Julian “J-Rock’’ Williams Scores Unanimous Decision Victory Over “Swift’’ Jarrett Hurd

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Julian “J-Rock’’ Williams Scores Unanimous Decision Victory Over “Swift’’ Jarrett Hurd to Take Unified Super Welterweight Championship in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Va.

Sensational Super Lightweight Mario Barrios Stuns Juan Jose Velasco with Second Round KO Victory in Co-Feature

Middleweights Matt Korobov and Immanuwel Aleem Fight to a Majority Draw

 Photos Credit: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

FAIRFAX, VA. (May 11, 2019) – Julian “J-Rock’’ Williams knew he was walking into the lion’s den when he traveled from Philadelphia to Virginia to face undefeated unified super welterweight champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd in his backyard. But Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs) wasn’t afraid.

He came. He saw and he conquered Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs), scoring a 12-round unanimous decision, handing Hurd his first loss and taking the IBF, WBA and IBO championships before a hometown crowd at the EagleBank Arena on the campus of George Mason University.

The crowd and the primetime audience, which tuned in to FOX and FOX Deportes, witnessed a valiant performance from both Williams and Hurd in what will certainly be a “Fight of the Year’’ candidate. The judges had Williams handily defeating Hurd with scores of 116-111 and 115-112 twice.

Williams had come up short in his previous attempt at a world title when he was stopped on via TKO by Jermall Charlo in 2016. He was overwhelmed by emotions after his upset victory over Hurd, who was a presumptive favorite over the 29-year-old Williams.

“I am just overwhelmed. This is such a great feeling. I outclassed him. I am one of the best fighters in the world,” said Williams. “Maybe I wasn’t ready for the title the first time I got the shot. I took the loss. I took it like a man and the whole world doubted me. I went into this fight a five to one underdog.’’

“This is a dream come true. I have been waiting for this for years. I never ditched the gym. I never got into girls or left the gym. I am from the streets, but I was never in the streets. I was in the gym practicing my craft.

“The only people that believed in me were my team, but all I can say is ‘and the new’!”

Hurd is often a slow starter and Williams made him pay for that. He jumped on the defending champion right out of the gate, throwing crisp punches behind a pistol-like jab. Williams dropped Hurd in the second round with a shot to the temple.

“It didn’t really change my strategy. It was just a flash knockdown. It caught me by surprise. I wasn’t really hurt,’’ Hurd said.

Sensing he had stunned Hurd, Williams came out firing in the next round. He picked up the pace and Hurd decided to match the ferocity of the attack rather than wither under it. Midway through the third round, Hurd landed a blistering left uppercut that snapped Williams’ head upward and slowly started to regain his form.

Hurd and Williams went to the trenches in the middle rounds, closing the distance and fighting in tight quarters. Conventional wisdom would seem to favor Hurd in that space, because he is physically bigger than Williams. But Williams did more than hold his own.

By the seventh round, the fight had become a war of attrition and a test of wills. Hurd was cut over his left eye in the eighth round. By then, Williams was completely in control.

Williams said he was well prepared for everything that Hurd threw at him, but it was by no means a cakewalk.

“He wasn’t easier to hit than I thought. He was crafty and he had heavy hands. I just stayed poised. I listened to my coach and I just worked,’’ Williams said. “He couldn’t hurt me. I saw everything he was throwing. I knocked him down. The game plan was to win however I could. I adapted on the fly. We knew he had certain tendencies and worked on his tendencies. ‘’

Hurd said he didn’t feel like himself in the fight against Williams. Fighting in front of a raucous hometown crowd filled with family and friends as he hails from nearby Accokeek, Md.

“I wasn’t able to get off. I can’t really call it right now. I have to go back and watch. I was loading up on my shots instead of just letting my hands go,’’ Hurd said. “J-Rock was just the better man tonight. There’s definitely a rematch clause in our contract and I’m going to go for it. I’m going to come back better than I was tonight.’’

Super lightweight sensation Mario Barrios (24-0, 15 KOs) scored a devastating second round knockout victory over Juan Jose Velasco (20-2, 12 KOs) in the co-feature. Barrios of San Antonio, Texas kept his undefeated record intact when he landed a crushing body shot that sent Velasco to the canvas midway through the second round. Referee Hugo Spinola counted out Velasco at 1:16 of the second round as the Argentine was on his hands and knees trying to catch his breath.

Barrios said he was trying to be patient and use his jab to set up the perfect shot.

“I saw him opening up every time he would step in. I knew one of the body shots was going to do it and I found the sweet spot,’’ Barrios said. “We weren’t expecting it to end that quickly. I wasn’t predicting a knock out, but I knew I had the power to do it and stop him.”

“I was very confident. I had a great camp. I can’t thank Virgil Hunter and the team for the preparation for this fight. We knew he was vulnerable with body punches and that was something I work on regardless. It is one of my favorite shots. I have been working on it since the amateurs.”

Barrios said he would build on the victory over Velasco and continue to climb the ladder at 140 pounds.

“I want a world title shot. I am always in the gym. I am always ready. I want all the smoke at 140. I want any of the champions. And I’m ready to bring a big fight to all my hometown fans in San Antonio.’’

In the opening television bout middleweight contenders Matt Korobov of Orotukan, Russia and Immanuwel Aleem of East Meadow, N.Y. stalked each other for 10 rounds. They took turns pressing the action and playing the aggressor, dishing out and absorbing the best that each had to offer. In the end Korobov (29-2, 14 KOs) and Aleem (18-2-1, 11 KOs) had fought to a majority draw. One judge had Korobov winning 97-93 and two judges scored it 95-95.

