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:
“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.
“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.”
“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.
“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.”
“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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.