By John DiSanto at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada
In the main event at the Liacouras Center on the Temple University campus in North Philly, Jeison Rosario of Santo Domingo, DR, 20-1-1, 14 KOs, shocked West Philly’s Julian Williams, 27-2-1, 16 KOs, scoring a fifth round TKO and stripping Williams of his IBF, WBA and IBO titles.
Williams comfortably won the first round. However, Rosario cut Williams over the left eye in round two and kicked his game into high gear. The challenger continued to land well for the next few rounds while Williams pawed at his bleeding eye and did his best to battle his way back into the fight. Williams landed several good shots, but Rosario kept coming – and landing. In the fifth round, Rosario landed an extended volley that appeared to weaken the champ. Williams slipped to the canvas and was clearly hurt when he struggled to regain his feet. The trip to the canvas was not ruled a knockdown. When the fight resumed, Rosario jumped right on Williams and continued to land with authority. Finally a vicious right uppercut speared Williams on the chin and another left landed as he fell to the canvas.
Referee Benjy Esteves stopped the fight as Williams tried to rise. The time of the big upset and spoiled homecoming was 1:37 of round five. This was Williams’ first title defense and Rosario’s first try at a world title.
At the time of the stoppage, Rosario led 39-37 on two cards, with the third card scored 38-38.
It was a huge upset with J-Rock coming in as a 30:1 favorite.