By Derek Bonnett
Jermall Charlo made a statement in what has been stated will be his final junior middleweight bout. The IBF champion took on unbeaten Julian "J Rock" Williams at the USC Galen Center in Los Angeles, California, USA. The Showtime televised bout opened the evening for a two fight televised card also spotlighting Abner Mares versus Jesus Andres Cuellar.
Both Charlo and Williams started the first at a fast pace with no effort to feel out the opposing man. Charlo was unloading with heavier artillery, but the challenger was effective with right hand counters. The champion pumped out a jab with the authority of a power punch. In round two one of those jabs put Williams on the canvas early. The challenger rose early and gamely hung on to survive the round and re-establish his punch connects. Williams had his best round in the third as he boxed well with one-twos and stepped to the to steal the opportunity for a punctuating hook. Williams continued to sustain his momentum through the fourth as he used exceptional head movement to avoid numerous shots from the champion as Charlo punched in combination. Charlo’s right hand was not too shabby in the fourth and a nice uppercut landed as well. Both finished the round trying to land their right hands with authority often missing simultaneously and then going right back for more. In round five, Williams continued to land first and made it harder for Charlo to find him until a huge counter right uppercut leveled the challenger. Williams again rose unsteadily. The champion’s follow up barrage was enough to prompt a second knockdown, mostly due to a left hook.
The bout was waved off at the 2:06 mark of round five. Charlo managed his third successful defense of the crown, but elicited boos by failing to acknowledge William’s sportsmanlike conduct following the loss. During the build-up, Charlo felt there was too much negative exchange from the challenger for a quick apology. Regardless, Charlo made a statement and the entire middleweight divisions should be on high alert. Charlo improved his resume to 25-0-0 (19). Williams fell to 22-1-1 (14).