Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |



Stephen ‘Breadman’ Edwards: ‘It’s ridiculous anyone saying that Jarrett Hurd was slandered by us asking him to test’

Trainer-columnist Stephen "Breadman" Edwards. Photo by Stephanie Trapp-Showtime

You stay in boxing long enough, you learn this: You gotta be nimble moving from Plan A to Plan B… and you best be ready to transition from B to C, if you want to stay in the mix, and stay sane.

There is no league office setting the schedule, so it is every man and woman for themselves, which is part of what makes boxing that much more interesting to cover and follow… but it’s also maddening, potentially, for in-deep participants.

The outside the ring goings on, hijinks and hiccups, can test a soul as much or more than in-ring action. In the ring, one can be master of their domain, while outside, things out of one’s control must be digested and accepted.

Such as…

Stephen “Breadman” Edwards trains Julian Williams and also advises the Philly product, who scored a sweet and substantial win when he dropped and outpointed Jarrett Hurd on May 11 in Virginia. The 29-year-old hitter with a 27-1 mark also snagged the IBF and WBA 154-pound belts that Hurd took to the ring that night.

Julian Williams cracks huge odds and media favorite Jarrett Hurd with a right hand.

Julian Williams cracks huge odds and media favorite Jarrett Hurd with a right hand. Photo by Stephanie Trapp

In June, Edwards and Williams were pleased to learn that Hurd had agreed terms to a rematch… then plans changed.

Edwards told me that he learned an alternate plan would be required when he saw a story on that essentially laid out the following: Hurd would NOT be entering into a rematch with Williams, not at this time anyway.

“Nobody from Team Hurd has ever contacted me and they are under no obligation to do so,” the trainer-manager said. “I saw the Keith Idec (BoxingScene senior writer) interview.”

Last time around, Edwards was in communication with Ernesto Rodriguez, Hurd’s trainer, but he and Hurd parted ways soon after the loss. Edwards says that he doesn’t know who’s training Hurd now, and that he tried to reach out to someone else close to Team Hurd but hasn’t heard back.

He wanted to make one or two things known, such as: “Jarrett Hurd has a right to change his mind. Maybe he changed his mind, thinking ‘I need more time with a new coach.’ I’m not saying nothing bad about Jarrett Hurd. But some people are misdirecting things.” By that, he means that he sees and hears the chatter; people speculating. That speculation centers around Team Williams’ demand that anyone they fight agree to stringent PED testing for three months or more. Anything other than that leaves wiggle room, not in a good way, where shortcut-seekers could use chemical enhancements, derive benefits, then pass a PED test because red-flag agents have left their system. And Edwards again reiterated that he is not one of the speculators. “I’m not concluding, insinuating or assuming Hurd doesn’t wanna test and that’s why a rematch is not happening,” Edwards stated, firmly.

I put in a request to PBC’s media department for a statement from Hurd or Team Hurd, regarding their side of why a rematch isn’t occurring at the end of the year. A spokesman noted that this fight hadn’t been made fully, so there’s not much to say from the PBC side. I furnished questions to a media relations rep for Hurd on Thursday daytime and will insert a response when furnished.

Photo by Stephanie Trapp

So, Edwards seems in acceptance mode that J-Rock will now be hunting for a new dance partner. “I saw on social media Hurd was training in Colorado, talking about getting a KO. But, as a competitor, he has a right to change to his mind. I have no idea why he doesn’t wanna fight.”

So, Plan B it is…. Edwards is thinking Williams sticks to part of the plan, fights in November or December, against foe TBD. Platform and venue TBD. Then, ideally, get a “W”, and look to scrap, maybe on PPV, with the winner of the Tony Harrison versus Jermell Charlo rematch, which still needs cementing.

“So we can do part of the plan, we will find the opponent, and we wish Hurd the best of luck,” said Edwards in closing.

“It’s ridiculous anyone saying that Jarrett Hurd was slandered by us asking him to test. Testing should be standard in boxing. I never take offense when someone asks my guy to test. Who would be offended by that?”



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