By Ryan Burton
On September 12th, Hugo Centeno (19-0) and Julian Williams (13-0-1) will meet in what will be the biggest fight thus far of both of their respective careers. The fight will be aired as part of a FoxSports2 tripleheader. Shawn Porter faces Julio Diaz in a rematch in the main event while Marco Antonio Periban faces Badou Jack to round out the televised portion of the card.
Williams trainer/advisor Stephen "Breadman" Edwards spoke to BoxingScene.com about the upcoming fight and also revealed how the fight came about.
He said that his pupil looked sharp in training camp and is ready for fight night.
"This was one of the best camps that we have ever had. He sparred exactly 100 rounds. We had about, maybe, 5 undefeated prospects come in to spar him. All young, great guys. (We had) some light heayweights, super middleweights and middleweights. It was a great camp. He did everything I asked him to do," Williams stated.
The Philadelphia based trainer said that this fight had been in the works for a long time. He said that most recently it was being negotiated to take place on the June 22nd Adrien Broner-Paulie Malignaggi undercard but that Centeno's team objected to the fight taking place close to William's home.
"I think he is a good fighter. I respect everybody. This is a fight that we've tried to make for a long time. When we were with Gary Shaw we got a call to fight him and I think he ended up fighting a kid named Justin Williams. I had accepted the fight and somebody from Centeno's team turned the fight down.
"Recently they were trying to make the fight again in June when we fought Joachim Alcine but I guess they didn't want to give Julian the hometown advantage - but were not from New York. New York and Philly are two different cities in two different states. We are happy they accepted the fight now. I respect the kid but I think my kid is a better fighter and I think he is going to prove that on September 12th," Williams concluded.
Williams said that for this September 12th date, Centeno originally wanted to face Daquan Arnett but that the fight never came to fruition. He said that Centeno was then presented with two other undefeated prospects for this FoxSports television slot and the Mexican-American fighter chose to face Williams instead of Jermall Charlo.
"While I think Centeno is a great fighter I think he has a great management. I am going to tell you how this fight came about. This fight came about because Centeno called out a kid called Daquan Arnett who is also with Al Haymon. Arnett had a subpar showing on ShoBox at the beginning of the year and Centento called that kid out and they were going to make the fight but something happened where Arnett declined the fight.
"I don't know if this upset Al Haymon or what but he sicked these two dogs on Centeno. He said that you can either fight Julian Williams or Jermall Charlo. He didn't want to fight either kid but he picked Julian because Julian is a couple inches shorter than Charlo. That is why the fight took so long to take place," Edwards explained while praising Centeno's manager, Joel De La Hoya for the way he has guided Centeno's career.
"Honestly I think he has a great manager because if you look real close, a lot of this goes over people's heads, he is 19-0 and he is still more of prospect. He was calling out a kid who was 10-0 or 11-0 in Arnett because he had a subpar performance. A lot of times a guy who is 19-0 going to 20-0 is more of a contender than prospect. He is still getting to fight his big fight against a kid who is only 13-0 but the difference is that Julian has fought real fights in my opinion and I think the only fight that Centeno has that could prepare him for this fight was against KeAndre Leatherwood and Leatherwood was a kid who didn't really fight back and looked like the stage was too big for him. That was the kid who couldn't handle Canelo's camp so if that is the type of kid they get for him to prepare for Julian I think that is a big mistake" Edwards told BoxingScene.com.
Edwards finished our conversation with a quick prediction and breakdown of the the September 14th showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
"I think Floyd should win the fight if he moves the way he did against Robert Guerrero, but, you know Julian fought on the undercard of Canelo versus Austin Trout and Canelo has a serious following and sometimes when you are at a fight live or watching it on TV you get two different aspects of it. I feel like if Floyd moves and fights his fight he should win but the crowd may go crazy every time this kid punches and it may force Floyd into a fight that isn't beneficial for him so I think Floyd will win the fight but I expect the crowd to be a huge, huge, factor so I think Floyd will win a close decision."
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to BoxingScene Radio, BoxingScene's official audio show on Tuesdays from 6-8PM PST. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton Tags: Julian Williams , Hugo Centeno , Centeno-Williams , Centeno vs. Williams