ITV has announced undefeated IBF and WBA “Swift” Jarrett Hurd will defend his titles against top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams live on ITV4 in a mouth-watering match-up under its deal with Haymon Sports Premier Boxing Champions [PBC].
In a clash beamed live from the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia on the evening of Saturday May 11, Hurd v Williams promises to be one of the best matches that can be made in the super welterweight division. Two of the division’s youngest and hungriest fighters will square off on the march toward an undisputed world title.
Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) has already picked up two titles at 154lbs with heart-pounding victories in one of the toughest divisions in boxing. Tony Harrison was the first to be stopped for a ninth-round knockout to capture the IBF title in 2017. He successfully defended the title with another victory when he became the first person to stop former world champion Austin Trout. The WBA title followed when the 28-year-old dropped Erislandy Lara, earning a split decision in the consensus 2018 Fight of the Year last April.
His opponent Williams (26-1-1, 16 KOs) never backs down from a challenge, fighting his way back into contention for a second world title shot. Four straight victories since defeat to Jermall Charlo in a 2016 world championship match has seen him back in the frame to pick up belts. 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.
Hurd says: “I couldn’t be happier to be fighting at home for the first time as a champion.
“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 says: “Jarrett Hurd is a good, strong fighter that’s really hot right now. 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, and most importantly winning those titles and showing the world that I am the best in the 154-pound division.”
The fight marks the latest major event to be shown, free to air, on ITV4 under the new deal announced at the end of 2018 between ITV and PBC.
The world-class action from events for the next three years includes free-to-air broadcasts on ITV’s channels, including ITV main channel and ITV4 and ITV Hub, and will also include pay per views on ITV’s PPV channel, ITV Box Office.
This deal for boxing adds to ITV Sport’s portfolio of first class events, which includes exclusive free to air coverage of the England football team’s qualifiers for both the European Championship and World Cup, La Liga, the 6 Nations and exclusive coverage of the Rugby World Cup, top level boxing, UK horse racing, the Tour de France and the French Open.