In the sixth round Korobov landed a combination that rocked Aleem and had him in trouble momentarily. But Aleem weathered the storm. Aleem came out strong in the ninth round, practically running across the ring to meet Korobov, who had slowly raised his 36-year-old body off the corner stool at the last second. Sensing the close nature of the fight, both Korobov and Aleem unloaded and landed some heavy shots seeking to keep the outcome away from the judges’ scorecards.

Aleem said he thought he won the fight.

“I didn’t feel like he was doing enough. I was trying to use my range. He was just touching me. I realized when I started hitting him that he didnt have the gas.,’’ Aleem said. “I am faster than people think. I see open shots better than people expect. I made a statement tonight and I want to keep making statements.”

Korobov , who lost a unanimous decision to Jermall Charlo in his last fight, said he felt sluggish during the match against Aleem.

“I felt heavy and not totally sharp enough. It was hard to react and stop him from going inside. I have things to work on.,’’ Korobov said. “He was tougher than I expected. He wasn’t as strong as Charlo, but he is a really good fighter. He kept coming forward. He wasn’t afraid. He just kept throwing punches.”

Official Weights & Photos for Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian Williams PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes Fight Night

Hurd Williams Bout Sheet

 

Photo Credits- Stephanie Trapp-TGB Promotions

JARRETT HURD VS. JULIAN WILLIAMS FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

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JARRETT HURD VS. JULIAN WILLIAMS FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

Unified 154-Pound Champion Hurd & Top Contender WilliamsSquare-Off Before Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes Main Event This Saturday Night from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia Live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

All Photo Credits- Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

ARLINGTON, VA. (May 9, 2019) – Unified 154-pound world champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd and top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams previewed their showdown at a final press conference on Thursday evening before they headline Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes this Saturday night from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.

Also squaring-off at the press conference and stepping into the ring Saturday in action beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT were unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Argentina’s Juan “The Pitbull” Jose Velasco, who meet in a 10-round fight, and middleweight contenders Matt Korobov and Immanuwel Aleem, who battle in a 10-round attraction.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com).

Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Arlington, Virginia:

JARRETT HURD

“This has been a great week. This is the homecoming I always wanted. It’s even better than I imagined and I can’t wait to step into the ring.

“You can tell a lot about a fighter when you see them in the lead up to a fight. Julian Williams looks confident and he looks ready. It’s going to be a classic on fight night.

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“It’s been fun to have this support from the city and my hometown. It’s fueled me. The love and support motivated me in the gym to make sure I go out there and put on a show.

“I’m a big 154-pounder but I know how to cut the weight and get it off right. We’re still eating and we’ll be strong come fight night.”

JULIAN WILLIAMS

“I really don’t think too much about fighting in his hometown. I’ve fought on the road my whole career. I just focus on the fight, not what’s going on outside of the ring.

“We touched on a lot of different things in training camp. We left no stone unturned. It sounds cliché and I’ve never said this before, but this was the best camp I’ve ever had. I’m ready to go get this win.

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“I just see a man over there. His crowd can’t fight for him. That’s all it’s going to be Saturday night.

“The jab is always a key. It’s the most important punch in boxing and it’s the key for me no matter who I fight. I always work with bigger guys in camp so the size is going to be nothing new.”

MARIO BARRIOS

“We focused on being explosive in training camp. Working with Virgil Hunter was great as always. This is a big opportunity and I’m excited to put on a great show for these fans.

“He’s a hungry fighter. That’s the main thing. He’s tasted defeat and he doesn’t want to again. I’m blocking his path. On Saturday night, he’s not getting past me.

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“I’m getting stronger and better every camp. There’s not too much to say, but I’m just looking forward to getting in the ring Saturday.”

JUAN JOSE VELASCO

“The fight against Regis Prograis was very tough and important for me. I want to be champion of the world and it showed me what I need to do to achieve that goal. I’m going to put what I learned on display Saturday.

“We’ve watched him and we know what he’s capable of doing. We know we have to be prepared to get this victory.”

MATT KOROBOV

“I took the fight against Jermall Charlo as a win because people know me better now and know where I stand in this division with my performance on short notice. I’m happy to be back and have this fight. My team did a great job preparing and we’ll be ready on Saturday night.”

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IMMANUWEL ALEEM

“My trainer George Peterson has always stressed to train year round. We’re not part time fighters. I’m always in the gym working. When the fight comes, we’re always prepared.

“Korobov is another opponent who’s in my way to becoming a world champion. I’ve gotten some good work with southpaws to get ready for him and I feel fully prepared.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT! QUOTE HIGHLIGHTS FROM JARRETT HURD vs. JULIAN WILLIAMS MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT! QUOTE HIGHLIGHTS FROM JARRETT HURD vs. JULIAN WILLIAMS MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL

Unified 154-Pound Champion Hurd & Top Contender Williams Exchange Words Leading Up to Highly-Anticipated Title Fight from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia live on FOX & FOX Deportes This Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

FAIRFAX, VA. (May 7, 2019) – Fight week is here for the world title showdown between unified 154-pound world champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd and top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams as they headline Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes this Saturday from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia live in primetime beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.z

Both fighters have shown that they are ready and poised heading into this weekend’s fight, as displayed on last week’s international media conference call when they went back and forth ahead of this highly anticipated super welterweight match.

“My confidence level is sky high,” said Hurd, a Maryland-native who will be defending his title in his home region for the first time since becoming a world champion. “I want to make it one-sided all the way through. I have a different game plan for each fight. You never know what style I’ll bring out.”

“My confidence doesn’t come from his vulnerability,” said Philadelphia’s Williams. “My confidence comes from my own ability and what I know I can do in a boxing ring. He’s been able to overcome any vulnerabilities he has, but he hasn’t faced me yet and hasn’t overcome what I bring to the table.”

