Trainer Derrick James Backs Jermell Charlo Over Jeison Rosario


By: Hans Themistode

The fans were sent home stunned when their man, former unified Jr Middleweight champion Julian Williams was stopped in the fifth round of his contest against Jeison Rosario. Odds makers tabbed Williams as a 15-1 favorite and many of his backers were already looking ahead. 

A unification clash against WBC titlist Jermell Charlo made the most sense. But first, Williams needed to take out Rosario. 

Williams stood in his corner as the punches rained down on him, forcing the referee to put a halt to the contest. Williams hometown crowd may have stood with their jaws touching the ground, but Derrick James, trainer of Charlo wasn’t as surprised.

“In boxing, like life, you never know what will happen,” James said to Boxingscene.com. “Some people get very focused. He was very focused, his skill set was great and I think he was up for that fight that day. He wasn’t gonna take a loss. He stepped up and he fought great. He fought phenomenally. It was a very competitive fight up until the third round or so. When J-Rock got cut, that’s when it started to turn a little bit, in the second round. That’s when Rosario picked it up and J-Rock kind of faded a little bit.”

Still, even with Rosario officially on the radar of both the boxing fans and his contemporaries, James is backing his man should they meet in the near future. 

“I think Jermell will win the fight. He’s a great boxer. Rosario looked really good against J-Rock [Williams], but I feel like Jermell’s gonna get him. Rosario’s a great fighter, but Jermell’s speed and his athleticism will come into play. His ability will come into play.”

Rosario made a statement on the night against Williams, but Charlo made one of his own in his last ring appearance. He dusted himself off after suffering the first defeat of his career to win the rematch against Tony Harrison via 11th round stoppage. It was a back and forth fight between the two before Charlo ended it emphatically. 

“I was pleased, especially down the stretch,” James said of Charlo’s performance. “It was a tough fight. He totally changed the fight. It was like they both pushed each other to the next level. Jermell put it together toward the end and he kept fighting in the middle rounds. Even though Tony had some good spots and some good rounds, Jermell kept fighting and started landing some shots. And then he landed that same hook he landed in the second round. It was great. I loved it.”

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