight was tactical and the action was slow in round three. Colbert put more pressure in round four and had some better success. Both fighters were landing jabs on each other. In round five, the pace still did not pick up. There was showboating from Colbert and he spend a lot of time switching stances. The pace finally picked up in rounds six and seven. Corrales was starting to land straight left hands to the body of Colbert. As Colbert was the aggressor in the rounds, Corrales did a good job of countering Colbert. In round eight, Colbert started the round well but then the fighters went back to keeping their distance and posing. In round nine, Corrales was firing some good body punches but then started to grab Colbert and used dirty tactics. Colbert broke through in round ten when he dropped Corrales with a left hook and right hand. Corrales managed to get up and finish the round. Colbert picked up where he left off and went right to Corrales in round eleven. Colbert landed a good right hand that stunned Corrales again. Colbert threw a flurry of punches that made Corrales grab again. As Corrales tried to grab, he fell to the canvas and wentout the ropes. It was not a knockdown and Corrales made it back in the ring. In the final round, Corrales just looked to survive and Colbert just boxed his way to the end. The final scores were 116-111, 117-110 (twice) all in favor of Colbert.
Colbert did not get the knockout like his previous fight but he fought a former world champion that gave him rounds. Styles make fights. The style of Corrales was difficult for Colbert throughout the fight but Colbert managed to figure his opponent out and he closed the show. With the victory, Colbert is in line to face WBA World Super Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz. It might be too soon for Colbert, but he feels that he is ready for the challange.
In the opening bout of the telecast, top prospect Joey Spencer(10-0, 7 KO’s) of Linden, Michigan, kept his winning ways. Hedefeated Erik Spring (13-4-2, 1 KO) of Reading, Pennsylvania,by a six round unanimous decision. Once again styles make fights and this particular fight hardly produced any action. This was a slow paced fight from beginning to end. In rounds one and two, both fighters did not do much. Spencer did pick up the pace a little in round three and landed a few shots on Spring. The pace was still slow in round four. Spencer came forward but was having a hard time landing clean shots. Towards the end of the round, Spring went forward but he couldn’t land anything either. In round five, Spencer landed a nice right hand and left hook on the head of Spring. In the final round, Spring made an effort to push the action but it was not much. Spencer landed a left hook at the end to close the round. All judges scored it the same at 60-54 for Joey Spencer.
It was a fight with no action and maybe Spencer could have been more impressive. He looked average in the fight but then again the style of Spring made it difficult to land anything clean on him.
PBC On Fox Preview: Williams-Rosario
By: Sean Crose
Julian “J Rock” Williams earned more good will among boxing fans in a single night than most fighters could probably earn throughout a career. Having been seen as a legitimate rising start in the junior middleweight division, William’s upward trajectory came to a sudden and seemingly permanent halt when the Philly based fighter was bested by Jermall Charlo late in 2016. Rather than fall apart, however, Williams decided to grow form the experience. “I just dusted myself off,” Williams recalled years later. “It was just another fight to me.” That mentality served the man well. For when Williams faced the highly regarded Jarret Hurd last spring – he dominated. What’s more, he earned himself the WBA and IBF junior middleweight titles.
A rematch was expected but has yet to come to fruition. Therefore, Williams will be making the first defense of his belts Saturday night in his hometown of Philadelphia, at the Liacouras Center, in a scheduled twelve rounder that will be aired live on Fox. The 27-1-1 William’s opponent will be the largely unknown but talented Jeison Rosario, a 19-1-1 contender who can hit hard and who employs sound footwork in the ring. Few may be giving Rosario a chance, but the native of the Dominican Republic is a dedicated professional and, at the age of 24, is nothing if not determined to shock the world this weekend. Rosario’s last fight was a split decision win over Jorge Cota last April.
The interim WBA junior lightweight title will also be at stake this weekend when the undefeated Brooklyn based fighter Chris Colbert takes on the 23-3 Jezzrel Corrales in a scheduled 12 rounder. At 13-0, Colbert is confident, funny, and eager to take on Leo Santa Cruz in the future. First, though, Colbert will have to get past Corrales, who has already held a world title in the same division. Although he’s been knocked out by Alberto Machado and dropped a split decision loss to Ladarius Miller his last time in the ring, Corrales is an experienced vet who knows how to get the big win.
Rising middleweight Joey Spencer will also appear on the PBC card. The 19 year old already has a 9-0 record, with 7 knockouts to his name. The Californian will be facing the 13-3-2 Erik Spring in a scheduled 6 rounder. The 35 year old Spring’s last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Courtney Pennington last September. Spencer’s last bout was a September knockout of Travis Gambardella.
The Williams-Rosario card is being presented by Premiere Boxing Champions and will be aired live on Fox starting at 8pm Eastern Standard Time on Saturday.
Jarret Hurd Backs Out Of Julian Williams Rematch
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.
Quest for Redemption for Tramaine Williams
“Wherever my story takes me, however dark and difficult the theme, there is always some hope and redemption, not because readers like happy endings, but because I am an optimist at heart. I know the sun will rise in the morning, that there is a light at the end of every tunnel.” – Michael Morpurgo
The path for redemption is never easy. Neither is battling misconceptions. Optimism and the pursuit of dreams, in spite of set-backs and roadblocks is what makes the spoils of victory that much sweeter. That’s ultimately what the undefeated Tramaine “The Mighty Midget” Williams (19-0, 6 KO’s) is searching for.