Hurd has been embraced by his DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) home, partnering with the Washington Redskins and appearing at events all over the area including the National Cherry Blossom Festival parade, the Broccoli City Festival and an MLS game for the D.C. United.

“When I first heard it was official I’d be fighting at home, it meant everything to me,” said Hurd. “Winning the world title was always a dream of mine and I accomplished that two times. Now I just want to defend it in front of my people. It’s the perfect time to come home and it’s going to be a special night.”

For Williams, he looks at the positive spin of fighting on his opponent’s home turf, “I see it as a good opportunity,” he said. “I don’t really think too much about how difficult it would be to fight him in his hometown. I just need an arena and some gloves. Just ring the bell, that’s all I’m thinking about.”

The 29-year-old Williams is riding a four-fight winning streak since losing his first shot at the 154-pound title in 2016 against Jermall Charlo. With strong wins over Ishe Smith and Nathaniel Gallimore included in that streak, Williams can culminate his climb back to the top on May 11.

“I knew 100% that I would get another shot,” said Williams. “I know that I’m a top 154-pound fighter. I just had to get back in there and keep fighting. You can’t stay down too long. You just get back up on the horse. I knew this time would be coming.

“I think that all of my fights have prepared me for this opportunity, not just the Charlo fight. I learned from the 21 fights I had before that too. The Charlo fight gave me a chance to go back to the drawing board and work on a bunch of things. I have championship experience and that’s invaluable.”

In April 2018, Hurd unified 154-pound titles by defeating WBA titlist Erislandy Lara in a thrilling contest that saw Hurd drop Lara in the final round to edge the decision on the scorecards. It was the consensus 2018 Fight of the Year, including recognition from the BWAA, ESPN, Sporting News and more.

“For me to be in a Fight of the Year against a fighter with Erislandy Lara’s style, I must be an exciting fighter,” said Hurd. “When fans tune-in to watch me, they know the fight is usually action-packed. I go out there and leave it all in the ring and give it my all every time.”

Both fighters appear geared and ready for an exciting and dramatic contest for 154-pound supremacy live in primetime this Saturday night.

“A lot of fighters say they had a good training camp, but this has really been the best camp of my life,” said Williams. “I did some different things and I added some difference pieces. We’re prepared for a really good fight and we’re prepared to win.”

“I don’t want this fight to be close,” said Hurd. “I’m trying to get the recognition that I work hard for. I think I have a better resume than guys at the top of the pound-for-pound list. I’m going to come out and prove it Saturday night and make a statement on FOX.”

Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com).

JARRETT HURD VS. JULIAN WILLIAMS PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

JARRETT HURD VS. JULIAN WILLIAMS PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

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Unified Super Welterweight Champion Jarrett Hurd Defends His Titles Against Top Contender Julian Williams in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Main Event Saturday,  May 11 at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia

 

 

        Photo Credit- Kent Green

NATIONAL HARBOR (March 24, 2019) – – Unified and undefeated IBF and WBA 154-pound “Swift” Jarrett Hurd and top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams previewed their recently announced showdown at a press conference Sunday before they meet in primetime in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes action on Saturday, May 11 at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.

Tickets for the event go on sale Thursday, March 28 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com).

Here is what the fighters had to say Sunday from MGM National Harbor in Maryland:

JARRETT HURD

“It was very important to fight at home because that’s what everyone has been asking for. I’m excited to have the opportunity and I can’t wait to step in the ring.

“All of my fights are classics. I know that ‘J-Rock’ has been watching me and that makes him dangerous. He’s coming in with a good game plan and we’ll see what it is on fight night.

“Jermall Charlo is a big puncher and he landed some shots that got Julian out of there, but Julian was right in that fight. It was kind of back and forth action until Charlo landed those shots, but Charlo was hurt in that fight too.

“The fighter that I am, I wanted to go out there and close the show against Erislandy Lara. I thought I was up, but it’s not in me to just go out and survive. I’m glad I did because it got me the win.

“I’m going to be victorious on May 11. I’m looking for a decisive win. I’m not saying I’m going to to get the stoppage, but it will be convincing that it went my way.

“Tony Harrison beating Jermell Charlo definitely threw a monkey wrench into the plan coming off of surgery. I’m going to go after the WBC belt regardless of who has it, but first I have to take care of Julian.”

JULIAN WILLIAMS

“I’m not Erislandy Lara, I’m going to fight a completely different fight than he did. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to win. That’s the kind of fighter Hurd is, so that’s the kind of fighter I have to be.

“I think I’m going to win in a classic. We’re probably going to have to do it a second time it’ll be so good.

“My motivation are those two belts on the line. Any kind of fight with Harrison or Charlo and Hurd has nothing to do with me. I’m focused on what I have to do.

“I had to get over the loss quick. You can’t dwell on that. Am I going to mope? No, it’s who’s up next? I can’t even put it into words how hungry I am.

“Hurd is definitely a really exciting fighter. He gives that extra each fight, but I’ve seen some things. I have a way of wearing guys down myself. I wore Nathaniel Gallimore down fighting off my front foot and I think I’ll do the same to Hurd.

“I don’t know if there will be extra pressure on him fighting at home. You have to ask him. I know when I fight at home I don’t feel any extra pressure. When the bell rings, a fight is a fight.”

Unified Super Welterweight Champion Jarrett Hurd Defends His IBF & WBA Titles Against Top Contender Julian Williams

Unified Super Welterweight Champion Jarrett Hurd Defends His IBF & WBA Titles Against Top Contender Julian Williams in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Main Event Saturday, May 11 at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia

Plus! Undefeated Super Lightweight Contender Mario Barrios Battles Juan Jose Velasco in Co-Feature & Middleweight Contender Matt Korobov Clashes with Immanuwel Aleem In
Televised Undercard Action Beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

Tickets on Sale Thursday, March 28 at 12 p.m. ET!

