Julian Williams doesn’t think there’s much that separates Jermell Charlo and Jeison Rosario.
The former champion could see either fighter winning if Charlo and Rosario square off in a 154-pound title unification fight. It is possible that bout could be next for Charlo, the WBC champion, and Rosario, who won the IBF, IBO and WBA belts by upsetting Williams on January 18 in Philadelphia.
Williams discussed a potential Charlo-Rosario fight during the newest episode of “The PBC Podcast,” co-hosted by Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal.
“I think it’s a good fight,” Williams said. “It’s a 50-50 fight. You know what I mean? Charlo’s not unbeatable and neither is Rosario. It’s a good fight to make.”
Philadelphia’s Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs, 1 NC) had hoped that beating Rosario would’ve led to his own championship unification match with Houston’s Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs). The determined Dominican fighter came to his hometown, however, and beat the heavily favored Williams by fifth-round technical knockout in a fight FOX televised from Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
Williams was contractually entitled to an immediate rematch with Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs), but he turned it down to have plastic surgery to repair scar tissue above his eyes. One of Rosario’s punches opened a cut over Williams’ left eye in the second round of their scheduled 12-round championship match.
The 30-year-old Williams would like to fight Rosario again, but he isn’t sure if Rosario would beat Charlo if they fight next.
“I think it’s close,” Williams said. “It depends on who shows up that night. You know what I mean? Who has the better game plan. It depends on a lot of different things. But I think it’s a 50-50 fight.”
Nathaniel Gallimore, whom Williams beat by majority decision in a 12-round fight two years ago in Las Vegas, is the only opponent who has beaten Rosario. Gallimore (21-4-1, 17 KOs) dropped Rosario three times on his way to defeating Rosario by sixth-round TKO three years ago in Las Vegas.
The 29-year-old Charlo won back his WBC crown in his last bout by knocking out Tony Harrison in the 11th round of their rematch December 21 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. Charlo, whom Harrison upset by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder a year earlier, knocked down Detroit’s Harrison (28-3, 21 KOs) once in the second round and twice in the 11th round, which prompted referee Jack Reiss to stop their rematch.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.