The New Haven, Conn. native and former 10-time national amateur champion, is fresh off a victory over tough contender Yenifel “El Rayo” Vincente (35-4-2, 27 KO’s), earning his fourth victory in as many fights in the year 2019.
“I’m trying to show, that I’m the most active fighter on the world class level,” said Williams in reference to his level of activity.
“I know people point at Tevin Farmer and say he is the most active world class fighter out there. I want to show I’m the most active. Before I went in (jail for probation violation) last year, I had five fights. With the fight with (Yenifel) Vincente, I’ll have four fights so far for the year. If I’m feeling good after the fight and I don’t have any injuries, I can fight a couple more times this year.”
Williams is now in possession of the WBO-NABO Super Bantam Title, along with the USBA Bantam Title. A world title is now in sight, after defeating Vincente – who entered the match-up, stopping 9 of the last 10 opponents faced.
“I’ve never fought anyone so strong,” said Williams. “Vicente is a great boxer, and this was a fight I will learn and get better from. I’m proud of the way I competed, and I look forward to the next fight where I will show off my full potential.”
“Yenifel Vicente is one tough customer, and Tramaine continued his amazing journey with an impressive victory against him,” said Roc Nation Sports boxing promoter Dino Duva.
“He showed great heart withstanding a barrage of bombs (including many low blows) from Vicente. If the Mighty Midget continues working hard and stays on course, I’m convinced he will fight and win a world title soon.”
As of August 1, 2019, Williams is not listed in the top 15 for as a challenger for one of the coveted alphabet world titles. But with his recent acquisition of regional belts, along with continued constant activity, Williams should be in line for a world title opportunity sooner than later.
Especially considering, the guy he just defeated (Yenifel), was ranked No. 6 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and ranked No. 13 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF). Williams has expressed interest in any of the current world champions.
Sanctioning body Reign began Champion Record Defenses
WBA September 3, 2017 Daniel Roman 27–2–1 (10 KO’s) 4
WBC February 25, 2017 Rey Vargas 34–0–0 (22 KO’s) 5
IBF April 26, 2019 Daniel Roman 27–2–1 (10 KO’s) 0
WBO December 8, 2018 Emanuel Navarrete 27–1–0 (23 KO’s) 1
*Brandon Figueroa (19-0, 14 KO’s) is the interim title holder for the WBA.
With the path towards the world title taking shape, Williams realizes he can’t take things for granted and wants to optimize every opportunity.
“I’m a contender now. 2018 would have been my year, but I think 2019 is going to be my year and I say that because I’m not going back to jail ever again.”
Williams is a pleasant person to interact with and very insightful. One of the points Williams emphasized, is he is a good person.
“I am a good person, sometimes, good people make bad decisions. I don’t want people to think of me as a bad person. I made a few mistakes.”
Williams was arrested on Jan. 23, 2014, a few days before he was scheduled to fight at Madison Square Garden. He pleaded guilty of possession of an assault weapon and narcotics. He was sentenced to 28 months and served about a year between Cheshire Correctional Institution and a halfway house.
Williams made the best of his situation however, earning his GED during that time and eventually returning to boxing, picking up a win in 2015 and five wins in 2017.
He recaptured momentum and just as he was building towards that coveted title shot, it quickly came crashing down after heading back to jail in 2018 – due to a violation of probation.
“It was violation of probation, failure to report to the program, four days after I fought,” Williams said.
Williams said he was given 18 months, but was released after serving six.
There’s a famous quote referenced earlier, from the movie, A Bronx Tale, which Williams now abides by.
Perhaps living by this quote stems from Williams acknowledging his talent and possessing self-awareness to analyze his experiences and possessing the will to do better.
“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever” – Chazz Palminteri.
Another quote or mantra Williams may thrive under, is one echoed by current WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KO’s).
Speak it, believe it and receive it.
Misconceptions are hard to erase and the path of redemption for some people, may be a mission predicated more so on self-fulfillment, as opposed to proving a point to outsiders peeking in.
Tramaine Williams doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone. However, he carries the city of New Haven on his back, along with the hopes and well wishes of the friends (who are more like family) made while he was locked away in jail.
He owes it to himself to capitalize on the potential he has not just as a professional boxer, but as a good person. Williams is on the right track and we’ll see if the path leads to the world title and other spoils he is seeking.
Jimmy “The Quiet Storm” To Fight on Pacquiao-Thurman Undercard
By: Sean Crose
“I’m always going to come to fight,” 16-2-1 super welterweight Jimmy “Quiet Storm” Williams told me back in January. That attitude has proven to be quite successful for the 32 year old fighter out of New Haven. For now, Williams has been slotted to fight on the undercard of the highly anticipated Keith Thurman-Manny Pacquiao bout which is going down July 20th in Las Vegas. His opponent will be the 24-3 Abel Ramos of Arizona. “I know he’s a tough, tough fighter,” Williams says of the man he will share the ring with. “I’m just ready for a war.”