FAIRFAX, VA. (March 21, 2019) – Unified and undefeated IBF and WBA 154-pound “Swift” Jarrett Hurd will defend his titles against top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams live in primetime in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes action on Saturday, May 11 at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.

Plus, unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario “El Azteca” Barrios battles Argentina’s Juan “The Pitbull” Jose Velasco in a 10-round fight and middleweight contender Matt Korobov clashes with Immanuwel Aleem in a 10-round bout as part of televised action beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Tickets for the event go on sale Thursday, March 28 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com).

“Jarrett Hurd has established himself as one of the breakout stars in boxing, and now he’ll have a chance to showcase his talents in front of his hometown faithful,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “He will have a stiff test from Julian Williams, who since his only defeat has racked up win after win to show that he is still squarely in the elite class of the division. This is setting up to be a fantastic main event for viewers in primetime to enjoy on FOX and FOX Deportes. With ‘Swift’ making his first hometown title defense, the crowd at EagleBank Arena is sure to deliver a raucous atmosphere.”

Hurd vs. Williams is one of the best matches that can be made in the super welterweight division as two of the division’s young, hungry fighters square off on the march toward an undisputed world title.

Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) has already picked up two titles with heart-pounding victories in one of the toughest divisions in boxing. He began his run when he stopped Tony Harrison for a ninth-round knockout to capture the IBF title in 2017 on FOX. He successfully defended the title with another victory when he became the first person to stop former world champion Austin Trout. The 28-year-old picked up the WBA title with by dropping Erislandy Lara and earning a split decision in the consensus 2018 Fight of the Year last April.

A native of Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd will be fighting in front of his hometown fans when he takes on Williams and is returning to fight in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area for the first time since a 2014 win at Constitution Hall in D.C. He most recently delivered a knockout victory over Jason Welborn in his last fight on December 1.

“I couldn’t be happier to be fighting at home for the first time as a champion,” said Hurd. “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 (26-1-1, 16 KOs) never backs down from a challenge and he has fought his way back into contention for his second world title shot. He has ripped off four straight victories since losing to Jermall Charlo in a world championship match in 2016. 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.

“Jarrett Hurd is a good, strong fighter that’s really hot right now,” Williams said. “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 on FOX, and most importantly winning those titles and showing the world that I am the best in the 154-pound division.”

Barrios (23-0, 15 KOs) has grown into a brilliant super lightweight contender after starting out at 130 pounds. The 5-foot-10 fighter from San Antonio, Texas, has carried his power with him up the ladder as demonstrated by stopping his last seven opponents, including victories over Naim Nelson and Jose Luis Rodriguez on FS1. He enters the fight with Velasco after a knockout victory over Richard Zamora in his last fight on February 9.

Velasco (20-1, 12 KOs) picked up the nickname “The Pitbull” early in his career because of his aggressive style. It has served the 31-year-old resident of Buenos Aires, Argentina well throughout a career in which he’s only tasted defeat once. He suffered the first loss of his career in his last fight when he was stopped by Regis Prograis on July 14. He will be looking to rebound against another rising unbeaten fighter in Barrios.

The 36-year-old Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs) lost a hard-fought decision to Jermall Charlo live on FOX in a middleweight championship match on December 22. He was a late replacement and gave Charlo a tougher fight than many experts expected. Even though he came up short, the Russian-born fighter, who now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, served notice to the rest of the division that he is still a threat to top 160-pounders.

Aleem (28-1-1, 22 KOs) will have been out of the ring for nearly a year when he steps in against Korobov. The 25-year-old is coming off a sixth-round knockout victory over Juan De Angel in his last fight on May 19. Korobov presents a major challenge for Aleem of Richmond, Virginia, who suffered the first loss of his career when he was stopped by Hugo Centeno, Jr. in August 2017 on FS1, following a career-best win over then unbeaten Ievgen Khytrov.

JARRETT HURD UNIFIES THE 154-POUND DIVISION WITH SPLIT DECISION OVER ERISLANDY LARA

JARRETT HURD UNIFIES THE 154-POUND DIVISION WITH SPLIT DECISION OVER ERISLANDY LARA IN ACTION PACKED FIGHT SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME® FROM HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO IN LAS VEGAS
 
James DeGale Earns Back IBF Super Middleweight World Championship With Unanimous Decision In Rematch With Caleb Truax
 
Julian Williams Wins IBF 154-Pound Eliminator With Decision Over Nathaniel Gallimore In SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Opener
 
Click HERE For Photos; Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
Click HERE For Photos; Credit: Chris Farina/Mayweather Promotions
LAS VEGAS (April 7, 2018) – Jarrett Hurd unified the 154-pound division with a 12-round split-decision victory over Erislandy Lara in an all-action fight Saturday on SHOWTIME before a sold out crowd of 2,579 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
 
Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs), who entered as IBF Champion, dethroned WBA Champion in just the seventh unification in division history. The difference in the Fight of the Year candidate was a short left hook that floored Lara in the final minute of the fight. Had the 27-year-old Hurd not scored the knockdown, the fight would have been ruled a majority draw.
 
“It was a tough one, but I went out there and did exactly what I said I was going to do – fight all 12 rounds and get the victory,” Hurd said. “I didn’t feel like that (I needed the knockdown). I feel like I was in control the whole fight, applying the pressure. 
 
“I don’t think it had anything to do with age.  I think it was me and the game plan we had to apply the pressure.”
 
