Julian "J-Rock" Williams will defend his WBA and IBF junior middleweight titles in a Philadelphia homecoming against the hard-hitting Dominican Jeison Rosario on Saturday, January 18th in the Fox PBC Fight Night main event and on Fox Deportes from Temple University's Liacouras Center. "Julian Williams earned one of 2019's most thrilling victories in May against Jarrett Hurd, and there's no better way for him to follow that up than by defending his WBA and IBF titles in front of his hometown fans in Philadelphia," said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "The great fight fans in Philadelphia are in for fireworks because Jeison Rosario hits hard and he comes to pull off the spectacular upset, and he only needs one punch to do so. Combined with the addition of one of boxing's best young stars in Chris Colbert in his toughest test to date against Jezreel Corrales, Fox PBC Fight Night will be must watch from start to finish on January 18th at Liacouras Center."
Philadelphia's Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs) captured his world titles in May when he upset Jarrett Hurd's homecoming defense in a fight that is a frontrunner for 2019 Fight of the Year. Williams took full advantage of his second title opportunity with a spirited performance and an impressive game plan that negated the hard-charging and physically bigger Hurd.
The 29-year-old will now headline in his hometown, marking the first time he's fought in Philadelphia since a 2011 victory over Eberto Mendoza. Williams earned his title opportunity by winning four-straight fights after a defeat to Jermall Charlo in 2016, including wins over former champion Ishe Smith and Nathaniel Gallimore.
"This is going to be great having a homecoming fight back in Philadelphia," said Williams. "I'm excited for the crowd that'll be at the Liacouras Center and to be back fighting on FOX. I haven't fought in Philadelphia since 2011, so I can't wait to get back in the ring in front of all my people. Rosario is a good fighter and I'm very familiar with him. I know he packs a solid punch and that he's been on a tear ever since his lone loss to Nathaniel Gallimore. So he'll be a stiff test for me, but I'm prepared to win. Most of all, I'm just excited to defend my titles and as a unified champion in front of my hometown crowd."
Born in the Dominican Republic and now fighting out of Miami, Rosario (19-1-1, 13 KOs) will take an eight-fight unbeaten streak into his first world title fight on January 18. The 24-year-old has taken down a slew of contenders and rising prospects including Jamontay Clark, Justin DeLoach and Mark Anthony Hernandez, all of whom were either stopped or knocked down against Rosario. Most recently, Rosario won a decision over veteran contender Jorge Cota in April.
"I'm very thankful and excited for this opportunity," said Rosario. "I'm going to take advantage of it. I plan to bring these titles back to the Dominican Republic by knockout, but if I have to go 12 rounds, I'm ready. I learned a lot from my first defeat, and it will never happen again. I also want to thank PBC, my promoter Sampson Boxing and my manager Caesar Mercedes for putting in this position. I can't wait to make the most of it."