A big upset on Saturday night, when mandatory challenger Julian Williams unanimously outpointed Hurd at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia to capture the IBF, WBA and IBO super welterweight titles.
Williams (27-1-1) knocked down Hurd (23-1) in the second round and stayed on his feet throughout. While both fighters appeared in danger at times, Williams clearly believed he won in the later rounds.
Even the hometown crowd, chanting Hurd's name, were unable to assist him in turning the tide of the contest.
The judges agreed on the winner, scoring it 116-111, 115-112 and 115-112, as did Hurd's corner.
"It wasn't the pressure of being home for Jarrett. J-Rock was the better fighter," insisted Hurd trainer Ernesto Rodriguez. "We want the rematch. Our preparation will be better."
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, trainer Stephen Edwards rushed out of Williams' corner to hoist his fighter aloft.
"I am not shocked. I am just happy," Edwards said. "We just knew that we were going to win. There are certain things that you just know. He trained so hard and he was so ready, I just knew.
Hurd, from Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd entered to a live rendition of "Hail to the Redskins" and wore the team's logo on his robe. He hoped a win here would propel his quest to unify the remaining 154-pound belts. But he failed to seize momentum in front of his fans, who tried to edge him on by chanting "Swift! Swift! Swift!" According to the scorecards, Williams would've won even without his knockdown.