Williams says he found out about the match “about three days ago,” though he knew “it was in the works.” Although the fight may be on short notice (Pacquiao and Thurman, for instance, have been training for July 20th for some time), Williams has been keeping himself in shape since his last bout in March. The fighter indicates that now it’s simply a case of taking things to the next level. “I’ve got to step it up,” he states matter of factly, showing the attitude required for a fighter on the rise. “I accept the challenge,” he says.
Williams is living proof that a loss or two isn’t the end of a career. Although he walked into his last fight with a single loss on his resume, Williams was defeated by Mark DeLuca via Unanimous Decision last winter in Boston. DeLuca was essentially the hometown fighter, and it’s been indicated in some quarters that the judges’ ruling that night was arguable. Williams, however, didn’t let the matter sink him emotionally. “I never doubted myself,” he says. “I knew some opportunities will come.” Williams thought right, as Thruman-Pacquiao is one of the most anticipated cards of the year.
“I’m ready for the challenge.”,” says Williams, who will be training in the New Haven area until just before the bout, when he will head out west. He has good reason to stay home as much as possible, as those who follow his Facebook feed can attest that Williams is openly and happily a family man – something that’s unique, perhaps, in this era of flash and trash talk. Not that Williams isn’t eager to show what he’s made of in his next fight. Being impressive on one of the top cards of the year has it’s benefits.
“If they don’t know me,” Williams says of fight fans, “they’ll know after the fight.”
Williams Upsets Hurd On Memorable PBC Card
By: Sean Crose
PBC on Fox, along with the EagleBank arena in Fairfax, Virginia hosted one heck of a card on Saturday night, one which featured three memorable bouts. The first match was a controversial affair, as the 28-2 Matvey Korobov battled the 18-1 Immanuwel Aleem to a majority draw in a ten round middleweight fight. After Korobov looked strong in the first half of the bout, Aleem came on strong in the second half. The fight was originally read as a win for Korobov, making things a bit chaotic once it became clear the wrong score had been read. In the second bout, welterweight Mario Barrios, 23-0, demolished the 20-1 Juan Jose Velasco in the second round of their scheduled ten rounder with a paralyzing body shot.
The main event, which was for Jarret Hurd’s IBF and WBA junior middleweight belts, was a scheduled twelve rounder. Hurd had the advantage of fighting close to home in Virginia, but his opponent, the 26-1-1 Julian Williams was determined to redeem himself after losing a much hyped bout against Jermall Charlo in 2016.
The first round was something of a feeling out process. Williams was able to land effectively in the second, even hurting Hurd a bit. Then, with only 30 seconds left in the round, Hurd actually got sent to the mat. Hurd got back to his feet. Williams unloaded, but the defending champion was able to survive until the bell. The third was a rough, mauling affair, one which still saw Williams gaining an edge. By round’s end, however, Hurd began landing well from a distance. Williams continued to chop away at Hurd in the fourth. Round five was terrific, with neither man willing to be denied. The sixth was all out war, with the fighters engaging in a seesaw battle.
Hurd pressed the attack in the seventh, swinging wildly at the final bell. The beginning of round eight had shades of Clay-Liston, as Hurd appeared to be troubled by something in his eye. Williams went in for the kill, but after a few moments, Hurd seemed to be no longer bothered. Williams landed clean, heavy shots in the ninth. Hurd may have pulled off the tenth by virtue of being the more active of the two fighters. In the eleventh, it was clear that Williams simply hit considerably harder than the defending champion. The twelfth was close, but it was Williams who threw the harder punches.
Williams won the fight, via unanimous decision, and went home with Hurd’s title belts.
“Boxing world,” Williams said after the fight, “stop forgetting fighters once they take a loss.” The newly crowned champion was referring to his single to defeat to Charlo almost two and a half years earlier. Hurd, as was fitting his personality, was gracious in defeat.
Jarrett Hurd-Julian Williams Fight Preview
By: Sean Crose
IBF and WBA junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd will defend his titles in Fairfax, Virginia this Saturday night when he faces Julian “J Rock” Williams in a card that will be aired live on Fox starting at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time. Hurd, 23-0, has taken to besting a who’s who of divisional notables in the past two and a half years. Erislandy Lara, AustinTrout, and Tony Harrison have all fallen victim in one form or another to the fighter known as “Swift.” In Williams, 26-1-1, Hurd will be facing another name of note.
A Philly fighter, William’s one loss was to Jermall Charlo in December of 2016. Since that time, he’s gone on to win four in a row, three within the distance. “I just dusted myself off,” Premiere Boxing Champions quotes William’s as saying of his lone loss. “It was just another fight to me.” Now, over two years since that single loss, Williams is getting another major title shot (the bout with Charlo was for the IBF junior middleweight championship). Hurd, however, intends to continue succeeding in the ring. “My confidence level is sky high,” the defending champion said on a recent conference call to promote this weekend’s fight. “I want to make it one sided all the way through.” The Hurd-Williams match is scheduled for 12 rounds.
The well regarded 23-0 junior middleweight Mario Barrios will also be on Saturday’s card. His opponent is the 20-1-0 Juan Jose Velasco, whose lone loss came at the heavy hands of Regis Prograis last summer in New Orleans. The bout, which is scheduled for 10 rounds, is expected to result in another win on Barrio’s resume. None of Barrio’s last seven opponents has managed to go the distance with the San Antonio, Texas native.