Following the thrilling bout, SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray asked Hurd if he’d like to face WBC 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo, who was ringside, to further unify the division.
 
“‘Swift’ isn’t ducking anyone,” Hurd responded. “I’m No. 1 now.  We’re calling the shots.”
 
Hurd applied relentless pressure from the opening round, pressing forward against the crafty southpaw. He pounded the body, yet often neglected defense and ate punishing counter shots for 11 rounds. But the difference for Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs), who was making the seventh defense of his title, was the brutal 12th round. With blood seeping from a swollen right eye, Hurd connected on a short left hook that floored Lara for the first time in nearly five years.
 
“Besides the last round, I thought I was winning this fight easily,” Lara said. “That’s not to decide the fight.  I was winning the fight.  One punch in a fight doesn’t determine the fight. 
 
“It was a great fight for the fans. I stood there, fought and it was fun. I thought I clearly won the fight. Once again a decision goes against me, but hey we just have to do the rematch.”
 
Entering the fight, Charlo was the consensus No. 1 fighter at 154-pounds. He stated his case for a chance to unify against Hurd.
 
“I’m down.  Let’s go.  We want that work,” Charlo told SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING host Brian Custer. “I feel Hurd only took the fight with Lara because he realized the harder fight is with Jermell Charlo.
 
“We’ve been there before with Lara.  I know what he possesses.  Hurd has to get his defense together because he cannot get hit like that by me.   Lara doesn’t move like he used to.  If he moves like he used to he wins that fight.”
 
James DeGale earned back the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship with a unanimous decision in a rematch with Caleb Truax, taking back the title he lost last December in the near-universal upset of the year.
 
The 12-round championship affair was scored 117-110 and 114-113 twice. DeGale, who was deducted a point in the 10th for pushing, won the championship rounds – 11 and 12 – on all three judges’ scorecards to win the decision.
 
“Two-time world champion. It feels great,” DeGale said. “But full credit to Caleb – he shows he can mix it with the top fighters.
 
“I’m just happy that I’m a two time world champion and I got my IBF world title back. I’m back, Team Chunky, we’re back. Two-and-a-half years I had it and I lost it to Caleb. He embarrassed me, but we’re back.”
 
DeGale (24-2-1, 14 KOs) overcame a massive cut from an accidental head butt in the third, which was mistakenly ruled as the result of a punch from referee Robert Byrd.
 
“I couldn’t see from my right eye, DeGale said. “I like Robert Byrd (referee), but today he was a bit wrong. I couldn’t see. But I’m just glad I got through it. I showed some heart. In my last fight, I was like a weak little kid.”
 
DeGale connected on 37 percent of his power shots compared to 28 percent for Truax. He now returns to London a world champion with some massive potential fights in the future.
 
“I want to be busy,” DeGale said. “I have a couple years left in this sport.”
 
Truax (29-4-2, 18 KOs), who fought for the first time as a world champion, was disappointed and advocated for a rematch after the scores were announced.
 
“I thought I did enough to win the fight, but I also thought I was pretty flat and didn’t get my shots off like I wanted,” Truax said. “I was just a little bit flat. I felt really good coming in but I just couldn’t get my shots off like the last fight. He never hurt me, but it is what it is.
 
“I gave him a rematch straight away so why not do it again.”
 
In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader, Julian Williams scored a career-best win, defeating Nathaniel Gallimore via majority decision in an IBF Junior Middleweight World Title eliminator. Williams, who edge Gallimore 116-112, 117-110, 114-114, is now in position to challenge Jarrett Hurd.
 
Williams (25-1-1, 15 KOs) set the pace with a strong left jab in the opening rounds of the fight, keeping Gallimore at bay and the action on the outside. That changed around the fifth round as Williams abandoned the jab and the fight moved to the inside. Williams had his best round in the 11th, connecting on a massive left hand that set up a barrage of combos that nearly had Gallimore out on his feet. Gallimore (20-2-1, 17 KOs) survived the round, and Williams wasn’t able the finish him in the 12th, but it was clear Williams deserved the decision.
 
“I wasn’t surprised a judge had a draw,” Williams said. “Sometimes when you’re fighting real close like that, it is hard for judges to score. I knew I won. Once I heard 116-112 and 117-111, I knew I won because I knew he didn’t win eight rounds.
 
“He is a strong fighter, but I knew he was going to do what he did. Start strong early, but I knew he wasn’t strong after six rounds.
 
“The hits to the body was all in the game plan. You have to go to the body in a 12 round fight.”
 
Williams connected on 50 percent of his power shots and landed 37 percent of his total shots.
 
“I didn’t really think I won the fight,” Gallimore admitted. “I just let too many early rounds go. I just gave him too many rounds. I had him hurt a couple of times, but he was tough. I should have done more combinations. I will look at the fight and review it, and will make adjustments.”
 
Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will replay on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME.

Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd Final Press Conference Quotes & Photos for 154-Pound World Title Unification This Saturday, April 7

Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd Final Press Conference
Quotes & Photos for 154-Pound World Title Unification This Saturday, April 7 Live On SHOWTIME® from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
 
“You’ve never been in a big fight. We’ll find out what you have Saturday night. Right now, you’re all talk.” – Erislandy Lara
 
“I’m going to show you why nobody can survive 12 rounds with Jarrett Hurd. There’s a storm coming.” – Jarrett Hurd
 
Click HERE for Photos from Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
 
LAS VEGAS (April 5, 2018) – World champions Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurdwent face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference for their 154-pound world title unification this Saturday, April 7 live on SHOWTIME® from Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
 
WBA Champion Lara and IBF Champion Hurd will meet for just the sixth unification bout in division history in a fight that will help define the future of the 154-pound class. The winner of Lara-Hurd will join Hall of Famers Terry Norris, Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya and Winky Wright, as well as Canelo Alvarez, as the only fighters to unify 154-pound titles.  
 
