by: Hans Themistode
That wasn’t supposed to happen.
Julian Williams pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2019 boxing calendar, when he upset then undefeated Jr Middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd in his own hometown. Fast forward one year later, and he is on the other end. Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) marched into the hometown of Williams and ripped his IBF and WBA Jr Middleweight world titles from him. There was nothing flukey about Rosario’s win either. The better man won.
Rosario should enjoy his victory, but not for too long. He will have a long list of contenders waiting for him.
Let’s take a look at who could be next for the newly crowned champion.
At one point, Brian Castano (16-0-1, 12 KOs) was a virtual unknown. A split decision draw against Erislandy Lara, which many felt he won, quickly changed that. Although he didn’t leave with the decision he wanted, the contest did place him on the map as a serious contender. Castano was last seen in November of 2019, stopping Wale Omotoso. If Rosario is as good as he seems, then this is the fight to make.
Former WBC titlist Tony Harrison (28-3, 21 KOs) needs a fight. He put on one heck of a show against Jermell Charlo in December of 2019. Harrison is a bonafide top five fighter in the division. Rosario on the other hand, no one is really sure.
Now that Rosario holds two major titles in the division, it would lead you to believe that maybe he is the best in the weight class, but other than his fight with Williams, Rosario has fought no one else. There is no need to put the new unified champion in with a soft touch. A matchup with Tony Harrison will allow everyone to see if he really is one of the best in the division.
Truth be told, Julian Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs) doesn’t deserve a rematch with Jeison Rosario. At least not an immediate one. Outside of the fifth round, Williams actually didn’t perform badly. Yet, that aforementioned fifth round was a disaster.
The only reason why Williams is on this list is because he does have a rematch clause and following that match, he did say that he planned on exercising it very soon. Maybe Williams can prove that it was just a bad night with a win. Or maybe a rematch will only prove that Rosario is here to stay.