Another Jermall Charlo victim, Matvey Korobov, will be fighting Saturday night in Virginia, as well. The 28-2 Russian’s opponent will be the 18-1-1 Immanuwel Aleem. The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds in the middleweight realm. Korobov was on the rise, but was stopped by Andy Lee in 2014. He moved on to his ill-fated fight with Charlo late last year, but aims to prove that a loss or two doth not a career define. Aleem himself only has a single loss on his resume, a 2017 knockout defeat to Hugo Centeno Jr.
The entire card will go down live at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Frampton, Top Rank, Hurd, Williams, Hall of Fame, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 19th to March 26th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian Williams Press Conference Quotes
Unified and undefeated IBF and WBA 154-pound “Swift” Jarrett Hurd and top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams previewed their recently announced showdown at a press conference Sunday before they meet in primetime in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes action on Saturday, May 11 at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.
Tickets for the event go on sale Thursday, March 28 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com).
Here is what the fighters had to say Sunday from MGM National Harbor in Maryland:
“It was very important to fight at home because that’s what everyone has been asking for. I’m excited to have the opportunity and I can’t wait to step in the ring.
“All of my fights are classics. I know that ‘J-Rock’ has been watching me and that makes him dangerous. He’s coming in with a good game plan and we’ll see what it is on fight night.
“Jermall Charlo is a big puncher and he landed some shots that got Julian out of there, but Julian was right in that fight. It was kind of back and forth action until Charlo landed those shots, but Charlo was hurt in that fight too.
“The fighter that I am, I wanted to go out there and close the show against Erislandy Lara. I thought I was up, but it’s not in me to just go out and survive. I’m glad I did because it got me the win.
“I’m going to be victorious on May 11. I’m looking for a decisive win. I’m not saying I’m going to to get the stoppage, but it will be convincing that it went my way.
“Tony Harrison beating Jermell Charlo definitely threw a monkey wrench into the plan coming off of surgery. I’m going to go after the WBC belt regardless of who has it, but first I have to take care of Julian.”
“I’m not Erislandy Lara, I’m going to fight a completely different fight than he did. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to win. That’s the kind of fighter Hurd is, so that’s the kind of fighter I have to be.
“I think I’m going to win in a classic. We’re probably going to have to do it a second time it’ll be so good.
“My motivation are those two belts on the line. Any kind of fight with Harrison or Charlo and Hurd has nothing to do with me. I’m focused on what I have to do.
“I had to get over the loss quick. You can’t dwell on that. Am I going to mope? No, it’s who’s up next? I can’t even put it into words how hungry I am.
“Hurd is definitely a really exciting fighter. He gives that extra each fight, but I’ve seen some things. I have a way of wearing guys down myself. I wore Nathaniel Gallimore down fighting off my front foot and I think I’ll do the same to Hurd.
“I don’t know if there will be extra pressure on him fighting at home. You have to ask him. I know when I fight at home I don’t feel any extra pressure. When the bell rings, a fight is a fight.”
Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame Announces Star-Studded 2019 Induction Class
A diverse and glittering array of boxing greats will be honored with induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame at the 7th Annual Induction Weekend spectacular August 9th and 10th 2019 at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas. The partnership with the Red Rock Casino and Spa is just the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the NVBHOF.
The Inductees were announced at a press conference hosted by NVBHOF Founder Rich Marotta and 2014 NVBHOF Inductee, “Colonel” Bob Sheridan.
CEO and President Michelle Corrales-Lewis said, “I’m extremely excited about this year’s Class. I feel it’s one of our most glamorous ever!”
The exciting list of inductees includes:
Non-Nevada Resident Boxers
BERNARD “THE EXECUTIONER” HOPKINS: The magnificent “Executioner” won multiple world titles in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions including 20 successful defenses of 160 pound title. Hopkins was the first male boxer to simultaneously hold world titles from four sanctioning bodies and became the oldest boxer ever to win a world championship fighting in his 50’s.
JUAN MANUEL “DINAMITA” MARQUEZ: Considered one the greatest Mexican champions of all time. A superb counter-puncher and technician and was willing to slug it out as well, hence his nickname “Dinamita”. Marquez engaged in an iconic 4-fight series With Manny Pacquaio, all of them in Las Vegas, and won World Titles in 4 divisions.
RONALD “WINKY” WRIGHT: Master ring general who could use all 20 feet of the ring to out-think, out-maneuver and out-hustle his adversaries. Strong resume included Wins over Trinidad, Mosley and Quartey.
HUMBERTO “CHIQUITA” GONZALEZ: One of the hardest punching lighter-weight boxers at 108 lbs ever. Won 2 of 3 in epic trilogy with Michael Carbajal, losing only a sensational Vegas battle in which he scored two knockdowns.
VINNY “THE PAZMANIAN DEVIL” PAZ: The Pazmanian Devil, winner of multiple world titles and a 1994 decision over Roberto Duran in Las Vegas. His unique story includes an incredible comeback from auto accident resulting in a broken neck, chronicled in the movie “Bleed for This”.
“TERRIBLE” TERRY NORRIS: The true epitome of “boxer-puncher” was a Las Vegas regular With 14 fights in Nevada. Possessor of great hand and foot speed, he KO’d champs like John Mugabi, Donald Curry, Meldrick Taylor, and Simon Brown among others and won a Decision over the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard.
