Williams making first defense of his title
By Jeff Jowett
Time was when Philly fighters were notorious for expending their careers battling each other in contests for little more than bragging rights.
These fights were so intense that they didn’t leave much on the table. Even sparring sessions in the gyms became the stuff of legends. There would be the occasional visit to the Big Apple, where it just wasn’t the same.
Times have changed.
Philadelphia is still an active fight town, but mostly on a club level. It’s the virtual age, and more fights are on cell phones than free home TV. Young talent is typically spotted while still amateurs, and spirited away by corporate management to convenient venues of little local import.
So it was with Julian Williams, a storied amateur who had one local bout in 2010 before leaving for parts like Tunica, Oklahoma City, Montreal and Las Vegas. Now totaling 27-1-1 (16 KOs), Williams has appeared only twice in Philly, four more time in the Greater-Philly area.
But this Saturday, Jan. 18, Williams will make the first defense of his WBA/IBF/WBO Super Welter World Title against Jeison Rosario, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center - just blocks from the legendary Blue Horizon.
Williams won the title nine months ago from Jarrett Hurd in a thriller in Fairfax, VA. The fight was low in marquee terms, given away on free home TV. But it was one of the best fights in ’19! And semi-miraculously, didn’t end in a bad decision!
Fighting out of a shallow stance, Williams kept a constant controlled pressure on the powerful, bigger and game Hurd, wearing him down and battering him in the late rounds. Williams showed both good boxing skills for the purist and a punishing attack for the more excitable.
Williams’ opponent Rosario of Santo Domingo, has one loss in 21 professional fights. Dominicans don’t generally fare well outside of the DR, and Rosario appears to be the underdog here.
But he does have some good wins on US turf after being stopped for his only loss by Nathaniel Gallimore in his US debut. Gallimore fought similarly to Williams in the Hurd fight, applying pressure and forcing the tall Rosario back.
He wasn’t as sharp as Williams, and this one looks like a hometown crowd pleaser with Williams relentlessly wearing Rosario down and stopping him in a later round.