This Saturday night in a PBC main event on FOX, Jarrett ‘Swift’ Hurd (23-0 16 KOs) put his WBA and IBF junior middleweight titles on the line vs. Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams (26-1-1 16KOs) in a junior middleweight main event from Fairfax, Virginia.
This should be an action packed fight with two fighters who should bring an exciting fight to boxing fans.
Opening Odds:* Current Odds: as of 05/08/2019
Hurd -650 Hurd -700
Williams +450 Williams+500
* Odds courtesy of SuperBook, Las Vegas
Here’s a look at where the money is going from Vegas bookmakers, along with opinions from boxing experts, boxers, boxing TV personalities, trainers and my prediction for the fight. Plus, a special section asking for a winner based on a SWOT analysis.
At The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, Jeff Sherman,VP of Risk Management, opened the fight with Hurd -650 and Williams +450. He moved the line down to -420/+340 based on market value but, “I just took a wager on Hurd and moved the line to -500/+375”, said Sherman.
*Note the line moved to -700/+500 due to action on Hurd as of 5.9.2019.**
At William Hill US, Assistant Director of Trading, Adam Pullen opened the fight with Hurd -425 and Williams +350. Like the Superbook, he lowered the price on market value to -425/+350. “We took a few mid four figure bets on Hurd and moved -450/+370 where it currently stands ,” said Pullen.
Before we jump to the panel- I reached out to some business contacts and had Abe Gonzalez reach out to a Marine contact for their feedback and opinion based on the SWOT analysis below done by Abe and myself.
- Noah Staitman, President (www.moneytips.com): “I am picking Williams based on a combination of Hurd carrying his left hand too low and his weight gain between fights. Coupled with Williams’ solid jab and possibly being hungrier than the champion.”
- Master Sergeant- Bryant Lodge USMC: “In the Marine Corps, we have a trial by fire before becoming a Marine and graduating boot camp. It’s called the Crucible. I feel like Hurd has gone through the Crucible by facing Lara. I’m one of those who believes Lara beat Canelo. It didn’t work that way on the scorecards, but Canelo went through that crucible too and only got better from that point. J-Rock is a tough opponent, who faced some quality opposition. He’s not a pushover and will provide steady action throughout the fight. I’m going to give the edge to Hurd in a 12-round slugfest, providing more excitement than we had last Saturday night (Canelo vs. Jacobs).”
- Abraham Gonzalez (boxing sharp): “This is going to be a war of attrition! Williams will win the first half of the fight while Hurd will win the second half. This ends up being a FOY type of contest that will probably lead to a rematch at a later date. In the end, it will be Jarrett “Swift” Hurd’s hand raised in victory by split decision.”
- John “Iceman” Scully (boxing trainer): “I like Williams as a fighter but I just think this is Hurd’s time. I like his skills and as good as Williams is, I think Hurd is just a bit better and a little more complete. I see him winning a pretty solid decision.”
- Rich Marotta (Hall of Fame Sportscaster): “Good fight. Williams has the skill to make a go of it. However, he is not elite and Hurd may be. I see Williams starting fast, but Hurd will work his way into the fight, and his pressure will be the difference. By the 5th or 6th round he’ll be in control and will stop Williams somewhere between the 7th and 9th rounds.”
- Evan Rutkowski (Former HBO sports marketing exec): ”I think very highly of Jarret Hurd, and it’s understandable that he’s a favorite here. Williams definitely has a path to victory though. Hurd admittedly starts slow, and at some point, that weight cut will catch up with him and affect his stamina. I don’t think this is the one though, and I see the fight being close early with Hurd pulling away late to win a UD, maybe scoring a knockdown along the way. Should be a fun TV fight.”
- Evan Young (boxing sharp): ”Jarrett Hurd surprised many with his ascent to the throne. Initially wasn’t highly regarded but has turned back everyone he has fought, including three world champions. At this point, most understand his dominance is not a fluke. Hurd is huge for the division and provides tremendous pressure, grinding down top echelon boxers (i.e. Harrison, Trout and Lara.) Williams is a highly competent boxer/puncher that tends to engage in grueling bouts. This figures to be an all action fight with both of their propensities for combat. But Hurd has fought better overall competition and based on what I’ve seen, I believe he is the stronger, more physical man and his ability to absorb punches is better than Williams. I’m going with Hurd to methodically break down Williams over many rounds, ultimately forcing him out inside the distance, perhaps in the last four rounds of the fight.”
- David Lopez (boxing sharp): ”I’m expecting a good, competitive fight. I’ve gone back and forth on this one but I’m going with Williams in the upset. He will have to weather the storm and pick his shots carefully but I think he has the better skill level and will surprise the boxing world by winning a split decision.”
- Jules Philippe-Auguste (boxing sharp): “I am going with Hurd by unanimous decision. I think Williams will have success early on but Hurd will pick up the pace in the middle rounds to take over for the rest of the fight. I think Williams learned his lesson from the Charlo fight, so he will not stand and trade with Hurd. I see him trying to box from the outside but not doing enough to get the win.”
- Jim Karas (boxing sharp): “Hurd is a monster at the weight and uses his size and relentless motor to apply non stop pressure on his opponents. For J-Rock to win he’s got to get on his bicycle, get in and out, and try to keep Hurd off him as much as possible. I think that strategy can work for the first half of the fight when J-Rock has fresh legs, but it will be a taxing style to keep up over 12 rounds. As the fight progresses I think we will see Hurd wear him down, especially to the body, to the point where he gets a stoppage in the later rounds. I’m picking Hurd by TKO.”
- Matt Andrzejewski (boxing sharp): “In terms of skill, I see Williams-Hurd as being very evenly matched. However, Hurd is a much bigger and physically stronger man than Williams. Williams will not be able to get Hurd’s respect and Hurd’s pressure as well as heavy handed punches take a toll on Williams as the fight progresses. I don’t think this bout goes past the ninth round and see a strong possibility that it will be Williams’ corner that pulls the plug on the fight.”
- Ryan O’Hara (boxing sharp): “Hurd-Williams is going to be a good, underrated, toe-to-toe fight. As we saw in the Gallimore fight, Williams is a decent boxer, but he can be careless defensively. I expect Williams to win a few rounds early, but Jarrett Hurd is a monster, and he will be in Williams’ face all night. The pressure will get to Williams and he will succumb to Hurd in the 10th round via knockout via the uppercut.”
The Fight: The panel is picking Hurd by a margin of 9-1 and the two guest SWOT analysts are split 1-1. So, the totals speak 10-2 in favor of Hurd. I am not picking this fight based on my friendship with J-Rock and Breadman Edwards, his trainer. I can share with you though this line is way out of whack in my opinion and should be much, much closer. Enjoy the fight!