On January 18th the WBA Super World Super Welterweight, IBF World Super Welterweight and IBO World Super Welterweight champion Philadelphia’s Julian “J Rock” Williams will be making his first title defense at the Liacouras Center (Temple U), in North Philadelphia, promoted by TGB Promotions – Tom Brown and Kings Promotions – Marshall Kauffman.
Back in December of 2016 this writer wrote for Doghouse Boxing and Julian J Rock” Williams, then 21-0-1, was about to get his first world title fight against the now WBC World Middleweight champion Jermall “Hit Man” Charlo, then 24-0. He lost for the only time in his career to Charlo who was the IBF World Super Welterweight champion. I predicted Williams to be a world champion after this fight and only missed it by 27 months.
Williams, 27-1-1 (16), learned plenty from that fight and went onto win his next six fights. The last one was on May 11th, 2019 when he became the WBA Super World, IBF World and IBO World Super Welterweight champion defeating Jarrett “Swift” Hurd, then 23-0, over 12 rounds, by scores of 116-111, and 115-112 twice! Philly is known for good fighters but few world champions in the 2000’s. Currently Tevin “American Idol” Farmer is the IBF World Super Featherweight champion winning that title in August of 2018. He’s from Philly and trains in Cherry Hill, NJ.
On May of 2019 on the same card as Williams Philly’s Steph “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton won the IBO World Super Bantamweight championship in Fairfax, VA. On January 18th at the Liacouras Center (Temple U), in Philadelphia Fulton was to be the co-feature to Main Event’s Williams both in their first title defenses. Fulton is no longer on the card but defending his IBO title on January 25th at Barclay Center, in Brooklyn, NY, promoted by TGB Promotions – Tom Brown.
Former WBC World Welterweight champion Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia is scheduled in another bout on the Barclay card. The third bout on the card has the fighter Williams took the titles from in Hurd against Francisco “Chia” Santana who drew with Williams back in 2011. Williams remains in the Main Event defending against the No. 5 ranked IBF and the No. 9 ranked WBA contender Dominican Jeison Rosario, 19-1-1 (13), out of Miami, FL. Since his only loss he is 7-0-1. Rosario’s only loss is to Nathaniel “Nate the Great” Gallimore who Williams defeated in April of 2018.
Williams is managed and trained by Stephen “Breadman” Edwards at the James Shuler Memorial Gym on Brooklyn Street off Lancaster Avenue, in Philly, owned and operated by PAB HOF inductee Buster Custus. He named the gym after former world title challenger the late James “Black Gold” Shuler, whose brother and former fighter Marty is a trainer there. Fulton also trains there.
Former IBF World Super Welterweight champion Buster Drayton of Philadelphia back in 2016 said “Julian has all the tools and needs to know when to use them!” He now knows “when to use them!” Another former IBF Super Welterweight champion Robert “Bam Bam” Hines is also one of the trainers in that now famous gym.
This writer saw Williams in the amateurs and the first thing I thought was “he means to hurt you with every punch!” I saw him sparring with then world contender Mike “MJ” Jones from Philly back around 2015 and you didn’t know which one was the world contender.
Williams is “Philly Old School” trained by one of the premier trainers in Philly, in Edwards. Williams is “so focused” when he is in the ring and a real “crowd pleaser!”
Through Edwards I was able to ask him and Williams some questions about their training for the future fight on January 18th.
KEN HISSNER: I imagine the fighter you won the title from, Jarrett “Swift” Hurd, is looking for a rematch. Matter of fact he is fighting Francisco Santana, 25-7-1 (12), on January 25th in NY, who you fought to a draw in your seventh fight in 2011. Hurd is ranked No. 4 IBF and No. 1 in the WBA. I know you don’t want to look past the upcoming fight but I gather a rematch with Hurd is in the future wouldn’t you say?
J-ROCK: At this point I do not know if I will fight Hurd again. His clause was for an immediate rematch.
KEN HISSNER: How many weeks have you been in training since winning the title seven months ago?
J-ROCK: I started training in July.
KEN HISSNER: Who have you had your fighter sparring with for his upcoming fight?
BREADMAN: I don’t like to give the names of the sparring partners because opposing teams may be able to get info out of them.
KEN HISSNER: When did you start training and managing him?
KEN HISSNER: Have both of you seen Rosario in action?
J-ROCK & BREADMAN: Rosario is a solid fighter. He has good size and power and he seems to be improving.
KEN HISSNER: There have been few world title fights in Philly in the past 10 years. We have including you 3 world champions and a former welterweight champion in Danny “Swift” Garcia. You haven’t fought in Philly since September of 2011 in your ninth fight so what are your feelings returning to fight at home?
J-ROCK: I asked for it. I am very excited but level headed.
KEN HISSNER: Who will you have working with you in the corner for this upcoming fight?
BREADMAN: Same as always, Me, Aasim Beyah and Mike Rodriguez.
KEN HISSNER: On December 21st WBC champion Tony “Super Bad” Harrison lost his WBC World Super Welterweight to former champion Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo in a rematch. I gather than is another fighter you will be looking at for a unification bout, is that right?
BREADMAN: Yes, for sure.
KEN HISSNER: All of us in Philly are really looking forward to the “home coming of Julian “J-Rock” Williams on January 18th and wish both of you only the best and thank both of you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to Brick City Boxing.
J-ROCK & BREADMAN: Thank you.