Thursday’s press conference also featured IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb Truax and former champion James DeGale, who meet in an immediate rematch of what was the near-universal upset of the year in 2017. In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, super welterweight contenders Julian Williams and Nathaniel Gallimore will face off in an IBF 154-pound world title eliminator.
 
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale now and available by visiting AXS.com or the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Box Office.
 
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from Vanity Nightclub at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas:
 
ERISLANDY LARA
 
“Everyone knows I love to fight his style. I’ve fought better and taller fighters than him and you’ve seen me dominate them. It’s going to be nothing different on Saturday night.
 
“I want him to come forward. That’s what I’m prepared for. I’m going to give him a lesson on Saturday night.
 
“I have to give Hurd credit for taking the fight. It’s been hard to get fighters in the ring with me. There’s no need to talk because on Saturday we will find out everything we need to know.
 
“Everyone here talking from Hurd’s team can’t get in the ring with him. It’s different once you’re in the ring with me. You’ve never been in a big fight. We’ll find out what you have Saturday night. Right now, you’re all talk.
 
“I’m absolutely ready for this fight. This is going to be a great battle for the fans on SHOWTIME. I’m excited to get in the ring and finally unify the decision. I’m preparing to make history.
 
“I haven’t watched much video on Hurd, but as we saw from the Trout fight, he’s very hittable. Come Saturday night, he better have worked on some defense or it won’t last very long.
 
“I don’t want to hear anything about Jermell Charlo, because Jarrett Hurd is the one who stepped up. On Sunday, Charlo can sign the contract and we can get ready to rumble.”
 
JARRETT HURD
 
“Lara has been the longest reigning champion and he was on top when I first turned pro. We’ve studied him a lot. I didn’t get into this sport to be anything but number one. Lara is the top guy, but after Saturday night, it’s going to be me.
 
“It’s been a great training camp. We’re well prepared. This is the fight I’ve been asking for. After I beat Tony Harrison, Erislandy Lara had some words on Twitter for me. So I’ve wanted the fight since then. Somebody has to pay for that.
 
“This fight is coming at the right time for me because my confidence is very high right now. He’s a little older so I’ll be the younger and fresher fighter. I just feel like it’s my time. I’m going to be relentless. I’m not stopping until I get what I want.
 
“Lara is a veteran with a lot of experience. He knows how to win rounds and he can make you look bad no matter how good you are. I’m going to use my own awkward style and do what I do best.
 
“With my power and skill set, I can stop any fighter in the division. That definitely includes Erislandy Lara.
 
“Lara has great discipline in his game plan. No matter if he’s up on the cards or down or anything, he’s not going to switch it up. It’s hard to break a fighter when they’re disciplined like that. We have a plan for everything though and we’re confident that we’ll come up with something that will get us the victory.
 
“Lara is a guy who can’t take pressure fighters well. I have some of the best pressure in the game. I’m younger, stronger, taller and longer. He’s not going to be able to run for 12 rounds.
 
“Nobody wanted to fight this guy. I stepped up to the table because I know what I can do. He’s living the ‘American Dream’, but my dream has just begun. Saturday night I’m going to show you why nobody can survive 12 rounds with Jarrett Hurd. There’s a storm coming.”
 
CALEB TRUAX
 
“I’m honored to be here with these great fighters and back on SHOWTIME. Training camp was perfect for this fight. This is the longest camp I’ve had in my career and the most focused I’ve been.
 
“I just want to go out there and silence people who said it was a fluke the first time I won. I want to prove that I belong at the top of the division. I’m going to put on a good show for the fans and retain my title.
 
“We’ve had four months to prepare for James DeGale. Normally I have six to eight weeks, so it was nice to have a drawn out and specific training camp. We really focused on the conditioning and making sure I’m reaching my peak.
 
“I’ve been through a lot in this sport. I’ve fought top guys in big fights but it finally came together last December. It meant a lot to me and now I’m prepared to put on an even better performance. I know DeGale is going to be hungry so I have to be ready for him.
 
“I had a great camp this fight. I knew we were going to have a rematch so I was right back in the gym in a couple of weeks. My trainer put together a great plan to help me improve and prepare for what DeGale is going to improve on. I’ll be ready for him to be 100 percent.
 
“I just want to get to Saturday night and put on another great performance to retain my belt. I’m going to give it my all to bring that belt back home to Minnesota.”
 
JAMES DEGALE
 
“My last performance was horrendous. It was shocking and embarrassing. I’m not going to make excuses about my shoulder and what went wrong. On Saturday night, I will be a two-time world champion. I promise you that.
 
“I’ve boxed at the top level my whole life and put on some good performances. I know what was wrong with me and why I performed how I did in the first fight. I’m going to put it to rest when I become a world champion again.
 
“It’s been a long, difficult training camp. I had a gray cloud above my head the last couple of months, but I’m ready to go become a world champion again on Saturday.
 
“This time has turned me into a beast. I’ve had to take everything even more seriously than before. I might have gotten a bit complacent being a champion those last few years. I’ve locked myself down and I’m ready to go.
 
“I would say 90 percent of the loss was because of what I didn’t do. I looked past him. I came back too quick from the injury, but he still had to get in there and take my belt. There’s no disrespect to Caleb, but I’ve fought the very best of the division and come out on top. The real James DeGale will be back on Saturday.
 
“It’s going to be a dominant performance on Saturday. If I don’t beat Truax and beat him easily I can’t get to the level that I want. I know that’s what is coming. No excuses.”
 
