Julian “J-Roc” Loses – When Will Philadelphia Jinx End?
By: Ken Hissner
The “Philadelphia Jinx” continued Saturday night in L.A. when No. 1 IBF contender Julian “J-Roc” Williams was stopped by IBF champion Jermall Charlo in 5 rounds. Many in Philadelphia felt Williams had a good chance of ending the jinx and winning the title. That was then and now is now.
The once city of “Brotherly Love” or better “Brotherly Shove” still has Danny “Swift” Garcia who tries to unify his WBC title against WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman on March 4th. One of his WBC contenders is “The New” Ray Robinson ranked No. 5 from Philadelphia who is biting at the bit hoping he gets the winner of that fight.
In February of 2016 “Hammerin” Hank Lundy was stopped by WBC/WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford. In April Eric “Outlaw” Hunter lost a winnable fight to Lee Selby for his IBF featherweight title after having Selby on the canvas. Neither Lundy nor Hunter are going to win a “congeniality” award. Also, in 2016 two-time IBF cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham tried winning the WBO title but lost to Krzysztof Glowacki in April. At 40 Cunningham is no longer in any of the rankings.
In 2015 heavyweight Bryant “By By” Jennings got a pair of title bouts. First losing to Wladimir Klitschko for his titles in April and then to Louis Ortiz for his WBA interim title in December. Jennings does remain No. 5 in the WBC.
Maybe he can get a shot at Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder since Wilder never defends against anyone in the top 4 of the WBC.
In his last fight former world middle and light heavyweight champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins lost WBA/IBF titles in November of 2014 being shut-out by Sergey Kovalev the then only WBO champion.
Though living in Hockessin, DE, for years Hopkins is still known as a “Philly fighter” and will be having his “last” fight on December 17th a month away from his 52nd birthday and having not fought in two years against Joe Smith, Jr.
Going back to January of 2013 Philly’s Gabe “King” Rosado by-passed fighting for the super welterweight title to take on Gennady “GGG” Golovkin for his middleweight titles. It took two workers to clean up the ring that Rosado left quite a bit of his blood. At least he fought one of the best in the world at the time.
Going back to June 2012 Mike “MJ” Jones looked like he would be a sure winner taking on former IBF super lightweight champion Randall “The Knockout King” Bailey for the vacant IBF welterweight title but was knocked out!
In 2011 Rogers “Tiger” Mtagwa got a title fight losing to WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez. In the previous year Mtagwa lost to Yuriorkis Gamboa in January of 2010 for his WBA title. He was stopped both times.
At present besides Jennings Philadelphia has three contenders. Robinson at No. 3 and unbeaten Jesse “Hard Work” Hart who is No. 1 in the WBO, No. 5 WBC and No. 11 in the WBA. He just made his return to the ring with a victory after being on the sidelines with a hand injury. Hart has all the tools but sometimes thinks he’s like his dad Eugene “Cyclone” Hart and is also a knockout fighter instead of a boxer-fighter with the size to do both in the super middleweight division.
Another is super featherweight Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 24-4-1 (5) who is on a 17 fight winning streak since losing to current IBF world champion Jose Pedraza. Farmer in Ranked No. 3 in the WBC, No. 7 IBF and No. 10 WBO.
Philadelphia is full of prospects such as super lightweight 20 year-old Milton “El Santo” Santiago at 16-0 but with only 3 knockouts. Since losing his head trainer “Bozy” Ennis he has failed to impress in his last 3 fights. His father took over and seems to be trying to make his son more of a puncher. Remember the name Cesar Cuenca of Argentina who was 48-0 with TWO knockouts when he lost fighting for the world time? You don’t always have to have a lot of KO’s on your record to be a champion.
What this writer calls the “Fab Four” are now 21-0-1 since turning professional in 2016. It includes at the top is welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 7-0 (6), with Christian Carto at 5-0 (5) in the bantamweight division, heavyweight Darmani “Tight” Rock, 6-0 (4), and super lightweight Joshua Jones, 3-0-1 (2).
Besides these four are the Pizarro brothers, super bantamweight Angel 2-0 (1) at 21 and 17 year-old lightweight Branden 1-0 who are schedule on December 16th to fight on a Philadelphia card at the Sugar House Casino along with Carto and Ennis. Super bantamweight Manny Folly is on the card at 8-0 (6), but being a Philadelphia policeman has not made him as available as if he was a boxer alone.
Let’s hope 2017 is a better year for the “Philadelphia Jinx” to be abolished!