Julian “J Rock” Williams Zeroes In On Legacy Defining Fight with Jermall Charlo

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PHILADELPHIA (MAY 31, 2016)–On May 21, three of the four world championships in the hot junior middleweight division were contested as Erislandy Lara defended his WBA title with a unanimous decision over Vanes Martirosyan; Jermall Charlo defended his IBF title with a unanimous decision over former champion Austin Trout and Jermell Charlo scored a come-from-behind stoppage over John Jackson to capture the WBC belt.

Sitting ringside was IBF number-one ranked contender, undefeated Julian “J Rock” Williams.  Williams was a very interested observer and was interviewed on the SHOWTIME ®  broadcast with his thoughts on the happenings of the evening.

 “Jermell did his thing. I thought he was losing but Jermell has a clutch gene. He comes through in close fights. He knows what it’s like to be in tough. He’s doing well under Derrick James. He looked better on TV than he did live at the fight. He was losing but he was walking Jackson down. The sand was running out of the hour glass for Jackson. Jermell can punch better than his record indicates. And that style would be better for him because people always called him boring but it was nothing boring about the KO,” said Williams.

“Lara did what he always does. He boxed and moved and he won.”  

” I honestly didn’t think Trout would last with Jermall. I was surprised at how competitive that fight was. Jermall has every advantage over Trout on paper but fights aren’t won on paper. Trout proved something. I was actually going to congratulate him but I heard him say to Jermall “smack J Rock for me”. I don’t know what’s up with these guys. He had a chance to fight me for a whole year and he asked another man to smack me. But that’s old news Trout is out of the picture.” 

With that being, said the undefeated fighter from Philadelphia is focused in bring back the hardware back to the “City of Brotherly Love.”

“My focus is on Jermall Charlo. It’s going to be a great fight. I think he’s a heck of a fighter. This is legacy defining. This is a real number-one contender against a real champion. This is a real mandatory. This is like Bernard Hopkins having to defend against Jermain Taylor. Or Jermain Taylor having to defend against Kelly Pavlik. Or Felix Trinidad having to fight Oba Carr. This is a real fight and I’m excited. I’m excited to test my skills against one of the best young fighters in the game. 

Even though, Williams was ringside, he just wanted to observe and take mental notes of the perspective future opponents.

“I didn’t get in the ring like Charles Hatley did because that’s not my style. Hatley is a talented fighter.  I remember him from the amateurs but to each his own. Jermall and Jermell deserve respect and most importantly I know the difference between the two brothers. Hatley got in the ring with Jermall who has to fight me, instead of Jermell who has to fight him. That was Jermall’s moment to shine he had just won a tough fight. Everybody knows he has to fight me. There would be no need for me to get in the ring.” 

Even though Williams has been avoided, the powers that be in boxing can not keep Williams from realizing his dreams, and that opportunity will be coming sooner rather than later.

“From my understanding we have to come to an agreement in June. I believe in the IBF. They seem to enforce their mandatory bouts. The IBF did not rank me number-one, not to have me fight for their belt. Jermall said making weight wasn’t that bad. He hired a chef. I know he’s prideful. He’s a champion. He feels he’s better than me, I feel I’m better than him. There is only one way to prove it. Let’s fight.” 

I can’t get into details but I believe the fight will be in September as the co- main to a BIG card. I’m super excited to finally get this opportunity.

Photos: Julian Williams Stops Marcello Matano. “Jermall Charlo Needs to Fight Me or Vacate Now”.

