<
>

Julian 'J Rock' Williams to defend world titles against Jeison Rosario

Unified junior middleweight world titlist Julian "J Rock" Williams is going home to Philadelphia to make his first title defense.

Williams will defend his two 154-pound belts against Jeison Rosario ‎in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on Jan. 18 (Fox, 8 p.m. ET) at Temple University's Liacouras Center, PBC announced on Wednesday.

‎In the co-feature, rising junior lightweight prospect Chris Colbert will fight former world titlist Jezreel Corrales in a 10-round bout.

In his second shot at a world title, ‎Williams traveled to Jarrett Hurd's home area in Fairfax, Virginia, in May and won a unanimous decision, taking the belts in an action-packed contender for fight of the year.

They were initially supposed to meet in a fall rematch, but Hurd ultimately decided not to go through with the fight.

That pushed Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs), 29,‎ back to January against Rosario.

‎"There's no better way for him to follow that up than by defending his titles in front of his hometown fans in Philadelphia," said TGB Promotions president Tom Brown, whose company is promoting the card. "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."

‎Williams will be fighting in Philadelphia for the first time in nine years.

"This is going to be great having a homecoming fight back in Philadelphia," Williams said. "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."

‎The Miami-based Dominican Republic native Rosario (19-1-1, 13 KOs), 24, will take an eight-fight unbeaten streak into his first world title fight.

"I'm very thankful and excited for this opportunity," Rosario said. "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 me in this position. I can't wait to make the most of it."

Colbert (13-0, 5 KOs), 23, of Brooklyn, New York, is one of boxing's top prospects. He's coming off a sensational one-punch knockout of Miguel Beltran Jr. in the first round in September.

"This is the stage that I've been waiting for," Colbert said. "It's time to show out. I'm going to show the world what the hype behind me is all about and prove that I'm a soon-to-be champion of the world. All I know about Corrales is that he's a former champion who's going to bring his A-game, but I'm looking to get him out of there. I'm excited to be back in Philly and I'm definitely going to have my crew and fans coming down from New York to show support."

Corrales (23-3, 9 KOs), 28, of Panama, will look to rebound after a split-decision defeat to Ladarius Miller in July.

"Colbert is a good fighter but he's not ready for what I can do in the ring," Corrales said. "I'm going to show that I'm still one of the best in the division. This is a great opportunity to prove that."