“SCHOOLBOY” BOBBY CHACON (Posthumous): Immensely popular champion who engaged in Fight of the Year in both 1982 vs Bazooka Limon and ’83 vs Cornelius Boza-Edwards.
Nevada Resident Boxers
JOEL “EL CEPILLO” CASAMAYOR: Fought 12 times in Nevada. A clever, wise fighter who knew all the tricks. He held the WBA 130 pound and WBC 135 pound world titles. Won 2 of 3 in epic trilogy with Diego Corrales. Had nearly 400 fights as an amateur and won 1992 Olympic Bantamweight Gold Medal in Barcelona with victory over Wayne McCullough. Would’ve been 1996 Olympian as well but defected from Cuba just before Olympics. Longtime resident of Las Vegas, now working training kids.
WAYNE “POCKET ROCKET” McCULLOUGH: One of Ireland’s most famous and popular fighters and lived in Las Vegas throughout and after his career. He had storied amateur career of about 350 fights. Made it to finals of 1992 Olympics where he lost decision to Joel Casamayor. He returned to Ireland with Silver Medal as major hero. After just two years as pro, traveled to Japan and pulled off difficult assignment of defeating Yasukio Yakushiji to win the WBC Bantamweight Title. Career included wins over Johnny Bredahl, Joe Luis Bueno and Victor Rabanales.
HASIM “THE ROCK” RAHMAN: Longtime Las Vegas Resident held both the IBF and WBC Heavyweight title, and had two stints as WBC King. His first fight vs Lennox Lewis proved his biggest win with a stunning KO win in South Africa. Notable wins over Maskaev and Barrett, draws with Toney and Tua. Fought 5X in NV, including his 1994 pro debut at Caesars Palace.
LEROY “IRISH” HALEY (Posthumous): Fought an awesome 49 times in Nevada, more than any current or past NVBHOF Inductee. He won the WBC 140lb title in 1983, defeating outstanding champion Saoul Mamby and repeated victory later in the rematch. He lost the title outdoors at Caesars Palace to Bruce Curry. He lived in Las Vegas throughout his career.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR.: Best known for training his son Floyd Jr, and Oscar de la Hoya. He is well known for teaching defensive techniques. He also has trained Chad Dawson, Laila Ali and Ricky Hatton. He also had successful pro boxing career with 28-6-1 record.
DUANE FORD: A longtime judge in NV and now President of North American Boxing Federation (NABF). Resides in Las Vegas. He judged over 600 fights including some of the biggest bouts in Las Vegas such as Hagler vs Antuofermo 1, De La Hoya vs Mosley 2, Morales vs Barrera 1, Wright vs Mosley 2 and Hopkins vs Taylor 1.
DAN GOOSSEN (Posthumous): President of Goossen-Tudor Promotions, previously President of America Presents and Ten Goose Boxing. He served as VP at Top Rank when he resided in Las Vegas. He promoted the Ruelas Brothers, Michael Nunn, James Toney, Terry Norris, Chris Arreola, Andre Ward and briefly Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Jr. He died 2014
DR. EDWIN “FLIP” HOMANSKY: Ringside physician for more than 20 years. NV State athletic Commissioner, Chairman NSAC Medical Board.
MARC RISMAN: He was the attorney to Joe Louis and has represented many in boxing, including NVBHOF inductees and nominees with legal matters. Also managed Virgil Hill, Trevor Berbick and Engels Pedroza. Marc has always been a huge advocate for the sport of Boxing throughout the community.
Elated Frampton: Top Rank/ESPN Deal Insane
Carl Frampton has heaped praise on MTK Global after securing a colossal deal with US boxing giants Top Rank and ESPN.
Belfast’s two-weight world champion (26-2-KO15) was in New York to watch MTK Global team-mate Michael Conlan beat Ruben Garcia Hernandez on St Patrick’s Day as news broke.
Frampton told iFL TV: “I’ve done a deal through MTK Global with Top Rank and ESPN and it’s massive for me personally. It’s huge and I’m very, very excited for it.
“It’s an amazing deal. Talking financially, if you got this deal coming off the back of win, you’d be very happy with it but coming off a loss, credit to MTK Global.
“I think it’s insane coming off a loss. At one point a few months ago, I was genuinely thinking about retiring.
“It’s been in discussion for a number of weeks and we’ve done well to keep it quiet. There was a little bit of talk about it online but I’ve kept it very quiet.
“It gives me a big opportunity to get back. I believe I can win a world title. There’s more of a chance of that happening now than there was six weeks ago.
“Potentially, I’ll face a good fighter and then potentially Oscar Valdez after that. That’s an option and if I’m asked to fight Valdez straight away, I’d be happy to do that too.”
Frampton, who unified super-bantamweight world titles before dethroning Leo Santa Cruz on his first outing as a featherweight, was defeated by Josh Warrington on points in a classic world title fight back in December.
Banner Promotions Signs Super Middleweight Patrick Mukala to Promotional Contract
Banner Promotions is proud to announce the signing of super middleweight Patrick Mukala to a Promotional Contract.
Mukala of the Democratic Republic of The Congo has a record of 11-1-1 with 10 knockouts.
The 25 year-old Mukala began boxing at the age of 15 after watching a film of the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
“The fight took place in my country (formerly known as Zaire), since seeing seeing that fight, it really motivated me to be the face of boxing in my country, and then the whole world,” said Mukala.
Mukala had an amateur record of 65-5 and he was an eight-time regional champion.
Mukala turned professional on April 28, 2014 with a 1st round stoppage over Vhonani Netshidamboni. Mukala has wins over Page Tshesane (20-4-3), Faizel Malinga (6-1), Renson Hobyani (6-1) and Daniel Lartey (6-0). In the bout with Lartey, Mukala won via 8th round stoppage that garnered him WBA Pan African Super Middleweight Title.
He defended that title twice.
“My country hosted that legendary fight with Ali and Foreman. I believe that wasn’t by chance. For me it is a sign that a Congolese boxer can achieve big things in boxing. I want to say thanks to Banner Promotions to offer me this opportunity to follow my American dream and achieve my ultimate dream to become a world champion.”
“We are very excited to add Patrick to our roster. He is a very exciting young fighter, who has power in both hands. We will announce his first fight with us very shortly,” said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions.
Mukala is trained by Asheley Fourie, and is managed by Marcel Tshiyoyi.
Austin “Ammo” Williams Signs With Matchroom
By: Sean Crose
“My goal is to be the greatest, most influential fighter of all time!”
So says Houston’s Austin “Ammo” Williams, who – it’s been announced today, via press release – has signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom boxing. “Eddie Hearn noticed my talent,” the fighter says, “and provided me the platform needed to make this a reality – for that I am forever thankful and I cannot wait to strut my stuff live on DAZN.”
“Former Team USA member and #1 ranked 165lber Williams is the latest amateur talent to pen promotional terms with promoter Eddie Hearn,” Matchroom claims, via press release, “and the 22 year old Houston talent brings a formidable body of work into the paid ranks.” Williams, has twice been a USA Boxing Western Regional Champion, as well as a two time Houston Golden Gloves Champion. He was also named Gulf Association’s Most Outstanding Boxer in 2017. Such an amateur resume has made the fighter a hot commodity as he prepares to enter the pro ranks.
“I’m delighted,” says Hearn, “to welcome Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams to the Matchroom Boxing USA team. Ammo is one of the most exciting young amateur fighters I have seen and in just 47 amateur fights has established himself at #1 in his weight class.” Williams is said to compete at middleweight with the possibility of moving up to super middleweight. At the moment, the DAZN streaming service airs the fights of Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, Daniel Jacobs, and (possibly) Gennady Golovkin.
“He is a huge puncher and has all the attributes to be a star in the sport,” says Hearn. “We look forward to keeping him nice and busy why he learns his trade all around the world…we are assembling the strongest young team of fighters in America and I’m excited to watch them all grow live on DAZN at home and in the UK on Sky Sports.”
William’s management team is also happy with the signing. “Austin Williams possesses all the qualities you want in a fighter,” Churchill Management’s Sam Katkovski says. “Beyond his viciousness in the ring, he will amaze fans with his personality and quickly become must see tv. We at Churchill are excited to partner with Matchroom Boxing USA to begin his career journey.” Williams, according to Matchroom, will “join (the) paid ranks in April.” No opponent or overall schedule has been named in the Matchroom press release.
Jimmy “Quiet Storm” Williams: “I’m Always Going To Come To Fight”
By: Sean Crose
“I’m always going to come to fight,” 16-1-1 super welterweight Jimmy “Quiet Storm” Williams tells me. An engaging, easy to speak to individual, Williams is moving towards top ten contention by facing 22-1 Mark DeLuca on at the House of Blues in Boston on March 16th. Eager to take his career “one step at a time,” Williams says a win on Saturday will place him “number 10 in the world (in the WBA rankings).” In other words, the future will start looking extremely bright should the New Haven native emerge victorious in Boston this coming Saint Patrick’s Day weekend.
In DeLuca, Williams will be facing a Massachusetts native who will essentially be the hometown fighter. Williams, however, feels he knows his opponent well, having actually commentated one of DeLuca’s previous fights. “I know he dominated,” Williams says of the experience, “I did the commentary.” Although he’s seen the man look impressive in the ring, Williams still exudes confidence, saying he’s “just preparing for the big fight on March 16th.” What’s more, Williams has fought outside of his home state of Connecticut before, having branched out to such places as nearby Rhode Island and far away Las Vegas.
“Camp is going good,” he says of training in East Haven. He will continue going strong until “about two weeks” before the fight, when his physical preparation will begin to taper down. In the meantime, Williams is staying focused on winning the NABA/WBA Super Welterweight title, which will be at stake when he faces DeLuca. “I’m just going out there to do what I do,” he says, adding he’s happy to “let the fight take care of itself.” Being overeager to impress, after all, can lead to disastrous consequences. The important thing is to get the win and move on to bigger things.
Williams wants to stay busy this year. “At least a minimum of three, but if I can squeeze it, four,” he says of the number of bouts he wants to have in 2019. Although he’s fought at welterweight, Williams is happy being a division above the 147 pound realm. “Right now I’m going to stay at 154,” he says. “There’s a lot of good names out there.”
I ask Williams if his engaging personality can help further his career. “It’s huge,” he says of the marketing aspect of the sport. “No one can promote you like yourself.”
