Philadelphia junior middleweight contender Julian “J Rock” Williams will get a second chance at a world title next Saturday, facing WBA/IBF titleholder Jarrett Hurd in a PBC on FOX main event from Virginia.
Williams (26-1-1, 16 KO) is the underdog in the fight, but the 29-year-old fighter told Inside PBC Boxing that he believes he has the ability to give Hurd (23-0, 16 KO) trouble.
“I bring multiple different things to the table that nobody has been able to show Jarrett Hurd, along with the things that gave him problems with other fighters that he’s fought in the last two or three years,” Williams said.
Williams noted that he’s added a strength and conditioning coach for this training camp, and that though he lost to Jermall Charlo back in Dec. 2016, he never doubted that he’d be back in a world title fight.
“Not even the slightest bit,” he said. “I think I’m one of the most skilled fighters in the world, and I knew if I just kept fighting, eventually I would get my turn again and right the wrongs and become a world champion. I never once thought I would never get another shot.”
Hurd’s reputation for walking down opponents and imposing his natural size and strength on them is well-known, but Williams isn’t intimidated.
“I think he’s been able to do what he’s been able to do with the fighters that he’s fought. He’s never been in the ring with me before,” he said. “We don’t know if he’s gonna be able to walk forward with me, he might try to fight off his back foot. I’m prepared for everything.”
And the challenger is promising to bring that “Philly fighter” mentality to the main event.
“He’s gotta bring his lunch pail,” he said. “He knows that I’m coming to fight, to sum it up and be simple.”
Since the loss to Charlo, Williams has gone 4-0, with wins over Joshua Conley, Ishe Smith, Nathaniel Gallimore, and Francisco Javier Castro, most recently fighting on Dec. 1 as part of the Wilder-Fury undercard. Hurd was also in action that night as part of the Showtime pay-per-view broadcast, knocking out Jason Welborn in the fourth round.