Jarrett Hurd To Defend Unified Junior Middleweight Titles On Fox Card In May

Unified junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd will head to Fairfax, Virginia for his first fight of 2019.

PBC announced that Hurd will defend his WBA and IBF 154-pound world titles against Julian Williams on May 11. The fight, taking place at the EagleBank Arena, will headline a PBC on Fox card starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Hurd became the unified champion in April 2018 when he won a split decision win against Erislandy Lara, dropping Lara to unify the two world titles. Hurd underwent surgery shortly afterwards and was out of commission for most of the remainder of the year. The 28-year-old Hurd returned to action on December 1 with a knockout victory over Jason Welborn on the pay-per-view card for Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury.

Williams has worked his way back to title contention since being knocked out by Jermall Charlo in 2016 in an IBF 154-pound world title fight. Since then, Williams has won four straight, picking up wins over Ishe Smith and Joshua Clottey along the way and rising as high as the No. 1 spot in the IBF rankings.

A couple of fights on the undercard have also been announced. The first is a junior welterweight bout between unbeaten contender Mario Barrios and Juan Jose Velasco. Barrios, a 23-year-old fighter who is nearly six feet tall, has won all 23 of his pro bouts and has stopped his last seven opponents from inside the distance. Barrios is currently ranked No. 1 by the WBA at 140 pounds.

Velasco has not fought since getting stopped by Regis Prograis with the interim WBC title on the line back in July 2018. That fight saw Velasco's 20-fight win streak come to an end.

The other fight that was announced will have former middleweight title challenger Matt Korobov take on Immanuwel Aleem. Korobov last fought in December when he fought Charlo. Charlo was supposed to fight Willie Monroe Jr., but Monroe failed a drug test and was not eligible to fight Charlo and Korobov came in as a late replacement. Charlo ended up beating Korobov by unanimous decision.

Aleem, a 25-year-old fighter with an 18-1-1 pro record, has not fought since May 2018 when he stopped Juan De Angel after six rounds. Aleem suffered his first pro loss when he was knocked out by Hugo Centeno Jr. in 2017 and Aleem has a 3-1-1 record in fights since the start of 2015.

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