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JULIAN WILLIAMS KNOCKS OUT MARCELLO MATANO,  CALLS OUT WORLD CHAMPION JERMALL CHARLO SATURDAY NIGHT ON SHOWTIME®

Avantil Khurtsidze Shocks Previously Unbeaten Antoine Douglas,
Tony Harrison Dominates Fernando Guerrero In Action-Packed Tripleheader

Catch The SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION Replay 

This Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT On SHO EXTREME®

Click HERE For Photos From Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BETHLEHEM, PA. (March 6, 2016) –Julian Williams secured the IBF’s No. 1 position at 154 pounds and called out Junior Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo after an impressive seventh-round TKO of Italian Marcello Matano Saturday on SHOWTIME from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa. VIDEO OF WILLIAMS CALLING OUT CHARLOhttp://s.sho.com/1UJo5bp

The undefeated Philadelphia native put on a clinic, breaking down his opponent from the opening bell until referee Gary Rosato stepped in to protect a defenseless Matano (16-2, 5 KOs) at 2:24 of the seventh. Williams (23-0-1, 14 KOs) utilized a steady diet of combos, jabs and body shots in the middle rounds to weaken Matano and set up the big shots to close the show in the seventh. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: http://s.sho.com/1QzbBBb

Williams landed 59 percent of his power shots, including a staggering 76 percent in the deciding seventh. 

“Maybe people will think they saw a chink in the armor tonight,” Williams said. “Maybe guys will come out from under the rock and get some of this West Philly work.

“Jermall has been watching my performances. Him and his brother know exactly who I am. He needs to fight or vacate now. He needs to step up, but he’s already laying his groundwork and making excuses. 

“Step up and fight me. It’s two of the best junior middleweights in the world. It’s about greatness. I want to be great. All of you turkeys at 154 pounds, let’s fight.”

After the fight, Matano took issue with the stoppage. 

“He was pretty fast with his jab, but I felt like I was just getting into the fight,” Matano said. “I felt the punch, but I felt like I could have kept going. I have a warrior heart and I never want to quit.

“I’m going to go back to Italy and take a little rest, then I’ll be right back in the gym. It was a wonderful experience coming here to America. I got to fight a top-echelon fighter and I feel like I belong.”

Avtandil Khurtsidze, a human brick wall barreling forward, upset previously unbeaten middleweight contenderAntoine Douglas with a thoroughly dominating 10th-round TKO. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: http://s.sho.com/21er63g

The 35-year-old “mini-Mike Tyson” plowed forward from the opening bell until the TKO at 0:33 of the 10th. The 6-foot Douglas had no answer for his 5-foot-4 opponent, a Brooklyn-based native of Georgia who is looking to become the first world champion from the former Soviet nation. 

Khurtsidze (32-2-2, 21 KOs) hurt Douglas (19-1-1, 13 KOs) with a big left in the opening seconds of the third round, sending the 23-year-old face forward through the ropes. Somehow, Douglas recovered from the first knockdown of his career and fought himself back into the fight. The Washington, D.C., native rallied to win the fourth and the fifth rounds, and the all-action sixth could have gone either way. 

Khurtsidze opened the seventh with a monstrous one-punch left to floor Douglas, who again somehow survived the round on failing legs as Khurtsidze threw over 100 total punches. Khurtsidze, who showed unbelievable stamina to push the pressure throughout, started the 10th with a relentless attack, forcing referee Benjy Esteves to stop the fight at 0:33 of the with Douglas defenseless against the ropes. 

“I knew he was going to get tired,” said Khurtsidze, who took the fight on less than three weeks notice. “I felt like I was going to catch him. He’s a good fighter, but he’s not strong.

“I knew he was going to be hungry. But I also knew that I was going to beat him. It was short notice but I did everything I could in the time we had. I stayed in the gym and stayed sharp.

“Whoever they put in front me, I’m ready for them. I love fighting. I’ll fight anybody.”

Douglas had entered the fight as a fast-rising 160-pounder on the cusp of a title shot. 

“I feel OK,” Douglas told SHOWTME Sports analyst Steve Farhood after the fight. “He definitely dictated. He definitely had a better day today. It’s not discouraging, we just weren’t able to execute. Naturally, I’m crushed. It’s back to the drawing board.”

