By: Albert Alvarez/AZ Front Row Magazine
Photos: AZ Front Row Magazine
There was once a time in the sport when a young fighter with an unblemished record was looked at by other fighters in his weight class as something good to eat. But what was then is not now, so that hasn’t quite been the case with 25-year-old Julian “J-ROCK” Williams. Williams current holder of a 21-0-1 record is a fighter that loves to stay busy. In 2013, J-ROCK had 5 fights, in 2014 he had 4 fights, & “only” 3 in 2015.
At this rate, Julian may only see action in only 2 bouts in 2016. And that is a very bad thing to a hungry promising 154-pound fighter that in my eyes is a handful of fights away from facing any of the top 3 junior middleweights in the world.
Truth be told, I feel J-ROCK may be ready for them now, but with no fighters willing to answer the call, Julian is at a standstill.
As fans, it’s easy for us to make the bouts on paper, but the chaos that goes on behind closed doors for a fighter is a fight in itself. In short, there is a lot of room between the lip and the cup to make the fights that should happen materialize.
I myself feel that in this microwave era that we live in now, the app world, instant gratification is what many seek but are for some reason not looking to go through the roadwork to get there with the potholes and bumps on the road. Many want it, but just as long as the sky is clear and the road ahead is smooth.
I can’t say that I blame the fighters for having the gloves in one hand and business briefcase in the other hand mentality, but at what point does love, passion, and legacy step in and say, “Hey, remember us?”
Is this what happens when dreams and aspirations take a back seat to the notion that you can make good bread fighting cupcakes so why entertain the thought of facing a killer? And if that’s the case, when does he who stirs the drink, he who pulls the strings, he who signs the checks, the man behind the curtain interject to say, “Ok now, it’s time to rumble.”
With no fights coming his way, I reached out to Julian to have him tell us in his own words his many frustrations as he awaits the call that a fight for him is FINALLY made.
Julian Williams – The frustrating thing is training with my dates switching. I was supposed to fight on 1-16 against Michel Soro and that got scratched. It’s cold in Philly. Cutting weight is a part of the game. I have to know when and when not to peak.
I have 100% trust in my team to get me the right guy but it is tough. I will either fight for a title or fight in an eliminator so I’m happy about that. I’ve been dreaming since I was 12 years old to be a world champion so as a professional I just have to stay ready and show patience. I’m not in a bad spot at all. But I’m coming off of my best career performance in September.
I just don’t want to be off too long I only fought 1 round in September. Hopefully, something gets delivered in the next week. A date is most important to me because I have my weight cutting and peak down to a science. I really don’t care who I fight.
As far as this era there are some real fighters in this era. And there are some businessmen. Everybody shouldn’t be clumped into the same group. I can’t help when I was born.
I know the guys from the 80′ and 90s were rougher but some of the guys in this era are dogs too. I honestly think the problem is people will see certain guys who ducked fights and still get big money and opportunities. Then they will say why should I run through a brick wall and fight a killer for a 1 million when I can fight 2 turkeys for 500k apiece. If the duckers stop getting rewarded then the mentality will change.