Julian "J Rock" Williams is now on the doorstep of his first world title fight, as the 25-year-old Philadelphia fighter stopped Italy's Marcello Matano tonight in an IBF junior middleweight eliminator.
Williams (22-0-1, 14 KO) really had no trouble at all with Matano (16-2, 5 KO), a herky-jerky sort of fighter who fought in spurts, had a lot of nervous energy early in the fight, and never developed any rhythm. Williams took what he was given throughout the fight, and made the most of Matano's mistakes, staying calm and collected and thinking his way through a fight against an awkward if not effective opponent.
In the seventh round, with Matano trying to pick up the pace and find some offense against Williams, "J Rock" caught Matano with a left hand that staggered the Italian. Williams went on the attack, landing rattling shots. Matano, to his credit, basically refused to go down, though his legs had gone jelly, and the referee stepped in to stop the fight at 2:24 of the seventh round.
Williams is now in line to face Jermall Charlo for the IBF junior middleweight title, which could be a very interesting fight between a couple of talented young American fighter with different styles.