Unified and undefeated IBF and WBA 154-pound “Swift” Jarrett Hurd will defend his titles against top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams live in primetime in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes action on Saturday, May 11 at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.
Plus, unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario “El Azteca” Barrios battles Argentina’s Juan “The Pitbull” Jose Velasco in a 10-round fight and middleweight contender Matt Korobov clashes with Immanuwel Aleem in a 10-round bout as part of televised action beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event go on sale Thursday, March 28 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com).
“Jarrett Hurd has established himself as one of the breakout stars in boxing, and now he’ll have a chance to showcase his talents in front of his hometown faithful,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “He will have a stiff test from Julian Williams, who since his only defeat has racked up win after win to show that he is still squarely in the elite class of the division. This is setting up to be a fantastic main event for viewers in primetime to enjoy on FOX and FOX Deportes. With ‘Swift’ making his first hometown title defense, the crowd at EagleBank Arena is sure to deliver a raucous atmosphere.”
Hurd vs. Williams is one of the best matches that can be made in the super welterweight division as two of the division’s young, hungry fighters square off on the march toward an undisputed world title.
Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) has already picked up two titles with heart-pounding victories in one of the toughest divisions in boxing. He began his run when he stopped Tony Harrison for a ninth-round knockout to capture the IBF title in 2017 on FOX. He successfully defended the title with another victory when he became the first person to stop former world champion Austin Trout. The 28-year-old picked up the WBA title with by dropping Erislandy Lara and earning a split decision in the consensus 2018 Fight of the Year last April.
A native of Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd will be fighting in front of his hometown fans when he takes on Williams and is returning to fight in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area for the first time since a 2014 win at Constitution Hall in D.C. He most recently delivered a knockout victory over Jason Welborn in his last fight on December 1.
“I couldn’t be happier to be fighting at home for the first time as a champion,” said Hurd. “My hometown has been asking me to bring the championship back home and now I can. Julian Williams is a tough opponent and I don’t see him as a stepping stone. He’s crafty, technical and fundamentally sound. I want to go out and get a decisive win and show that I’m on a different level than everybody else in the division.”
Williams (26-1-1, 16 KOs) never backs down from a challenge and he has fought his way back into contention for his second world title shot. He has ripped off four straight victories since losing to Jermall Charlo in a world championship match in 2016. Included in that run were impressive victories over former world champion Ishe Smith and contender Nathaniel Gallimore. The 28-year-old from Philadelphia is coming off a knockout victory over Francisco Javier Castro on December 1.
“Jarrett Hurd is a good, strong fighter that’s really hot right now,” Williams said. “This is a hometown fight for him, but Philly isn’t that far from Virginia. I’m looking forward to putting on an exciting fight for all of the fans on FOX, and most importantly winning those titles and showing the world that I am the best in the 154-pound division.”
Barrios (23-0, 15 KOs) has grown into a brilliant super lightweight contender after starting out at 130 pounds. The 5-foot-10 fighter from San Antonio, Texas, has carried his power with him up the ladder as demonstrated by stopping his last seven opponents, including victories over Naim Nelson and Jose Luis Rodriguez on FS1. He enters the fight with Velasco after a knockout victory over Richard Zamora in his last fight on February 9.
Velasco (20-1, 12 KOs) picked up the nickname “The Pitbull” early in his career because of his aggressive style. It has served the 31-year-old resident of Buenos Aires, Argentina well throughout a career in which he’s only tasted defeat once. He suffered the first loss of his career in his last fight when he was stopped by Regis Prograis on July 14. He will be looking to rebound against another rising unbeaten fighter in Barrios.
The 36-year-old Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs) lost a hard-fought decision to Jermall Charlo live on FOX in a middleweight championship match on December 22. He was a late replacement and gave Charlo a tougher fight than many experts expected. Even though he came up short, the Russian-born fighter, who now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, served notice to the rest of the division that he is still a threat to top 160-pounders.
Aleem (28-1-1, 22 KOs) will have been out of the ring for nearly a year when he steps in against Korobov. The 25-year-old is coming off a sixth-round knockout victory over Juan De Angel in his last fight on May 19. Korobov presents a major challenge for Aleem of Richmond, Virginia, who suffered the first loss of his career when he was stopped by Hugo Centeno, Jr. in August 2017 on FS1, following a career-best win over then unbeaten Ievgen Khytrov.