As reported by The Ring earlier this month, Julian Williams will make his first defense as unified IBF/WBA “super” champion in his native Philadelphia, taking on Jeison Rosario in the main event of a January 19 PBC on FOX event co-headlined by an interim super featherweight title fight between Chris Colbert and Jezreel Corrales.
Williams (27-1-1, 16 KO) had been preparing for a December 14th rematch with former unified champ Jarrett Hurd, only for “Swift” to withdraw for unknown reasons in September. The win over Hurd was his fifth consecutive victory since a disastrous crack at Jermell Charlo back in 2016 for the IBF belt “J-Rock” now holds.
“This is going to be great having a homecoming fight back in Philadelphia,” said Williams. “I’m excited for the crowd that’ll be at the Liacouras Center and to be back fighting on FOX. I haven’t fought in Philadelphia since 2011, so I can’t wait to get back in the ring in front of all my people. Rosario is a good fighter and I’m very familiar with him. I know he packs a solid punch and that he’s been on a tear ever since his lone loss to Nathaniel Gallimore. So he’ll be a stiff test for me, but I’m prepared to win. Most of all, I’m just excited to defend my titles and as a unified champion in front of my hometown crowd.”
Rosario (19-1-1, 13 KO), a 24-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, has beaten a few recognizable names like Jamontay Clark and most recently Jorge Cota but has yet to truly impress as a professional. As mentioned in the initial announcement post, though, he’s basically the only feasible ranked challenger for whom the timing works out. He’s 7-0-1 since his own lone loss, a 2017 stoppage defeat to Nathaniel Gallimore.
Colbert (13-0, 5 KO) is a fast-rising, super-active 23-year-old super featherweight prospect who scored the most eye-catching win of his young career in September, a one-punch finish of Miguel Beltran Jr. on the Peter Quillin-Alfredo Angulo undercard.
“This is the stage that I’ve been waiting for,” said Colbert. “My last fight was the co-main event on FS1 and now we’re moving up to FOX. It’s time to show out! I’m going to show the world what the hype behind me is all about and prove that I’m a soon-to-be champion of the world. All I know about Corrales is that he’s a former champion who’s going to bring his A-game, but I’m looking to get him out of there. I’m excited to be back in Philly and I’m definitely going to have my crew and fans coming down from New York to show support.”
Former super featherweight champ Corrales (23-3, 9 KO), best known for his shocking upsets of Takashi Uchiyama, is coming off of a controversial loss to Ladarius Miller but still represents the stiffest test of Colbert’s career by far.
“Colbert is a good fighter but he’s not ready for what I can do in the ring,” said Corrales. “I’m going to show that I’m still one of the best in the division. This is a great opportunity to prove that. I’ve been training hard to be the best Jezreel Corrales. Thank you to my whole team for helping me get this fight. You’re not going to want to miss my performance on January 18.”