On an evening where long-awaited bouts were finally contested, the wait proved to be well worth it. In the co-main event of the evening, #1-ranked IBF contender Julian Williams battled Jermall Charlo for his IBF junior middleweight belt. The bout was originally slated to take place during the fall but was delayed due to a corrective eye procedure Charlo had done over the summer.
In round 1 both fighters looked to establish their jabs. Williams may have had the edge early on as he used his jab up top and would double down low to the body with it. He also looked to come over the top of Charlo's jab with a counter right early on.
Things picked up quickly for Charlo in round 2. The two combatants exchanged jabs at the same time but it was Charlo's that landed. He was able to put Williams on the canvas with the jab. Williams was able to come back and land a big left hook of his own in the round but it was clearly a round where Charlo seemed to gain confidence and began to apply more pressure. Charlo was able to move J-Rock Williams backwards in the latter stages of the round. The knockdown in round 2 did not seem to deter Williams entering the 3rd round. He came out more aggressive early in the round as the challenger was able to keep Charlo at bay utilizing his jab majority of the round as the champion looked on with little to throw back in return.
Charlo looked to make the fight a little more physical in round 4 as he came out trying to rough up the smaller challenger in Williams on the inside clinch. Every punch seemed to have evil intentions although he was not able to connect solid on Williams early in the round. Williams had some minor success landing the straight right hand off his jab. His timing and range seemed to be just a bit sharper during the round. Round 5 saw both fighters come out exchanging jabs but Charlo appeared more eager to get on the inside where he could impose his bigger frame on Williams which resulted in numerous clinches occurring early in the round. While Williams appeared to be gaining momentum in the fight based off the use of his jab, it was the same jab that would be the start of his demise in this bout. Williams threw a 1-2 combination that Charlo was able to counter with a right uppercut that sent Williams sprawling face-first to the mat. Williams got up during the 10-count but was clearly still hurt. Charlo wasted no time in closing the show. He unloaded a series of power shots concluded by a left hook that sent J-Rock back down on the floor. The referee wasted no time calling off the bout after the 3rd knockdown of the bout.
It was an emotional scene in the ring after the fight and both Charlo and his trainer Ronnie Shields had to be restrained as Julian Williams attempted to congratulate him on his victory. Many believe this was the last bout in the 154-lb division for the IBF champ Charlo, as he has had issues making the weight in the past. With the win Charlo's record improves to 25-0, (19 KOs)