Jermall Charlo made a big statement tonight on Showtime, retaining his IBF junior middleweight title with a fifth round stoppage of Julian Williams.
Charlo (25-0, 19 KO) dropped Williams (22-1-1, 15 KO) in the second round with a powerful jab, which was an early indication that the power of the Houston fighter was definitely the real deal.
But Philadelphia’s Williams came back nicely from that, and fought a clever fight, making Charlo miss a lot, slipping punches, landing some good counters. Charlo continued to do good work himself, and the result was a very good fight.
In the fifth, Charlo landed a bomb of a right uppercut, dropping Williams hard. “J-Rock” got up, but he was done. Charlo went for the finish, and got it with a third knockdown on a left hand.
After the fight, Williams went over to congratulate Charlo, who basically told him to shove off. There was some heat between the corners after that, and the crowd noticed the whole thing, booing Charlo vociferously.
Charlo then spoke with Showtime’s Jim Gray, and offered an apology — of sorts.
“I want to tell Julian Williams I’m sorry for everything. Up to this fight, Julian Williams talked crap to me for over a year. I held it in. I did what I had to do to become champion of the world, and I deserve my respect,” Charlo told Gray.
“He disrespected me all the way up to the fight. I made the fight happen. I gave the fans what they wanted to see. I stayed at 154 pounds, although I do want to move up to 160 just to fight someone that the world says I couldn’t beat.
“Like I said, I apologize for me being a fighter, and my emotions took over me. I was doubted in this fight. I didn’t think this was a 50-50 fight. I trained hard, I stayed in the gym, I changed my game from the Austin Trout fight.”
Charlo may have stumbled upon a marketable bad guy persona here, or maybe it’ll just be chalked up to adrenaline and we’ll all forget about it when it never happens again. Either way, what really matters is that he knocked out a good fighter who was fighting well. That’s the statement to remember.