Philly native Julian “J Rock” Williams (25-1-1, 15 KOs) faced off against Nathanial Gallimore (20-2-1, 17 KOs) in the opening bout of the Showtime Championship Boxing telecast on Saturday, April 7, 2018.
The winner of this 154-pound showdown would go on to become the IBF mandatory challenger. Leading into the fight, a war of words between both teams sparked a flame that would make for an interesting fight.
Williams, the more experienced fighter, opened the first few rounds with polished footwork and controlled the action in the ring.
Through three rounds, it seemed like the experience and skills of Williams would prove to be too much for the untested Gallimore. Round 4 would be the first round that Gallimore began to make a case for himself in the fight and continued this pace for three rounds.
The fight would be decided in the second half of the bout and at this point, Gallimore began to show signs of exhaustion. After a few rounds of setting the pace, Gallimore took quite a bit of punishment to the body from Williams and the tide turned back to his favor.
In the 11th, Williams arguably closed the show with a barrage of power punches. Gallimore proved to have a lot of heart and survived the beating. The final round showed Williams seemingly closing the show, but not taking any major risks.
The fight would go the distance and into the judge’s hands where the final scorecards read 114-114, 116-112 and 117-110, giving Williams the majority-decision win and a shot at the title. Since losing to Jermall Charlo, Williams has worked to put himself back into the class of top Junior Middleweights and this win certainly makes a case for him as one of the divisions best.
Header photo by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Peter Nieves is a sports journalist who's been writing for Round By Round Boxing since 2012. When he's not covering the sweet science, he's busy twirling his mustache and writing a screenplays. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @pnieves90