FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Challenger Julian Williams unanimously outpointed Jarrett Hurd on Saturday night to take the IBF, WBA and IBO super welterweight titles.
Williams (27-1-1), fighting for a title for the second time in his career, knocked down Hurd (23-1) in the second round and stayed on his feet throughout. While both fighters appeared in danger at times, with Williams clearly believing he won in the later rounds.
The judges agreed, scoring it 116-111, 115-112 and 115-112.
During the middle of the sixth round, arguably Hurd’s best, Williams made a “come at me” expression after Hurd connected with a jab. Williams was flexing to his corner after the 11th, and was the more active fighter in the 12th, landing one final promising combination 45 seconds before the bell. When the final bell sounded, a member of Williams’ corner rushed out to hoist him skyward in the ring.
Fighting at EagleBank Arena in Washington’s Virginia suburbs, a short drive from Hurd’s home in Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd had promising stretches but failed to truly seize momentum in front of his home crowd. The Philadelphia-based Williams won the fight by at least three points on all three scorecards, meaning he would’ve won even without knocking down Hurd.
After a quiet first round, Williams appeared to hurt Hurd midway through the second with a pair of combinations, then knocked him down with about 30 seconds left with a left hook. Hurd rose quickly, but Williams closed on him again as the bell sounded.
Williams continued to look in control until the close of the fifth, when Hurd got him to the ropes and landed a damaging combination.
Hurd then opened the sixth as if he believed Williams had been hurt, connecting with a very early right hook that set off a ferocious round from both fighters. By its midpoint, Hurd’s fans were chanting his nickname “Swift! Swift!”
But by the end of the seventh, Hurd’s corner was attending to a cut over his right eye, and he failed to recapture that energy in the building for the fight’s remainder.
Earlier, middleweights Matt Korobov (28-2-1) and Immanuel Aleem (18-1-2) fought to a majority draw, although it was originally announced as a majority decision in Korobov’s favor.
Judge Mark D’Attilio had accidentally scored the 10th round as even, when he meant to score it 10-9 for Aleem, making it a draw on two cards.
In the other co-feature, super lightweight Mario Barrios (24-0, 16 KOs) improved on his perfect professional record with a second-round knockout of Juan Jose Velasco. Barrios caught Velasco with a left uppercut to the abdomen. Velasco looked fine for a moment on replay, but then fell to his hands and knees and did not make the 10 count.