Julian Williams Returns with UD Win at 160
Overcoming an embarrassing defeat is hard for fighters at times. Losing the championship belt by brutal knockout makes it twice as difficult. Former unified junior middleweight champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams (28-3-1, 16KO) has lived through such a situation.
A LOOK BACK INTO THE PAST
In 2016, Williams fought up the ranks and suffered his first career defeat at the hands of IBF champion Jermall Charlo. It was a competitive bout up until the fifth-round stoppage. To be fair, Charlo was considered a top champion in the division.
J-Rock climbed back into title contention, and he took advantage of the opportunity with a defeat over unified champion Jarrett Hurd in 2019. He had fulfilled a career achievement and was ready to take on the world.
Yet, his celebration did not last long as he had troubles outside the ring – losing trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards. In 2021, Williams was badly defeated by relatively unknown Jeison Rosario in his first title defense.
The Philadelphia native took a long layoff before returning to the ring in defeat via split decision against a below-average Vladimir Hernandez in October 2021. At this point, many inside the boxing community believed it was time for Williams to hang up the gloves.
LOOKING TOWARD A NEW BEGINNING
On November 5, Williams, after over a one-year layoff, returned against middleweight veteran Rolando Mansilla (18-11-1, 8KO). Although it was an eight-rounder, it seems to be a good beginning for the 33-year-old fighting within the middleweight division limit.
The former unified champion seems to have found his groove again. He is boxing much better and using his footwork to create angles. Moreover, he has reunited with trainer Breadman and adopted more of a boxer’s style.
Equally important, he used the jab and fought at a calm pace en route to winning via unanimous decision. Williams is in a new space with a positive outlook. This could be a new beginning for J-Rock to become a player in the division.
By: Garrisson Bland