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Stephen Edwards breaks down Julian Williams, says he’s hitting his peak

Julian Williams’ trainer discusses a number of boxing topics.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

With training camp starting to wind down leading into a fight with Jeison Rosario, trainer Stephen ‘Breadman’ Edwards takes some time to chat with Fight Hub TV about a few topics, including how his fighter Julian Williams is doing and how he was able to rebound from that late 2016 knockout loss to Jermall Charlo to become unified champion.

Check out some excerpts below...

Edwards on his thoughts on the recent Tony Harrison-Jermell Charlo rematch:

“That was a great fight. They was bumpin’. That was a good fight, I was impressed with both of them.”

On if thinks the referee’s stoppage of Harrison came too early:

“A lot of guys been getting hurt lately so I’m not gonna complain too much. The only thing that looked weird to me was they let that other kid on the undercard fight — like they gave him every chance in the world, and they didn’t give Tony the same chance and Tony was the champion and the kid was a six or eight round fighter (Karlos Banderas)...But they let him get up, he wobbled, the referee told him to step forward, he wobbled back, and they let him get more chances than Tony. But other than that, it’s boxing, Charlo was smelling blood, he probably would’ve stopped him anyway. So, it’s whatever.”

On Jeison Rosario previously being considered as a sparring partner for Williams for the Jarrett Hurd fight before shutting down the idea:

“Julian nixed him as a sparring partner, not me. I didn’t. I was gonna hire him and then Julian was like ‘Man, that dude might wanna fight me,’ and then I was like ‘You know what, we won’t get him then.’ You know, because I felt as though he brought some of the same things to the table as Hurd did...It just turned out (Rosario) wanted to fight.”

On up-and-coming fighters wanting to spar the elite guys but not necessarily the other way around:

“Every situation is different. If you’re the guy on the bottom, you want the sparring. If you the guy on the top, you don’t want the sparring. That’s how I look at it...The guy that’s climbing up, in my opinion, they gonna want the work because they got more to work for, they got a longer time because they’re behind you so they’re working harder to get to where you gotta get. So if they know all the answers to the test, then it’s a little bit different than if you’re the champion, ‘cause you got more choices when you the champion.”

On how he got his start in boxing:

“I used to actually box down here when they first opened the gym. And then I went away and did some things on my own and then I’ve always wanted to get back into it. I didn’t fight professional or nothing like that, just stayed in good shape and just sparred guys, Yusef Mack, Robert Hines, stuff like that. And then a few years later, maybe like 2007, I met Julian, we started talking. Around 2009 he asked me to start helping him out.”

On if he’s seen a transformation in Williams’ confidence since becoming unified champ:

“I saw the transformation actually last camp. The last camp I was like ‘Wow. He’s really, really putting guys in their place in the gym’ it’s kinda just carried over throughout this whole camp. He’s been a lot sharper, a lot more — he just raised his game up. So whatever he was before the last camp, he’s 10% better now.”

On if the knockout loss to Charlo help Williams regain perspective:

“It could be, or maybe he’s just hitting his peak. I think he’s just probably hitting his peak right now. He’s 29, sometimes it’s just like that. It’s prime time. Stronger, more mature, and that just show up in the ring sometimes. He just got better since then.”

On if he expects Williams to fight more actively or just one or two times per year:

“You know, you really can’t control that. A lot of times the guys in the media they get frustrated. They don’t understand the business side boxing...a budget is put out. And you only gonna make but so much money because your contract states what it states. So when a network pays for a certain amount of bouts or they have a certain amount of money put to the side, you’re not gonna make $5 million dollars three, four times a year. So people don’t understand that and they get mad...

“The more you fight, the more money you make....Do you really think he don’t wanna fight? It’s not his fault if he don’t fight...It’s just the way the system is set up, for at the championship level you fight two times a year.”

On if the days of fighters taking less money just to be more active are over:

“That’s not gonna happen...

“For example, we signed to fight the winner of Charlo-Harrison this summer. So we’re fighting in January, so what are we gonna do, take a fight in March just to warm up?! We can spar for that. You gonna blow millions of dollars just to be in the ring so people don’t complain you’re not fighting more?...

“If he can get paid to fight in April good money, sure, but we can’t chance a unification match. It’s just a tough situation.”

On boxers taking short money upfront and sacrificing percentages of their future purses:

“A lot of fighters, they don’t have money going into boxing and they don’t really have a lot of finances and they wanna have time to train. So what they do is they take money from people, and they don’t have to be nobody involved in boxing...and then that person wants their money back — it’s an investment. So you’ll give a fighter five or ten thousand dollars and they’ll take 33% from the fighter.

“The person has a right to want their money back, but then the fighter is getting robbed. So in Julian’s situation I never let him do that. When he turned pro he just struggled, and if he need help I’d help him, but I wasn’t gonna spoil him and I wasn’t gonna let him take a bunch of money from people and then have to owe somebody 33-40% of his purse. And then when he do go make big money, he’s coming home with no money. So now the way everything is set up, he comes home with a lot of his money because he never took money upfront.

“And it’s nobody’s fault, but it’s the fighter’s responsibility to not sell his contract down the drain for a small investment, because if you turn out good that five or ten grand is no money...Could you imagine giving somebody $5,000 and you get 33% of a million dollar purse?! That wouldn’t make any sense, but it happens all the time in boxing.”

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