Super-welterweight contender Julian Williams (25-1, 15 KOs) is all but set to be fighting undefeated Japanese fighter Takeshi Inoue in an IBF final eliminator bout in December. Williams is coming off the back of a 12-round majority decision victory over Nathaniel Gallimore in April and is looking to lock down a second opportunity at the title after suffering his first professional defeat to Jermall Charlo in December 2016.
Williams has only fought once in 2018 and was hoping to get three fights in this year, and said he tried to fight a lot sooner than December but is looking to cement another world title shot heading into 2019 and hunt for a second opportunity in the spring.
”I’m looking to get back in the ring sometime in December before the year is out,” revealed Williams. ”I was ordered by the IBF to fight Takeshi Inoue, his name was getting thrown around with Jaime Munguia for a potential opponent for him but the IBF ordered me to fight him a few months back so that’s the guy I got to fight for the IBF eliminator. He’s an unknown to me. I can’t find much tape on him, so it’s a little bit difficult but I will adjust. The fight could be announced within the next week. That’s the fight I am looking at next.”
Since suffering his first loss to Jermall Charlo, Williams has put together a three-fight winning streak with wins over Joshua Conley, Ishe Smith and most recently Nathaniel Gallimore. Williams says that he wasn’t completely happy with his overall performance against Gallimore.
”I thought it was a good fight against Gallimore. You know I thought I made it a little bit harder than it had to be,” Williams admitted. ”I probably could have just boxed him to a decision, but I thought it was a good learning experience, it was my first time doing 12-rounds. It was my first time completing 12-rounds, so I think that was another big step for me, myself and my career, I thought it was a good test, he was a solid opponent, actually when that fight was announced, I was the betting underdog, a lot of people thought he was going to knock me out.”
Despite losing the fight to Charlo back in 2016, Williams believes that he was fighting good until the stoppage. The judges had the fight scored even heading into the 5th round where Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) scored three knockdowns as he retained his 154-pound belt for the third consecutive time. Charlo landed a right uppercut that dropped Williams who made it back to his feet but Charlo pounced and dropped him again before referee Hedgepeth called a stop to the bout.
A rematch with Charlo is something that Williams has his eyes set on once he finishes his business of becoming a world champion at 154Ibs and believes a move to middleweight will happen once he wins that title and looks for potential unifications.
”Absolutely I would love that rematch, I was just caught with a good shot, I didn’t go into the back room and cry about it, I didn’t make no excuses, I didn’t blame nobody, I just took it on the chin and kept moving. I think it was definitely a big fight and it was a crushing defeat. I thought I was going to be world champion that night, and I just felt like it was something you got to get over and keep moving forward. So many great fighters have lost their first world title shot, their professional debuts and just lost before they got to a title shot and it’s just boxing. You got to take the bumps and keep going and moving forward, this sport is a marathon it’s not a race.”