Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
PHILADELPHIA — Rising undefeated contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams is one win away from his dream of fighting for a major title. On Saturday, he faces Marcello Matano in a 154-pound eliminator for the IBF strap held by Jermall Charlo. The Showtime card will also air Antoine Douglas taking on Avtandi Khurtsidze, and Tony Harrison facing off against Fernando Guerrero.
Williams and his trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards had the below comments about their matchup and future world title hopes.
I am extremely focused. There is a lot at stake this Saturday. I am finally in the position I wanted to be in since turning pro.
I have come to a conclusion that if people don’t have to fight Julian Williams then they won’t. It hasn’t been that frustrating though because I always have a fight on the books. I can’t worry about the people who won’t fight me. I just have to stay ready and put myself in the mandatory spot. That’s what I am going to do on Saturday night.
It’s never any challenge fighting at home. I know exactly what I have to do. I don’t cut any corners in camp. The biggest challenge is the waiting because I am so anxious to get in there and get a win, especially in front of my home crowd.
I always knew I wanted to pursue a boxing career, so I treat it like I want it. I’ve been dreaming about this for a long time and my opportunity is finally here.
I’ve been a student of the game since I started watching boxing. I want to learn and I want to know everything about boxing.
It means everything to have my biggest fight to date in my backyard. I know my fans cheer loud and it feels great to have their support in my corner.
I know everything about my opponent. I probably know what kind of toothpaste he used this morning. I searched high and low for videos of Matano. I am ready because I know he is ready.
He is a little bit awkward. He seems to have a really good gas tank. He said he wants to take me the distance, so we’ll see.
The last fight solidified the things that I already knew about myself. I know I am fundamentally sound and I know I am the hungriest fighter in the world.
I always want to put on an explosive performance. It’s always about a win.
In about nine months, Philadelphia will have it’s fourth IBF super welterweight champion after David Reid, Robert Hines and Buster Drayton.
We are ready. It’s been a long four-month camp. We thought were going to fight in January, so we’ve been grinding through this rough weather early in the morning. Julian is chomping at the bit and ready to rock ‘n roll.
We thought we were going to fight Austin Trout in December, and he saw that Julian gave his opponent a concussion and said I don’t want to fight him. It’s just that simple. We have to get past Matano and then we can talk about (super welterweight champion Jermall) Charlo.
Anybody with two hands and a heartbeat can fight. Matano is ranked and just because he isn’t well known, it doesn’t mean he can’t fight. He is 16-1 and they didn’t have a hard time convincing him to take the fight. The best soldiers are volunteers. Any time someone willingly comes to someone else’s country, you have to take him seriously.
I don’t want to make a prediction, but Julian will hurt this guy very bad.