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Jermall Charlo ruins Julian Williams quest for 154 supremacy with a remarkable KO, says super welterweight may still be a fit.
Los Angeles – Leading up to their super welterweight IBF title fight mandatory Julian “J Rock” Williams reiterated he’d been avoided by the Houston, TX champion. Jermall Charlo’s camp lobbied that the showdown needed a bigger purse, and hinted that a move to middleweight was imminent. Once the round one bell rang the narrative quickly became: fight fans are in for some highly skilled boxing at 154-pounds.
Surprisingly, the feeling out period in the first round was quite brief, and both Charlo and Williams opened the fight in a very busy fashion over the first half of the round. Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs) went about establishing his vaunted jab. Williams (22-1-1, 14 KOs) gradually started putting together a counter right hand in response to Charlo’s lengthy jab.
From the solid action in round one, the work rates escalated quickly in the second round where the first of three knockdowns by Charlo occurred. A stiff well-timed jab caught Williams squarely on the chin, and the force sent the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native down to the canvas. Williams wasted little time getting back to his feet, and as the action resumed Charlo studied his opponent to determine exactly how hurt he was before moving in for a finish. Williams defended himself well enough until he recovered his faculties, and managed to ward off Charlo’s attack by catching him with a solid overhand right. Williams response to an early knockdown was reminiscent of Andre Ward’s similar situation against Sergey Kovalev just a few weeks, and Williams resumed fighting with a renewed sense of confidence.
Throughout the fourth round the challenger lived up to his pre-fight analysis that he possessed a hand speed advantage in this match up, and he scored effectively and often with his right hand, somewhat slowing down Charlo’s left jab. The champion remained patient, figuring out the right adjustment.
In the fifth round the emboldened Williams began staying in the pocket a little too much – a byproduct of the success from the fourth round. The beginning of ending started as Williams stepped in for a 1-2 combination that landed on the gloves of Charlo, but instead of backing up the champion stood in, immediately firing back a vicious right uppercut that snapped Williams head back before he fell forward onto his face. Amazingly, a wobbly legged-legged Williams beat the count but as soon referee Wayne Hedgepeth motioned the fighters to continue, Charlo stepped forward with a flurry of punches that culminated with a left uppercut that ended the night for Williams.
Williams showed his inexperience in dealing with being severely hurt by not clinching Charlo to buy himself some time, but Charlo’s finishing attack was under total control as he stepped in and out as he punched – making it difficult for the hurt opponent to grab him.
The fans in attendance went wild at fight’s explosive conclusion, the co-feature to Jesus Cuellar-Abner Mares fight delivered, and temporarily the super welterweight had itself a full-fledged brand new star. That was until Julian Williams got up off his stool at the center of the ring, and made his way over to congratulate an emotional Jermall Charlo. Charlo unexpectedly scoffed at Williams’ congratulations and attempted embrace, and the USC Galen Center crowd was unforgiving as they continued to shower the Houston champion through the announcement of the decision – and even moments later through the post-fight interview.
Charlo admitted to Showtime’s Jim Gray that he was in his feelings at the end of the fight, and that he turned Williams away because he was repeatedly disrespected by Williams and his camp. He added that he’d earned his world champion status the right way, and went on to remind the crowd and viewers that he spoke with his hands and the big knockout finish. Charlo exited the arena to loud booing from the crowd and was even showered with beverages, but once back into the dressing area the two fighters briefly shared an embrace and exchanged a few words of respect.
Later in the evening the two rivals would share an even more civil moment per BoxingScene.
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) December 11, 2016
The final fireworks of the fight happened as Jermall Charlo and his team issued several challenges to “Cinnamon” – Golden Boy’s face of boxing Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Prior to last night the 154-pound division regarding Alvarez seemed to solely be discussed as Prince & The Revolution or Alvin & The Chipmunks. For the past 24 months it’s almost been as if there was Alvarez sitting at super welterweight, and then several levels below there is this cast of little known extras. In fact, the main talk surrounding Golden Boy’s cash cow is the highly anticipated mega fight with Gennady Golovkin that will possibly be held at 160-pounds.
After last night’s electric knock out of a bona fide top 10 super welterweight maybe Jermall Charlo will get his shot at an elite pay per view worthy bout. Or, maybe Houston’s 26-year old Hitman will move on up to 160-pounds and create his own lane for “lion’s only.”