Unbeaten super welterweight contender Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams and once-beaten Italian Marcello Matano will fight in a 12-round IBF eliminator for the No. 1 ranking on Saturday March 5, live on Showtime from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa.
Speaking ahead of the fight, Williams said:
“This upcoming fight will be the biggest fight of my career. I’m chomping at the bit to get back out there. I am taking my opponent very seriously and I refuse to let Marcello Matano stop me from being a world champion.”
His opponent Matano enthused:
“This is a dream come true. I’ve been working for my whole life for a real opportunity to make to the top level and I will not let Julian Williams take it away. What will happen when Williams has to go to the championship rounds? Will he be ready? I know for sure that I will. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I will do all I can to grab it.”
One of the most promising and highly regarded young stars in boxing, Williams (21-0-1, 1 ND, 13 KOs) will headline for the first time on Showtime.
He’s stepping up after honing his skills and steadily ascending the ranks after five fights on ‘Sho Extreme’. The 25-year-old shut out longtime contender Joey Hernandez last April, followed that with a sixth-round stoppage of Arman Ovsepyan in June and closed the year by stopping Orlando Lora in the first round in September.
The Philadelphian has also picked up victories over Joachim Alcine, Eliezer Gonzalez and Freddy Hernandez in his young career and looks to earn his first title shot with a win on March 5.
Matano (16-1, 5 KOs) is a former Italian super welterweight titlist. He’s registered four consecutive wins since the only loss of his career, including victories in three scheduled 12-round fights.
The 29-year-old is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision over fellow-Italian Nick Klappert in October 2015. Like Williams, he fought three bouts in 2015, although he logged 31 total rounds compared to just 17 for Williams.
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