By: Sean Crose
Julian “J Rock” Williams earned more good will among boxing fans in a single night than most fighters could probably earn throughout a career. Having been seen as a legitimate rising start in the junior middleweight division, William’s upward trajectory came to a sudden and seemingly permanent halt when the Philly based fighter was bested by Jermall Charlo late in 2016. Rather than fall apart, however, Williams decided to grow form the experience. “I just dusted myself off,” Williams recalled years later. “It was just another fight to me.” That mentality served the man well. For when Williams faced the highly regarded Jarret Hurd last spring – he dominated. What’s more, he earned himself the WBA and IBF junior middleweight titles.
A rematch was expected but has yet to come to fruition. Therefore, Williams will be making the first defense of his belts Saturday night in his hometown of Philadelphia, at the Liacouras Center, in a scheduled twelve rounder that will be aired live on Fox. The 27-1-1 William’s opponent will be the largely unknown but talented Jeison Rosario, a 19-1-1 contender who can hit hard and who employs sound footwork in the ring. Few may be giving Rosario a chance, but the native of the Dominican Republic is a dedicated professional and, at the age of 24, is nothing if not determined to shock the world this weekend. Rosario’s last fight was a split decision win over Jorge Cota last April.
The interim WBA junior lightweight title will also be at stake this weekend when the undefeated Brooklyn based fighter Chris Colbert takes on the 23-3 Jezzrel Corrales in a scheduled 12 rounder. At 13-0, Colbert is confident, funny, and eager to take on Leo Santa Cruz in the future. First, though, Colbert will have to get past Corrales, who has already held a world title in the same division. Although he’s been knocked out by Alberto Machado and dropped a split decision loss to Ladarius Miller his last time in the ring, Corrales is an experienced vet who knows how to get the big win.
Rising middleweight Joey Spencer will also appear on the PBC card. The 19 year old already has a 9-0 record, with 7 knockouts to his name. The Californian will be facing the 13-3-2 Erik Spring in a scheduled 6 rounder. The 35 year old Spring’s last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Courtney Pennington last September. Spencer’s last bout was a September knockout of Travis Gambardella.
The Williams-Rosario card is being presented by Premiere Boxing Champions and will be aired live on Fox starting at 8pm Eastern Standard Time on Saturday.