By: Ken Hissner
Philadelphia’s Julian “J Rock” Williams is gearing for WBO & IBF titles. He is ranked No. 3 in the WBO and No. 6 in the IBF. His only loss was to Jermall Charlo now the interim WBC world champion in December of 2016.
In Williams most recent fight he defeated No. 5 IBF and No. 12 WBC contender Nathaniel Gallimore, 20-1-1, on April 7th by majority decision at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV, despite being cut by an accidental clash of heads.
Latest rumor is Williams may be fighting against No. 2 ranked Takeshi Inoue, 13-0-1 (7), in an elimination to meet Jarred Hurd who is coming off the injury list.
Williams is trained by Stephen “Breadman” Edwards and trains at the James Schuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia. As an amateur Williams always had that determination to “hurt” his opponents by throwing punches with “bad intentions!” I think he has carried that over to the professional ranks.
After turning professional in May of 2010 he won his first six fights before drawing with Francisco Santana, 12-2, at the time. In his last fight in April Santana defeated Felix Diaz 19-2, and is now 25-6-1.
After the draw Williams won his next seven fights including defeating Joey Hernandez, then 24-2, and Luciano Leonel Cuello, then 35-3 for the WBC Continental Americas title. He had a no contest in the fourth round due to an accidental head butt after winning the first three rounds on all score cards against Hugo Centeno, Jr., then 19-0. Centeno’s camp would not give Williams a rematch per Williams. In Centeno’s most recent fight he was stopped by Jermall Charlo in April dropping his record to 26-2.
Williams then won his next nine fights before the Charlo loss. He’s won his last three fights including defeating Ishe Smith, then 29-8 in November of 2017.
I remember when Philadelphia’s then unbeaten Mike “MJ” Jones and Williams would spar and you didn’t know who was who because it was that even of a typical “Philly gym war” like the old days.
The contenders ahead of Williams in the IBF were Gallimore and Maciej Sulecki, 26-1, after losing to Danny Jacobs the end of April. That only leaves Kanat Slam who is No. 3 since No. 1 and 2 are vacant. I cannot find Slam in Box Rec. IBF & WBA Champion Jarrett Hurd won a split decision in his most recent defense over Erislandy Lara who was No. 4 in the WBA. Williams should be in line for Hurd’s next defense.
In the WBC where Williams is No. 1 Jermell Charlo is the champion. In the WBO No. 3 but No. 1 Liam Smith, just lost to WBO champion Jaime Mingiae and No. 2 is Ireland’s Dennis “Hurricane” Hogan, 27-1-1, fighting out of Australia. Williams could fight an eliminator with Hogan in order to get a title fight with champion Mungia.