Super welterweight contender Julian "J-Rock" Williams will look to put himself closer to another world title shot when he faces Nathaniel Gallimore in a 154-pound world title eliminator on Saturday, April 7 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.
The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by Erislandy Lara clashing with undefeated champion Jarrett Hurd in a 154-pound world title unification bout.
The Showtime Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and also features IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Truax in a rematch against former champion James DeGale.
The 12-round IBF title eliminator gives Williams a chance to earn a second world title fight, while it would be Gallimore’s first shot at the title. Gallimore has been outspoken in his belief that he will stop Williams, but Williams has chosen to not let the words affect him and focus on the task at hand.
"I have no reaction to the talk coming from Gallimore," said Williams. "He’s trying to draw attention to himself and doing it in a classless way. If he wants a back-and-forth, he’s going to be talking to himself.
"He seems like he’s a strong fighter, but you never really know until you step in the ring with a guy. He’s on a hot streak, he’s a big puncher and obviously he has a lot of confidence. We thought this would be a good test and I think it’s going to be a great fight for the fans."
Williams is currently finishing up training camp at the SNAC gym in San Carlos, California with trainer Stephen Edwards. In addition to work in the first part of training in Philadelphia with DeCarlo Perez and Jaron Ennis, he has sparred with the likes of Peter Quillin, Prenice Brewer and Joey Spencer in California.
"I’ve been coming out to California for parts of camp since 2014 and it’s really just something that gives me a bit of a spark heading into the fight," said Williams. "There are some elevation and recovery aspects of training that we can do out here. It’s also a good way to get away from things and really dig to another level."
Williams has been on the road back to title contention after dropping his first title shot to Jermall Charlo in 2016. Williams knew that he did not need to revamp his entire game and has recovered with victories over former champion Ishe Smith and Joshua Conley leading into this fight.
"I thought I was doing well in the Charlo fight so I never pushed the panic button after it didn’t go my way," said Williams. "Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The plan was always to improve each fight and each day in camp, so that’s what we’re still doing. We’ll see on April 7 if it’s enough."
With an opponent who enters this fight on a seven-fight knockout streak, Williams knows he will have to use all of his physical and mental skills to pull out the victory.
"It’s going to be up to me what this fight looks like," said Williams. "In the ring you have to be mature. I can’t get drawn into the kind of fight that he wants. If I stay focused, I should dominate him.
"I’m never going to look past anybody. I know that there’s nothing I can do in my future in this sport if I don’t beat Gallimore. I’m ready to go in there and look impressive on April 7."