Photo Credit: Trapp Photos/Showtime
Be careful what you wish for. Julian “J-Rock” Williams had been chasing Jermall Charlo for a year to get a shot at the IBF title. Tonight, Charlo proved his superiority with three knockdowns to score an emphatic technical knockout.
As expected, the fight was a highly skilled technical matchup. Both fighters did well with right hand counters. Charlo’s shots landed with more authority. In contrast, Williams’ offense was more varied via his straight right and hooks to the body.
Charlo had the first big moment of the fight by flooring Williams with a stiff counter jab. Williams rose on unsteady legs, but managed to stop Charlo’s attack with a sharp right hand.
The fight resumed its tactical nature in the fourth with Williams holding a slight edge by displaying better defense and landing cleaner shots. However, his work was erased in the fifth when Charlo countered his right hand with a flush right uppercut. Williams toppled face first to the canvas. He beat the count in a daze and was quickly floored again to stop the contest.
There was a lot of animosity before fight. Charlo felt disrespected by J-Rock’s claims of being ducked and wanted no part of a post-fight peace-offering. The crowd picked up on it and booed Charlo relentlessly. Later, they could be heard chanting “Asshole!” at Charlo. The champion offered a rambling apology during his post-fight interview, but that only elicited more jeers.
For those who’ve seen some of the post-fight antics of Roberto Duran, James Toney and Erik Morales, you probably found Charlo’s antics pretty tame. Sometimes, the ill will between fighters isn’t staged. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of them don’t want to engage in faux pas hugs and kisses minutes after brutal combat.
On another note, this fight makes it clear that Charlo is a full-fledged middleweight. He towered over Williams and there was a distinct power difference. Charlo called out Canelo, but we know that fight is a pipe dream. Should he remain at 154, the only feasible fight is against Demetrius Andrade.