According to ESPN, Julian Williams is not enforcing his rematch clause with WBA/IBF junior middleweight titleholder Jeison Rosario, opening Rosario up for other fights, including a possible IBF mandatory title defense.
Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KO) scored a huge upset over Williams on Jan. 18, claiming both of the 154-pound belts in the process. Williams (27-2-1, 16 KO) not exercising his rematch clause means he’ll probably try to bounce back in a tune-up style return.
Rosario, 24, does have an IBF mandatory challenger in Bakhram Murtazaliev (17-0, 13 KO), a 27-year-old Russian based in California. Murtazaliev earned the shot with a win over Jorge Fortea in November. The IBF says that a potential unification fight would come ahead of the fight with Murtazaliev right now, meaning Rosario could, in theory, unify against WBC titleholder Jermell Charlo. (WBO titleholder Patrick Teixeira is busy right now, facing Brian Castano on Apr. 25.)
Rosario’s promoter Sampson Lewkowicz says that they are still open to rematching Williams this year if it comes up, and at some point by the end of the year it could be the biggest fight to make.