By: Hans Themistode
For the first time since being knocked off the super welterweight division mountain top, Julian Williams will return to the ring. The Philadelphia native is set to take on fringe contender Brian Mendoza on June 26th, at the State Farm Arena, in Atlanta Georgia.
For Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs) he’ll look to become a major player in the division once again. At 31 years of age, Williams is fresh off suffering the most embarrassing defeat of his career. After winning both the IBF and WBA 154 pound titles as a heavy underdog against former champion Jarrett Hurd, Williams was set to give his hometown fans a show as he took on Jeison Rosario at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
Although he was expected to take care of business rather easily, Rosario proved to be better than advertised as he manhandled Williams, stopping him in the fifth round. Following his brutal defeat, Williams opted against having an immediate rematch and instead, decided to have facial surgery. Now, with roughly a year and a half on the sidelines, Williams couldn’t be happier with his impending return.
“This has been the longest layoff of my career, so I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Williams. “Mendoza is a decent fighter. I’ve even been in the gym with him and he’s a good guy. But on June 26, it’s going to be all business.”
Mendoza, 27, will look to cause a seismic upset of his own. In his most recent outing against journeymen Thomas Lamanna, Mendoza (19-1, 13 KOs) easily picked up the win over the course of ten rounds.
With Williams knowing exactly what it feels like to let his guard down, he doesn’t intend on looking past his opponent this time around. While Mendoza may not be the biggest name in the division, the former unified titlist knows something bigger will be awaiting him if he can pick up the win.
“I just need to come out on top. He doesn’t have anything that I haven’t seen before. I know he’ll be ready because this is like the Super Bowl for him. So I know he’ll be ready, but I’ll be ready too. If I’m able to get the win, then it’s on to bigger and better opportunities. But I’m definitely not looking past Brian because I know how seriously he’s taking this fight.”
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