Editorials

Julian “J-Rock” Williams Takes Center Stage on PBC

Julian Williams - Stephanie Trapp
Photo by Stephanie Trapp

The junior middleweight division is now in flux for the first time since Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Canelo Alvarez in their 2013 showdown for the WBC’s version of the 154-pound crown.

While an official announcement by the WBC will not be made until November, and the WBA’s plan to vacate its variant coming at their own whim, a young crowd of hungry contenders begins to circle.

Perhaps the most talented in this crop of next gens is Julian Williams (20-0-1, 12 KOs). A boxer-puncher with a deliberate step to his grind, “J-Rock” is not only primed for 154-pound ascension, but he has the skill set to take the boxing world by storm. On a recent episode of the Tale of the Tape Boxing Podcast, I ranked Williams as the No. 5 prospect in all of boxing.

Coming off of a dominant sixth-round stoppage against Arman Ovsepyan back in June, Williams takes the stage as the main attraction for the first time since controversial boxing power broker, Al Haymon launched his Premier Boxing Champions series. The platform, Toe-to-Toe Tuesday’s on Fox Sports 1.

Williams will be joined by unyielding journeyman, Luciano Cuello (35-3-17, KOs). The experienced Argentine looks to throw J-Rock off course with his pressure style and lunch-pail mentality. Cuello is regarded by many pundits to be Williams’ proverbial “toughest test to date.”

Cuello has shown a high level of effectiveness against top level adversaries. During scraps with two of his toughest opponents to date, Willie Nelson and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Cuello was able to dictate the pace early in both fights. It wasn’t until both Chavez and Nelson began to box from the outside that Cuello was outmatched.

Fortunately for the prospect from Philadelphia, Williams has a diverse skill-set ready made for the come-forward style of Luciano Cuello. J-Rock will find two methods most useful in this step-up fight–blast the challenger out with power and accuracy like Canelo did in his bout with Cuello, or utilize his innate boxing IQ and slowly dissect the Argentine.

Either way, J-Rock cannot allow the rugged Cuello to dictate the pace and punch output. Look for J-Rock to make a statement in his new headlining role with the PBC.

J-Rock has been jawing back and forth with fellow Haymonite and former champ Austin Trout for a while now. Coming off of an impressive victory just a few weeks back on the very same PBC platform, Trout and Williams seem to be on a collision coarse with one another.

If Williams should get through Cuello as expected on Tuesday, perhaps it’s J-Rock and Trout for Mayweather’s impounded green strap?

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