The Jr. Middleweight fight between undefeated contender Julian Williams and Luciano Cuello had a familiar premise. A young unbeaten contender who has been steadily rising up the ranks going against a battle-tested veteran, who had earned a reputation as a fighter who has given prospects and contenders a tough fight when pitted against him.
Cuello, who entered the fight with an impressive record of 35-3, with 17 Knockouts has been a fighter that one might argue had only lost to fighters who went on to become world champions or those who have neared top contention after losing battles to the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. , Saul Alvarez, and Willie Nelson during the course of his career. It was on this basis that he appeared to be an ideal opponent for a fighter such as Williams, who appears to be nearing opportunities for big fights in the near future.
The question of how Williams would respond to facing a fighter the caliber of Cuello was answered on September 22nd when the two fighters met for Williams’ WBC Continental America’s Jr. Middleweight championship at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA. Williams, who entered the bout with a record of 20-0-1, with 12 Knockouts wasted no time making use of his quick hands as he opened up with offense at the start of the fight landing crisp combinations to the body and head of Cuello. It was not long before the bout would be concluded.
A right hand from Williams would stun Cuello and would put veteran on the ropes. Williams would not let Cuello off the hook as he continued with a barrage of punches until Referee Gary Rosato called a halt to the fight at 1:33 of round one. It was a fight that quite frankly does not require much analysis, Julian Williams simply established an offensive rhythm and once he saw an opening he took full advantage and finished his opponent.
It was however, the perfect kind of performance that a rising contender needs in order to show that he is ready to face the top contenders of whatever division that fighter chooses to campaign. Julian Williams is clearly ready to take on some of the best in what is a talent deep 154lb. Jr. Middleweight division. The question is who will Williams fight next?
An interesting possibly emerged shortly after Williams’ victory over Cuello. Williams’ stated in a post-fight interview that he would like to fight longtime Jr. Middleweight contender Austin Trout, but is open to fighting anyone in the division. Trout, who coincidentally was working as a commentator for Fox Sports as part of it’s tier of the Premier Boxing Champions series stated that he respected Williams’ hunger and that quote “We can make it happen.”
This theoretically opens the possibility of what would be an intriguing battle between one fighter, who is starting to emerge as a player in the Jr. Middleweight division against a fighter who has been a cornerstone of the division for several years after previously holding interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Jr. Middleweight ratings. In terms of where these two fighters stand in the current landscape of the division, a bout between the two at this point in their respective careers seems to be a good option for both.
Trout, who fought earlier this month scoring a sixth round knockout over Joey Hernandez is currently rated number five in the world by both the WBC and WBA, and number three in the world by the IBF. Williams is currently rated seven by the WBC and number ten by the WBA. A fight between the two offers an opportunity for both fighters to potentially move into position for a title shot if they are able to score a victory over the other. This could especially have an impact on the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) ratings as anyone ranked in the top ten, as this observer has stated before is theoretically one fight away from either challenging the WBA world champion in a weight class or being put into position to fight one of two fighters who are designated as having interim/regular status in the sanctioning organization’s ratings.
In this observer’s opinion a fight between Williams and Trout would be a very interesting fight where there will likely be a difference of opinion as to who would have the advantage. It would be a fight that would seem ideal for the increasingly popular and growing Premier Boxing Champions series. If both fighters are willing to fight each other, this observer says “Why Not?”
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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