JULIAN WILLIAMS was involved in one of the best fights of last year. In May, the 29-year-old challenged the previously unbeaten Jarrett Hurd on away turf in Fairfax, Virginia, with the pair combining to produce a highly entertaining encounter. After 12 action-packed rounds, underdog Williams took a deserved unanimous points victory, as well as Hurd’s WBA and IBF super-welterweight straps.
A rematch between Williams and Hurd was pencilled in for late 2019, but the former titlist decided against going straight back in with his conqueror. With a sequel out of the running, Williams instead takes on Miami-based Dominican Jeison Rosario this Saturday (January 18). The site of “J Rock’s” opening title defence is the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, meaning that he will be performing in his hometown for the first time in more than eight years. TGB Promotions stage the event, while BoxNation (UK) and FOX (US) televise.
“Seeing all the stuff that I saw growing up [in Philadelphia] made me hungry, made me want to get out and make a better life for myself,” Williams said. “All you have to do is walk outside and go down Lancaster Ave. If that doesn’t act as motivation for you then nothing will.”