In the opening bout of the telecast, middleweight contender Tony Harrisonlooked impressive in a sixth round TKO over former world title challengerFernando Guerrero

Harrison (23-1, 19 KOs) was the aggressor from the outset, jabbing at range to set up his favorite weapon – a powerful right. The Detroit native floored Guerrero with a big right with 15 seconds to go in the second round. The southpaw got up, but looked hurt and was saved by the bell. 

Guerrero (28-4, 20 KOs) had his moments in the fourth and fifth rounds after some heedful advice from his corner, but he couldn’t get inside to escape Harrison’s powerful right. It was a clean left hook midway through the sixth that ultimately finished Guerrero. After Harrison dropped Guerrero with the left, the Dominican Republic native beat the count but had no legs and went back to the canvas after four more consecutive shots from Harrison, forcing referee Gary Rosato to stop the bout at 1:56 of the sixth. 

“I threw punches back and I finished the rounds stronger than him,” said Harrison, who landed 57 percent of his power shots. “I dominated the fight. My dad kept telling me to put the hook behind the right hand and if I had listened to him better I could have gotten the knockout much quicker.

“I was backing him up. My game plan was to take advantage of the fact that southpaws don’t fight well going backwards. I tried to just keep putting him back and discouraging him. I told everyone I was taking the fight to him. What’s not to like about me? I’m exciting.

“I want big fights, I want to go back to Detroit and I want the Willie Nelsonrematch.”

Said Guerrero: “I wasn’t on today. He wasn’t faster than me, stronger than me or more skilled. I just locked up. I wasn’t listening to my corner, I didn’t do anything tonight.

“It just happens. Sometimes you have a bad day. Today was as bad as I could ever imagine.

“We’ll go back to the drawing board. I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. We trained so hard. He wasn’t as fast or strong as we thought he’d be. Today was a bad day for me to have a bad day.”

For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports and www.sandseventcenter.com, follow on Twitter @SHOSports, @JRockBoxing, @Action_Douglas, @IAmBoxing, @FernandoDomini, @TheSBEC and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports

Liam Smith Sets Sights on Cotto, Lara and Charlo for 2016

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World champion Liam Smith is hungry to take on boxing’s biggest names including Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto. 

The Merseyside maverick will make the first defence of his WBO light-middleweight world title, which he captured from John Thompson in spectacular fashion in October when he stopped the American inside seven rounds.

He now takes on the undefeated Jimmy Kelly exclusively live on BoxNation this Saturday night from the Manchester Arena and though he is not overlooking the Manchester man he has ambitions of sharing the ring with the division’s leading names.

“I know Kelly is going to go into the ring thinking this is his big chance but I’m not going to give him an inch the fight,” said Smith.

“I have big ambitions and I’m not going to be foolish to overlook the threat he will bring. There are some major fights for me if I come through this one and certainly Miguel Cotto is right up there as one of the names I want to face.

“Cotto’s been a great champion and to share the ring with him and beat him will take me to that next level. I definitely believe I have what it takes to overcome him because my style would cause him some big problems,” he said.

27-year-old Smith, who has a record of 21 wins unbeaten with 11 KOs, is also interested in unifying the 154-pound division with WBA champion Erislandy Lara and undefeated IBF titleholder Jermall Charlo on the list of future targets.

“2016 is going to be an even better year for me,” said Smith. “This year has been amazing by getting a shot at the world title and winning it but the next year can be something even more special.

“I’m in this sport to face the best and if the opportunity presents itself I would love to unify the titles against either Erislandy Lara or Jermall Charlo next year. Fans want to see the best fights and having all the champions face each other makes sense.

“I believe I can beat anyone in the division and I want to go in there and prove it,” he said.

Tickets for Lee v Saunders and Smith v Kelly priced from £40 are available from frankwarren.com, ticketmaster.co.uk, eventim.co.uk and manchester-arena.co.uk or watch exclusively live on BoxNation. Go to boxnaion.com to subscribe.