JULIAN WILLIAMS
 
“We had a really good camp. I didn’t want to get into the trash talk this camp. He’s a solid fighter and I don’t underestimate anyone. But he seems like a bully. You can’t bully me. He’s obsessed with me on social media. I just have to focus on what he can do as a fighter.
 
“He’s a nobody who wants some attention. I’m going to give him lots of attention on Saturday night. I’m going to shut this guy up.
 
“He’s going to lose every single round and probably get stopped late. Every time he gets pushed he loses, gets a draw or gets knocked down. I’m drowning him in deep waters.
 
“I’m calm right now but also anxious to show everyone what I have. I know I’m a world class fighter, I just have to go do it. I’m making sure I stay patient right now.
 
“He lost to a journeyman, got a draw with a journeyman and got dropped by a journeyman. There’s nothing else to say. I’m taking him out on Saturday.”
 
NATHANIEL GALLIMORE
 
“Saturday night is judgment day and it starts with ‘J-Pebbles’. It’s going to be a night to remember for me.
 
“It’s going to be a spectacular fight. I’m going to demolish him in grand fashion. He’s never faced anyone like me before. When I touch him, it’s over.
 
“You better worry about what’s going to happen to you on Saturday night. It’s going to be nasty. This fight is going to show everyone who I am in this division.
 
“I had the best training camp of my entire career. We covered all the bases. Saturday night I’m going to wipe the smile off his face. You think Charlo hits hard? You’re going to see on Saturday night.
 
“This opportunity is huge. The division is mine for the taking. I study my opponents and I stalk them in the ring. Everyone will see what’s going to happen on Saturday.”
 
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
 
“This is a great card from top to bottom. We have none other than the longest reigning 154-pound world champion, Erislandy Lara, taking on one of the toughest tests of his career in the very exciting, young and hungry world champion Jarrett Hurd.
 
“The co-main event is another important fight with a rematch featuring Caleb Truax, who will be looking to hold on to the belt he took from James DeGale last year, while DeGale will look to get back to where he was before they met last December.
 
“The show opens up with a high-octane 154-pound title eliminator with Julian Williams and Nathaniel Gallimore. This is the fight that could really steal the show. The winner of this fight will no doubt have their eye on the winner of Saturday’s main event.
 
“These are some of the best fights that can be made in each weight class. We can’t wait for everyone to see these fighters put it all on the line on Saturday night.”

Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd Fight Week Media Workout Quotes & Photos

Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd Fight Week Media Workout
Quotes & Photos
 
World Champions Square-Off in 154-Pound Title Unification that Headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Tripleheader Saturday, April 7 from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
 
Click HERE for Photos from Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
 
LAS VEGAS (April 4, 2018) – World champions Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd began fight week with a media workout in Las Vegas Wednesday before their 154-pound world title unification that headlines action this Saturday, April 7 live on SHOWTIME from Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
 
Also in attendance Wednesday was super middleweight world champion Caleb Truax, who rematches former champion James DeGale in the co-featured attraction. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with a 154-pound title eliminator between Julian Williams and Nathaniel Gallimore, who were also at the Mayweather Boxing Club Wednesday for the media workout.
 
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale now and available by visiting AXS.com or the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Box Office.
 
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
ERISLANDY LARA
 
“Everything in training went how it was supposed to. We did our job and now it’s time to fight. I did everything in the gym that I needed to prepare for anything that Hurd can bring.
 
“All of my opponents are taller than me. His size means nothing to me. I have the experience and I’m the best boxer in the division. He’s never seen anything like me.
 
“He has to beat me to get the top spot in this division. I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen.
 
“I’ve earned everything in this sport the hard way. I’ve fought the tough fights for no money. I think everyone knows how talented I am and that I belong up there with the best in the sport.
 
“I don’t watch film in training camp. A fighter can look one way on video, but totally different in the ring. He has to prepare for what I’m doing. I’m not worried about what he brings. I saw a little bit of his fight against Trout while I was warming up to fight Terrell Gausha, but that’s about it.”
 
JARRETT HURD
 
“There was something in me that always wanted this fight. Once I defended my title against Austin Trout, I was quick to get on top of this opportunity.
 
“This is going to be a difficult fight. Lara is the type of fighter who has a lot of experience. It won’t be easy so I have to be well prepared and on top of my game come Saturday night.
 
“We’ve been in the gym working a lot on our hand movement and footwork. I took too many punches against Trout and I knew what it was going to take to make those improvements.
 
“Every fight is the most important fight of my career because I’m protecting this undefeated record. This is going to be a tough fight but I promise I’m going to give it my all and bring it to Lara all night long.
 
“Being back in Vegas and back at Hard Rock where I beat Frank Galarza to really get this whole journey started means a lot to me. I’m planning to give everyone a great show just like I always do.
 
“No matter what kind of fight he brings; I’m going to stick to my game plan. He has to fight at my pace. No matter what he comes with, I’m going to be in charge in the ring.
 
“It’s always going to be fireworks when I’m in the ring. I have a fan-friendly style. At the end of the day, you don’t have to worry about Lara running away, because I’m going to be in his face for 12 rounds.”
 
CALEB TRUAX
 
“I think DeGale has been making excuses. He couldn’t stop talking about how great his shoulder felt heading into our first fight. Then right after the fight he said he felt fine. Now I guess he came back too early. He was in a tough fight not too long ago, so we’ll see how he is on Saturday night.
 
“I’m prepared for a better James DeGale. I took his belt and I know he’s going to come back hungry. I expect him to give it his all to get it back. He’ll be in top form.
 
