[image credit : Stephanie Trapp/TGB/Promotions]
Bernard Hopkins is somewhere shaking his head. The proud Philadelphia bred Hall-of-Fame-bound boxer has now seen two local fighters lose in consecutive Saturdays. One week after Joe Smith Jr. topped Philly's Jesse Hart on ESPN, Julian “J-Rock” Williams was supposed to bring glory back to the area by defending his IBF/IBO/WBA titles at home in a showcase fight on FOX.
Jeison Rosario had other plans.
The tough, rugged Dominican Republic brawler made it clear very early on he was no soft touch! Forcing J-Rock to fight off his back-foot from the onset. In the second round, Rosario landed a clean right hook opening up a nasty cut above J-Rocks eye.
J-Rock displayed some of the mettle that made him a champion in the 3rd and 4th rounds, but any little success was quickly extinguished by the bigger Rosario. Both men were exchanging halfway through the 5th round when Rosario landed a right cross to J-Rocks temple, followed by a left to body making way to a hybrid upper/hook punch catching J-Rock flush on the chin.
The champion was hurt bad!
After some roughhousing dropped J-Rock the action commenced, only for Rosario to unload a barrage of punches on J-Rock pinning him on the ropes. Shortly after, the ref was forced to stop the fight as J-Rock was on shaky legs and unable to defend himself.
That was J-Rocks immediate reaction while still in the arms of veteran referee Benjy Esteves. The super Welterweight Division (154lbs) has a new landlord.
Jeison “Banana” Rosario (20-1-1 14KOs) was understandably emotional afterwards, tears flowing while his father embraced him. His family in the stands jubilant! “I’m so emotional in this moment right now” confessed the new unified IBF/IBO/WBA Champion Rosario in the ring to FOX’s reporter.
The consummate professional Julian “J-Rock” Williams (27-2-1 16KOs) made no excuses. “I wasn’t surprised he was so good. I told everybody he’s a real fighter. I have to accept it…He was the better fighter tonight. We have a rematch clause. I’ll see him again real soon.”
It only took 18 days into the new year for boxing to have a major upset! J-Rock was a 30-1 betting favorite on some sites! Massive odds! Personally, I’m still in shock. J-Rock is a great guy who I had the chance to interview at the Spence vs Porter fight in Los Angeles. Very well spoken, took time to speak with everyone, polite and smart. The same goes for his trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards who is highly regarded in boxing circles. I’m intrigued how J-Rock and Breadman will approach the rematch considering this was no lucky punch. Rosario was bigger, stronger and forced the action on J-Rock.
Maybe it was the dreaded hometown distractions, but whatever the case, team J-Rock will have their work cut out for them. Credit to the new Champion Rosario and boxing in the year 2020, has its biggest upset!
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