Before they square-off this Saturday night, unified 154-pound world champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd and top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams faced-off at the National Mall and Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Thursday as they near their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes main event live from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
A native of Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd will be making his return to defend his titles in front of a hometown crowd for the first time since becoming a world champion. Saturday marks Hurd’s first fight in the region since his 13th pro victory in 2014 that took place at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Philadelphia’s Williams will look to spoil Hurd’s homecoming and become a world champion in his second title opportunity.
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 afternoon:
“I feel great right now. I’m here in my city. This is where I wanted to bring the fight. Only two more days. I’m ready and I can’t wait.
“There are some nerves fighting at home but they’re good nerves. The energy I’m going to feel in the arena is going to get me hyped and ready to go.
“I have to treat it like any other fight. When I go out there and do what I know how to do best, I always get the win. Julian Williams is going to come on top of his game, but a graceful Jarrett Hurd is a bad night for anyone.
“My city has been behind me since day one and I made a promise to bring a fight back to them. Here I am. ‘Swift Nation’ is going to be in the building Saturday night.”
“We had a really good camp. It was easily one of the best I ever had. I’m not worried about his fans. I’m just focused on what I have to do in the ring Saturday night.
“Every fight is a stepping-stone for the next chapter. I’ve just been trying to win and get back to this position. I’m coming to win this however I have to win.
“I can’t concern myself with things that are out of my control. I can’t control the fans or the atmosphere. I can’t worry about it, so I don’t worry about it.”
“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.”
“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.”