We might be early into the 2020 boxing calendar, but we have a possible upset of the year already.
Julian “J Rock” Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs) walked into the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a world champion. In his previous contest, Williams walked into the home of then undefeated champion Jarrett Hurd as a huge underdog.
Williams would go on to not just win that contest to become a unified Jr. Middleweight world champion, but he dominated it.
On January 18, in Philadelphia, Williams was given his own hometown title defense against the unheralded Jeison “Banana” Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs).
This was supposed to be nothing more than a showcase fight for Williams. It would allow him to put his talents on display in front of the world. That was the belief.
Instead, Rosario would hear none of it.
In the beginning of the contest, Williams looked good. He had his jab pumping and the combinations flowing.
As the contest went on however, Rosario seemed to only grow in confidence. In just the second round, Rosario managed to open up a cut on the left eyelid of Williams.
Still, Williams looked sharp, although he was getting tagged with big shots.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Rosario let off a combination of what looked like a million shots. They all landed to the head of Williams as he stumbled across the ring.
“As soon as I stepped into the ring, I knew he could not hurt me,” said Rosario. “I knew that my power was affecting him right away.”
As the champion began to tie up, he fell to the canvas, but the referee ruled that it was not a legit knockdown. Williams took an unusually long time to get back to his feet, but once he did, you just knew the fight was moments from being over.
With a ton of time left on the clock, Rosario hit Williams with a huge uppercut and followed it up with a right hand. Williams didn’t go down, but he staggered badly across the ropes as the referee stepped in to call an end to the contest.
Final Grade For Julian Williams: F
If Julian Williams hadn’t shown what he was capable of in his last contest in which he became a unified champion, then the criticism wouldn’t be as high.
After a convincing victory over Hurd, Williams was viewed as the best in the division. Nothing against Jeison Rosario, but he was not supposed to win.
As soon as the referee called an end to the contest, you could see Williams muttering the word “wow” over and over. That is the exact words everyone else was thinking after watching that performance as well.
After the bout, Williams made it clear that he looks to enact the rematch clause and plans to return the favor to Rosario.
“Rosario was the better man tonight. It was a great homecoming for my fans and I’m sorry I let them down,” said Williams. “What went wrong tonight needs to and will be fixed. We’re going to an immediate rematch and we look forward to returning the favor.”