LOS ANGELES: Julian Williams shocked previously unbeaten Jarrett Hurd to seize the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association super welterweight world titles by unanimous 12-round decision on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Williams sent Hurd to the canvas for the first time in his career on the way to the victory in an action-packed bout in Fairfax, Virginia, not far from Hurd’s home turf in Maryland.
“I’m just so blessed,” said Williams, who couldn’t hold back tears as he was interviewed in the ring after the fight, draped in his world title belts.
One judge scored the bout 116-111 and two others saw it 115-112 for Williams, who improved to 27-1-1 with 17 knockouts.
Williams went toe-to-toe with the bigger, physically imposing Hurd and in the second round a combination of punches sent Hurd down against the ropes.
Williams pummelled Hurd again in the third before the champion began to assert himself in the middle rounds.
Williams, however, wouldn’t go away pushing the action with solid punches to Hurd’s head and body.
Hurd was cut around right eye in the eighth but came back hard in the ninth as both pressed the action to the end.
“J-Rock (Williams) was a better man tonight,” Hurd said. “He put me down for the first time in my career and he came out with the victory.”
But, Hurd vowed, “I’ll be back.”
Williams notched his fifth win since his lone defeat, a fifth-round knockout by Jermall Charlo in December of 2016.
He was emotional in recalling that many wrote him off in the wake of that setback.
“I worked so hard,” Williams said. “They told me I was done. They told me I had no chin. I just got basic.
“The boxing world should stop condemning fighters after they take a loss. It’s boxing, things happen.
“Plenty of great fighters took losses.”
As to whether he next wants a rematch with Hurd or possibly a shot at Charlo — who takes on Brandon Adams on June 29 in a World Boxing Council title bout — Williams said he’d leave that to his camp.
“That’s not my business,” he said.
Berchelt wins rematch over Vargas to retain WBC title
Mexico’s Miguel Berchelt retained his World Boxing Council super featherweight world title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), overpowering Francisco Vargas with a sixth round stoppage, in a rematch of their 2017 fight.
Berchelt won by technical knockout when Vargas’ corner waved the white towel as he sat on the stool after taking six rounds of brutal punishment at the Convention Center arena in Tucson, Arizona.
The one-sided bout was reminiscent of their first fight two years ago when Berchelt easily dethroned 130-pound champ Vargas.
Once again the 27-year-old Berchelt was too young, too powerful and too talented for the 34-year-old fellow Mexican.
The fight transpired the way many had predicted it would with Berchelt following the same strategy he used to punish Vargas in January 2017 when he knocked him out in the 11th round. It was pretty clear this one wouldn’t go that far as Berchelt dominated all the rounds Saturday.
Vargas, who is prone to cuts and suffered several in the first fight, was also cut on the bridge of his nose in the third round on Saturday.
After the fight Berchelt defended his decision to have a rematch against a fighter who many thought would deliver a predictable outcome.
“He gave me my first opportunity for a world title so it is only fair I give him a shot to win it back,” said Berchelt, who improved to 36-1 with 32 KOs. “But his corner did the right thing.”
Berchelt has now won 14 of his last 15 fights by stoppage and has not lost a fight in five years.
Vargas wasn’t arguing with the decision by trainer Joel Diaz to throw in the towel.
“My trainer did what he is supposed to do. He is here to protect me,” Vargas said.
Berchelt said he wants to fight the winner of a 130-pound bout between Masayuki Ito and Jamel Herring.
“I want to leave no doubt who the best junior lightweight in the world is,” he said.
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