Philadelphia’s Julian “J Rock” Williams Gearing for Another Title Shot
By: Ken Hissner
Philadelphia’s Julian “J Rock” Williams is gearing for WBO & IBF titles. He is ranked No. 3 in the WBO and No. 6 in the IBF. His only loss was to Jermall Charlo now the interim WBC world champion in December of 2016.
In Williams most recent fight he defeated No. 5 IBF and No. 12 WBC contender Nathaniel Gallimore, 20-1-1, on April 7th by majority decision at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV, despite being cut by an accidental clash of heads.
Latest rumor is Williams may be fighting against No. 2 ranked Takeshi Inoue, 13-0-1 (7), in an elimination to meet Jarred Hurd who is coming off the injury list.
Williams is trained by Stephen “Breadman” Edwards and trains at the James Schuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia. As an amateur Williams always had that determination to “hurt” his opponents by throwing punches with “bad intentions!” I think he has carried that over to the professional ranks.
After turning professional in May of 2010 he won his first six fights before drawing with Francisco Santana, 12-2, at the time. In his last fight in April Santana defeated Felix Diaz 19-2, and is now 25-6-1.
After the draw Williams won his next seven fights including defeating Joey Hernandez, then 24-2, and Luciano Leonel Cuello, then 35-3 for the WBC Continental Americas title. He had a no contest in the fourth round due to an accidental head butt after winning the first three rounds on all score cards against Hugo Centeno, Jr., then 19-0. Centeno’s camp would not give Williams a rematch per Williams. In Centeno’s most recent fight he was stopped by Jermall Charlo in April dropping his record to 26-2.
Williams then won his next nine fights before the Charlo loss. He’s won his last three fights including defeating Ishe Smith, then 29-8 in November of 2017.
I remember when Philadelphia’s then unbeaten Mike “MJ” Jones and Williams would spar and you didn’t know who was who because it was that even of a typical “Philly gym war” like the old days.
The contenders ahead of Williams in the IBF were Gallimore and Maciej Sulecki, 26-1, after losing to Danny Jacobs the end of April. That only leaves Kanat Slam who is No. 3 since No. 1 and 2 are vacant. I cannot find Slam in Box Rec. IBF & WBA Champion Jarrett Hurd won a split decision in his most recent defense over Erislandy Lara who was No. 4 in the WBA. Williams should be in line for Hurd’s next defense.
In the WBC where Williams is No. 1 Jermell Charlo is the champion. In the WBO No. 3 but No. 1 Liam Smith, just lost to WBO champion Jaime Mingiae and No. 2 is Ireland’s Dennis “Hurricane” Hogan, 27-1-1, fighting out of Australia. Williams could fight an eliminator with Hogan in order to get a title fight with champion Mungia.
Mykquan Williams Takes Next Step in Career
By: Bryant Romero
Super lightweight prospect Mykquan Williams takes the next step in his young professional career as the 20-year-old sets his sights on capturing his first regional title when he takes on Orlando Felix (12-1-1, 4 KOs) of Puerto Rico for the WBC USNBC silver title at the Foxwoods resort in Mashantucket on May 5. This is considered a step-up bout for Mykquan (10-0, 6 KOs) as the winner of this fight will be rewarded with a ranking in the WBC’s top 40. But the young prospect from East Hartford doesn’t seem to be fazed at all with the established record his opponent brings and admits he doesn’t know too much about him.
“I’ve seen a little footage of him,” Mykquan told me. “On youtube I watched a little bit, but I don’t watch too much. I’ll usually watch a round or something, but I don’t do too much studying.”
Mykquan has been boxing for 12 years and had 58 fights in the unpaid ranks, but how would he describe his style to the fans that have yet to see him?
“I would say I’m more of a counter puncher, very fast, and just smart overall. I can be aggressive, but I’m not overall,” he said.
Mykquan was only 7 years old when he was first influenced by his aunt who was also professional fighter to start training as a boxer. His aunt would later introduce him to his now trainer Paul Cichon that would eventually begin his journey to becoming a professional prize fighter.
“I went to go see one of my aunt’s professional fights at the Convention Center in Hartford and then after that fight I told her to take me to her gym.
“At the time she was training with Paul, so then a little after that she took me to the gym and she introduce me to the Paul and I’ve been with him ever since,” Mykquan said.
Mykquan admits that it took him awhile to fall in love with the sport and to figure out if this was something he wanted to pursue as a career.
“I knew I liked it (boxing) but it took awhile. I was young, I was only 7 going on 8 years old and kids that age they don’t know what they want to do and they don’t know what they really like as far as sports go, so I just liked the sport and kept going back every day to the gym.
“But it took me a little awhile to actually to start to love the sport and figure out whether that’s what I’m going to be doing as a career,” he said.
Growing up in East Hartford, there were temptations that could’ve swayed him away from his path but the young East Hartford native credits his family and his coach for keeping him on his path and pushing him to keep working hard, to stay in the gym and stay out of trouble. He would eventually meet Jackie Kallen, who would eventually sign on as his manager and is currently guiding his professional career.
“I first met Jackie years ago. My trainer flew her in for her to be a special guest at one of his big amateur dinner shows he threw.
“And I was fighting on the card and he (Paul) wanted her to see me fight because he knew I was going to go pro. He introduced me to her when I was probably like 13 or 14.
“She’s a great manager, she does her job good, and she’s a great lady. Definitely somebody that’s good to have in your corner. She’s been around boxing for so long and knows so many people,” Mykquan said.
The 20-year-old now has a strong supporting cast with the services Jackie Kallen as his manager and with Lou Dibella as his promoter that will help guide him to the promise land, which is his ultimate goal of becoming a world champion. But the young prospect from Hartford is only focused at the task at hand and taking it one fight at a time and is not even thinking about the killers at the top of the talented rich super-lightweight division.
“They’ve been doing a good job of moving me,” Mykquan explained. “They’re keeping me active and I’m still young, I’m only 20 there’s no rush into jumping into something I’m not ready for.”
“We’re taking it one fight at a time. We don’t want to rush nothing; we just want to focus on the task in front of us.
“I don’t worry too much that’s in the future. I try to take it one step at a time, but there’s a lot of good talent at 140,” he said.
Mykquan has came a long way since he first started boxing and is still continuing to learn and getting a better understanding of the boxing business. He’s looking forward to his next fight and doesn’t have a prediction of what will happen, but he does plan on winning.
“I just want to go out there and dominate and be victorious,” Mykquan told me. “I don’t care if I get the knockout, it’s a decision or whatever, I just want to look good and come out with the victory.
“To everybody out there that supports me, just continue to support me. I fight for you guys and I appreciate it,” he said.
Showtime Boxing Results: Hurd Wins Thriller Over Lara, Williams and DeGale Victorious
By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions put on a triple header on the Showtime networks live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main event of the evening was between Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd and the co-main event of the evening was between James DeGale and Caleb Truax which was a rematch of a mammoth upset in 2017.
The opening bout of the night was between Julian Williams (24-1-1) and Nathaniel Gallimore (20-1) in the junior middleweight division. The winner of this bout will likely be looking at a title shot in the near future.
Julian Williams was a big step up in competition for Nathaniel Gallimore and he stayed behind a strong jab and good side to side movement in the opening three rounds. Gallimore was able to land some shots on the inside, and landed and received some heavy shots in the fourth round.
Williams had a small mouse under his right eye in the fifth round that opened up from an unintentional headbutt. Williams began to focus on the body more in the middle rounds, though he looked a little tired in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Williams body work continued into the seventh, eight, and ninth rounds and it was visibly sapping the energy of Gallimore. Gallimore’s punches didn’t have much snap in the tenth round and Williams had Gallimore badly hurt in the eleventh round and looked close to stopping him.
It was an entertaining fight, with only one questionable scorecard at the end.
The final scores were 114-114, 116-112, and 117-110 in favor of Julian Williams.
After this bout Floyd Mayweather Jr. was interviewed by Showtime and indicated that if he was going to unretire he would fight in the octagon.
The co-main event of the night was between Caleb Truax (29-3-2) and James DeGale (23-2-1) for the IBF Super Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
DeGale showed the quicker hand speed and more accurate in the opening two rounds, but it featured many headbutts that often happen when a southpaw faces an orthodox fighter.
Truax applied heavy pressure in the third round which featured a hard-right hand to the chin of DeGale that sent him falling backwards into the ropes. DeGale had a cut by his right eye that the referee ruled was caused by a punch, but the video replay showed it was caused by a head-butt.
The Nevada commission informed the announce team in the fourth round that the ruling on the cut being caused by a punch still stood despite the video evidence.
Truax continued to come forward in the fourth through sixth rounds while DeGale badly bled. Truax however wasn’t able to land many effective combinations but he was pressing the action.
DeGale started to land some good counters in the seventh round and land some good short shots on the inside. DeGale had a very strong eighth and ninth rounds and often switched to an orthodox stance from his traditional southpaw stance.
Truax had cuts under both of his eyes by the ninth round and appeared to be tiring. DeGale lost a point in the tenth round for a deliberate shoulder strike.
The final two rounds were close and featured some tight action, but DeGale looked like he was landing the better punches.
The final scores were 117-110, 114-113, and 114-113 for James DeGale.
The main event of the night was between Jarrett Hurd (21-0) and Erislandy Lara (25-2-2) for the IBF and WBA Junior Middleweight Titles .
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
Hurd looked like he was two weight classes bigger than Lara, but Lara was able to find a home with his straight left hand early on and land some quick combinations in the second.
Hurd didn’t appear to be too bothered with Lara’s power and was able to land some good short shots on the inside and was making Lara back away from him in the fourth rounds.
Hurd showed he had a granite chin in the fifth round and was able to take the shots of Lara and answer with his own shots to the body. Lara appeared to tire in the sixth rounds as his back was against the ropes again, and he took a hard right hook at the end of the seventh round.
Hurd was able to land some very hard shots in the eighth round and had Lara’s eye puffed up badly in the ninth.
Lara was able to slow Hurd’s momentum in the 10th round with quick counters and being the first on the attack, and he was able to finish the eleventh round strong and maybe steal the round.
The twelfth round featured both boxers going for the knockout, but it was Hurd who landed a shot that sent his opponent to the mat. Lara looked badly hurt and face was swollen, but he was able to survive the round.
The scores were 114-113 Lara, 114-113 Hurd, and 114-113 Hurd.