West Philadelphia fighter Julian Williams claimed the unified junior middleweight title Saturday, beating Jarrett Hurd in Fairfax, Virginia in a 12-round unanimous decision.
Williams, who was homeless for a time growing up, unified the International Boxing Organization, International Boxing Federation, and World Boxing Association junior middleweight belts. The scores were 115-112, 115-12, and 116-111.
The unification comes roughly three years after Williams lost his first world championship opportunity in a TKO loss to Jermall Charlo.
"I am just overwhelmed. This is such a great feeling. I outclassed him. I am one of the best fighters in the world,” Williams said in a statement. “Maybe I wasn’t ready for the title the first time I got the shot. I took the loss. I took it like a man and the whole world doubted me. I went into this fight a five to one underdog.’
“This is a dream come true. I have been waiting for this for years. I never ditched the gym. I never got into girls or left the gym. I am from the streets, but I was never in the streets. I was in the gym practicing my craft.”
The 29-year-old got the first knockdown of the fight in the second round en route to his convincing win on national television. He moves to 27-1-1 (16 knockouts), while handing Hurd (23-1, 16 knockouts) the first loss of his professional career.
As a 13-year-old, Williams was homeless as his mother struggled with drug addiction. They lived in a shelter on the first floor of a Roosevelt Boulevard motel.