[ Story and photos by Rick Pettine ]
January 18, 2020 – PHILADELPHIA –– Temple University’s Liacouras Center was the host venue for the World Super Welterweight Championship and World Super Featherweight Championship boxing matches. But a hopeful homecoming win for West Philadelphia native and World Super Welterweight champ Julian “J-Rock” Williams ended as a title loss to Jeison Rosario from the Dominican Republic.
Lennox Lewis and other boxing legends came out to Broad Street for a full day of professional boxing. The 3 main bouts included the 2 championship title fights.
The first of the main match-ups was a bout between Joey Spencer from Michigan and Erik Spring from Reading, PA. The unanimous decision for the non-title Super Welterweight bout went to Spencer after the full 6 rounds. “At the end I really just pressed him, said I’m going to finish strong, and hit him with some good shots and if I had done that in the first or second round, I would have ended it early”, noted Spencer.
Next up was the World Super Featherweight Championship match, which was a vacated title. This pitting flashy Chris Colbert from Brooklyn, NY against Jezreel Corrales from Panama. Colbert won the unanimous decision of the 12-round match. “The strategy was to use my jab like I did and try to set up my punches”, said Colbert. “But he’s very awkward and has good distance. Slowly but surely I decided to stop boxing, close the distance and get on him. I knew he couldn’t out throw me, I’m from Brooklyn.”
Then came the featured match with reining World Super Welterweight champion Julian Williams against Jeison Rosario from the Dominican Republic. Everyone knew this was going to be a tough match for Williams as he defended his title in from of his hometown Philly crowd.
Williams started off the fight strong, but was cut above his eye in round one. Rosario slowly turned up the heat and dominated Williams until the 5th round (of a scheduled 12-rounder) when Williams went down after a flurry of punches landed in the corner. The referee then stopped the fight, handing the technical knock out and title over to Rosario.
“I wasn’t surprised he was so good”, said Williams. “I told everybody he’s a real fighter. I have to accept it. The cut blurred my vision a little bit but it wasn’t the reason why I lost. He was the better fighter tonight. We’ve got a rematch clause. I’ll see him again soon. I’ll be back.”
Williams added “Rosario was the better man tonight. It was a great homecoming for my fans and I’m sorry I let them down. What went wrong tonight needs to and will be fixed. We’re going to an immediate rematch and we look forward to returning the favor.”
“I’m so emotional in this moment right now”, said Rosaio. “When I lost my last fight I said I will never lose again until I become champion of the world and that’s what happened tonight. I came prepared. I knew before the fight that I was going to win it.”
Rosario added “I have to give a lot of credit to my team. I had a 16-week training camp and that prepared me for this. My life is changed forever and I can support my family in a whole new way.”
Additional photos of the matches are below: