Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian Williams Odds, Tips & Bets to Back

Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian Williams Odds, Tips & Bets to Back

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Unified junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd makes his fourth straight world title defense against former title challenger Julian Williams on Saturday night at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.

Hurd, 28, from nearby Accokeek, Maryland, has become an incredibly popular junior middleweight fighter, based largely on his impressive winning streak over notable opposition as well as his willingness to forgo defensive moves in favor of becoming a human buzzsaw. Williams, 29, from Philadelphia, will need to be in top form this weekend if he hopes to pull the upset.

According to the boxing betting line at 888Sport in New Jersey, Hurd is a big favorite at -590 to continue his ways against Williams, the +400 underdog.

Hurd-Williams Betting Tips

What makes Hurd (23-0, 16 knockouts) so much fun to watch is precisely what will eventually end up getting him beat someday. Hurd is less about craft and form than he is about getting up in his opponent’s face and testing his chin.

It works at the present because Hurd has great size for the 154-pound division and he has not faced an elite fighter who wasn’t already on his way down because of age or other factors.

That isn’t meant to discredit what Hurd has accomplished in defeating former titleholder Austin Trout and dethroning then-WBA champion Erislandy Lara in important fights that were probably Hurd’s best wins to date. Rather, it serves as a warning to those who want to overrate the undefeated champion because hasn’t really been tested by someone who can match his vigor.

Williams (26-1-1, 16 KOs) almost has the look of a fighter who might do that, but Williams’ main problem will be that he’s probably just good enough to go rounds with Hurd without actually winning the fight.

If Williams had more power in his punches or maybe was a little more precise at landing them, he would be a good bet to try to beat the bookies. To that end, if Williams had really done anything inside a boxing ring since being knocked out by Jermall Charlo in 2016 that signified he had greatly improved his skill set, he might be the man to dethrone Hurd.

But as it stands, he’s more likely on his way to delivering a somewhat entertaining performance in an ultimately losing effort.

Hurd is 6 feet 1 and possesses a 76-inch reach. Those kinds of measurements aren’t super common among middleweights, much less the division south at 154 pounds. He’s a big, strong fighter who throws hard punches in high volume. What he lacks in precision and defensive, he makes up for with sheer determination.

Hurd doesn’t really use his physical advantages in the traditional way. He gives up his height in favor of throwing short hooks and uppercuts, but that’s just his style and he’s really good at it. So good, in fact, that the only backable fighter on the three-way line is Hurd at -590, though there’s not much value there.

Many people rated Williams higher as a prospect coming up through the ranks than Hurd because he’s a hardworking, solid fighter with a good offensive repertoire. It won’t help Williams that Hurd is so much bigger, but it won’t hurt as much as it could because of Hurd’s self-imposed style.

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Hurd-Williams Best Bets

Hurd by decision at +210 at 888Sport is the best bet on the board. It offers plenty of value on the best fighter winning the fight and is probably the most likely outcome anyway. Williams is almost good enough to pull the upset, which means he should present a somewhat serious challenge to Hurd before getting outworked during the latter half of the fight.

To that end, backing the fight to go the distance at +130 with SugarHouse would also be a sharp play. Williams isn’t quite backable enough as a spoiler, but there is a slight chance he pulls off the huge shocker. If that happens, it’s most likely to come via decision in a tough, hard-to-score fight.

If Hurd does knock out Williams, it'd likely be late from an accumulation of punches, so Hurd in Rounds 7-12 at +150 with FanDuel is a decent alternative at that price to the Hurd by KO/TKO/DQ bet at -145.

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