“As far as I know, I’m still an underdog for this fight. A lot of people think I was a fluke the first time around, so it’s up to me to prove them wrong. I’m ready to silence the critics and silence DeGale.
 
“I felt like I was going to win the whole time, but a lot of people said it was one of the biggest upsets in British boxing history. It still hasn’t really sunk in. Nothing has really changed. I’m a busier man but I still keep it really low key.
 
“Boxing isn’t a huge sport in Minneapolis because it’s such a great sports scene. Hopefully my win on Saturday and Jamal James on April 13 on PBC on FS1 will get some more kids into the gyms.
 
“There were plenty of things that I had to improve on after the first fight. I’ve had four months to really dig down and prepare for this fight. I’ve known the rematch was coming and I’ve been able to get ready.”
 
JULIAN WILLIAMS
 
“I had a really good camp. I really was just focused on getting better and moving forward in my career. I got a lot of great rounds in with some quality fighters and it was a really productive camp.
 
“I love fighting in Las Vegas. The electricity is always there and the fans are always welcoming. I love putting on a show for these fans.
 
“I think Gallimore has performed decently against the competition he’s had. He got beat by a journeyman and had a draw with another journeyman. He seems to have gotten hot at the right time, but we’ll see if he brings it on Saturday night.
 
“He’s backing himself into a corner. He has to back up those words he’s saying. Overall I think he’s a solid fighter, a good test and it should be an entertaining fight.
 
“He said he’s going to knock me out, but that’s really the only way he could possibly win. One lucky punch. That’s all he’s banking on. I’m going to out class him and out dog him.
 
“I’ve always known I had guts, I’ve always known I’m a really good fighter with all the tools to become a world champion. I didn’t need to learn anything about myself after the loss, I just had to correct some things and move forward.”
 
NATHANIEL GALLIMORE
 
“I feel great right now, I’m ready for the world to see the improved ‘Nate The Great’. I treat every fight like a world championship fight. Julian Williams has nothing for me. He has to worry about what I bring to the table. On Saturday night, it’s going to be judgement day. The truth will come out.
 
“This fight means a lot to me. This is what I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little kid. This is my chance to become great. I’m going to show the world I’m a different beast in the 154-pound division.
 
“I’m bringing total domination for this fight. I don’t care what he’s training for. He could be training on Mars. He has to get up to my level. I’m tearing him apart.
 
“I’m taking this fight so seriously. Julian Williams is quiet now, but he was loud before he fought Jermall Charlo. He has to figure out who he is. I’m going to show the whole world.
 
“The game plan is to show off my whole arsenal. We’ve covered everything in the gym. I’m a different animal. Everyone in this division better look out for me. They’re going to have to crown me real soon.”

Julian Williams Training Camp Notes

Julian Williams Training Camp Notes
 
Super Welterweight Contender Takes on Nathaniel Gallimore Saturday, April 7 in 154-Pound Title Eliminator Live on SHOWTIME from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
 
SAN CARLOS, CA (March 30, 2018) – Top super welterweight contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams will look to put himself closer to another world title shot when he facesNathaniel Gallimore in a 154-pound world title eliminator Saturday, April 7 live on SHOWTIME from Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.
 
The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by Erislandy Lara, the longest reigning world champion at 154-pounds, clashing with undefeated champion Jarrett Hurd in a highly anticipated 154-pound world title unification bout. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and also features super middleweight world champion Caleb Truax in a rematch against former champion James DeGale.
 
The 12-round IBF title eliminator gives Williams a chance to earn a second world title fight, while it would be Gallimore’s first shot at the title. Gallimore has been outspoken in his belief that he will stop Williams, but Williams has chosen to not let the words affect him and focus on the task at hand.
 
“I have no reaction to the talk coming from Gallimore,” said Williams. “He’s trying to draw attention to himself and doing it in a classless way. If he wants a back-and-forth, he’s going to be talking to himself.
 
“He seems like he’s a strong fighter, but you never really know until you step in the ring with a guy. He’s on a hot streak, he’s a big puncher and obviously he has a lot of confidence. We thought this would be a good test and I think it’s going to be a great fight for the fans.”
 
Williams is currently finishing up training camp at the SNAC gym in San Carlos, California with trainer Stephen Edwards. In addition to work in the first part of training in Philadelphia with DeCarlo Perez and Jaron Ennis, he has sparred with the likes of Peter Quillin, Prenice Brewer and Joey Spencer in California.
 
“I’ve been coming out to California for parts of camp since 2014 and it’s really just something that gives me a bit of a spark heading into the fight,” said Williams. “There are some elevation and recovery aspects of training that we can do out here. It’s also a good way to get away from things and really dig to another level.”
 
Williams has been on the road back to title contention after dropping his first title shot to Jermall Charlo in 2016. Williams knew that he did not need to revamp his entire game and has recovered with victories over former champion Ishe Smith and Joshua Conley leading into this fight.
 
“I thought I was doing well in the Charlo fight so I never pushed the panic button after it didn’t go my way,” said Williams. “Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The plan was always to improve each fight and each day in camp, so that’s what we’re still doing. We’ll see on April 7 if it’s enough.”
 
With an opponent who enters this fight on a seven-fight knockout streak, Williams knows he will have to use all of his physical and mental skills to pull out the victory.
 
“It’s going to be up to me what this fight looks like,” said Williams. “In the ring you have to be mature. I can’t get drawn into the kind of fight that he wants. If I stay focused, I should dominate him.
 
“I’m never going to look past anybody. I know that there’s nothing I can do in my future in this sport if I don’t beat Gallimore. I’m ready to go in there and look impressive on April 7.”
 
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale now and available by visiting AXS.com or the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Box Office.