By Jake Donovan
Julian Williams and Jarrett Hurd are ready to run it back—and end the year with a bang.
A rematch to the leading contender for the 2019 Fight of the Year is tabbed to headline a December 14 show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, multiple sources have informed BoxingScene.com.
The date is currently reserved for the year-end edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox, which hosted their memorable unified 154-pound title fight in May where Williams became a divisional champ on his second try.
The Philadelphia (Pa.) born and bred boxer did so the hard way, hitting the road Hurd’s home region in the greater Washington D.C. area to claim a well-earned 12-round decision to dethrone the local favorite. Williams won the furious-paced shootout, not only handing Hurd his first defeat but also sending him to the canvas for the first time in his career.
Hurd (23-1, 16KOs) was gracious in defeat, yet confident enough of avenging his first career loss that he opted to exercise a rematch clause in their contract. The defeat ended his two-plus year reign as a super welterweight, which began with a rallying 9th round knockout of Tony Harrison in their Feb. 2017 vacant title fight.
Harrison has since resurfaced to the title fray, scoring an upset of his own in outpointing Jermell Charlo last December at Barclays. A rematch was planned for this past June, only for Harrison to suffer an injury in postponing the bout.
While a rescheduled date for that title fight has yet to surface, Hurd now has marching orders to attempt to reclaim his belts. He will have to do so with a new trainer, as he’s still in the market after parting ways with career-long head coach Ernesto Rodriguez in June.
The exact opposite arrangement is in place for the defending unified titlist. Williams (27-1-1, 16KOs) remains armed with longtime trainer and close friend Stephen ‘Breadman’ Edwards. The two have been together since his amateur days and in the pro ranks have become outspoken advocates for more stringent drug testing standards.
In agreeing to multiple concessions going into the first fight, the one thing Williams asked for in return was extended random drug testing to which Hurd agreed. Since then, Williams and Edwards have been vocal in demanding all future opponents must commit to no less than a 90-day window of pre-fight random drug testing.
Ideally, testing would already be in place and underway.
There were also hopes on the Williams side for a long overdue Philly homecoming fight. However, such plans for now are out of the question due to an existing agreement which named Barclays as the exclusive venue for all PBC events taking place on the East Coast.
It’s good enough for Williams and his supporters, who only have to travel two hours north for his first title defense—and a sequel that can perhaps outdo the incredible original.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox