2020 has already given us a big upset. Unified WBA/IBF super welterweight champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams had a disastrous Philly homecoming as unheralded Jeison Rosario dropped and battered him for a fifth-round technical knockout win.
Initially, Williams outboxed Rosario with the straight right hand as the primary weapon. But Rosario’s power was also apparent early, most notably when he clipped Williams with his own straight right in the final moments of round two. In the corner, a leaking cut flowed above Williams’s left eye.
From the third round, Rosario was focused on knocking out the new champion. His power jab and counters were thunderous shots. The crowd, which had expected a showcase homecoming for their native son, began murmuring with nervous energy.
The omen proved right when the fighters began exchanging hooks in the fifth. Williams got the worst of it and staggered backward into a left hook and several overhand rights. Rosario bludgeoned him with more shots along the ropes until Williams grabbed him= and collapsed to the canvas.
Williams’s fall was a borderline knockdown, but it mattered little — the end was clearly in sight. A massive right uppercut and left hook sent Williams reeling sideways, giving the ref ammo to call it off.
Williams was one fight removed from his career-best win and 2019 Fight of the Year contender against Jarrett Hurd. A lucrative matchup against WBC titleholder Jermell Charlo was agreed to had Williams emerged victorious tonight. Should J-Rock not exercise his rematch clause, it may very well be Rosario who gets the opportunity to unify three of the division’s titles by this summer.