Jarrett Hurd pumps brakes on J-Rock rematch!
Jarrett Hurd has shocked the boxing world with his decision to forego his rematch with Julian “J-Rock” Williams.
Hurd lost his WBA and IBF junior middleweight titles to Williams in May, and decided to exercise his rematch clause. The loss seemed to trigger a lot of soul searching in the former champ, as he’d go on to make a lot changes following his first defeat.
The first change was that Hurd would decide to change trainers, firing longtime trainer Ernesto Rodriguez. He would switch to Kay “Coach K” Korma who trains Shakur Stevenson and amateur phenom Keyshawn Davis.
Hurd cited that he needs to improve his defense and footwork to prepare for the well-rounded skill set of J-Rock.
Next the former unified champion would cut his signature blond-tipped locks. Hurd sported locks that made him look eerily similar to NFL superstar receiver Odell Beckham. A haircut isn’t normally a big deal.
However, the gold locks served as both a trademark and a marketing ploy. This left many to wonder, “did Williams take more than Hurd’s titles?”
There’s also something more subtle that might have caused Hurd’s change of heart. In their first fight, the unified champion agreed to Julian Williams’s request for VADA testing, even though it wasn’t mandatory.
Currently, only the WBC requires VADA testing. As the A-side, Hurd could’ve refused the request. This time, with the positions reversed, it appeared that Hurd wasn’t as willing to participate in the stringent VADA testing.
Williams and his trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards were very vocal on the situation and made it clear that any fighter who wanted fight them would have to complete 90 days of VADA testing.
With Hurd having already completed the testing once, this wouldn’t seem like a big deal. However, as of this writing, there’s no indication that he’s enrolled.
Keep in mind the former champion has never failed a drug test, but he hasn’t been above suspicion due to his size. Hurd has admitted that he walks around at about 186lbs, and sometimes struggles to make the 154lbs limit.
It appears that he could fight effectively at super middleweight and quite easily.
As for now, it’s up in the air as to what’s next for both fighters. Hurd could possibly take a tuneup, and then decide if he wants to stay at super welterweight. It would also give him a training camp to acclimate himself to his new trainer.
In the case of J-Rock, things appear a little murky. With the final quarter of the year already here, it’s going to be difficult to find an opponent and complete the VADA testing that their team would want before the end of the year.
Stay tuned to 3kingsboxing.com as we are your source for more on this story.
By: Corey Cunningham