It's been more than a half-year since Julian Williams became the unified junior middleweight world champion with an upset win over Jarrett Hurd but his first title defense is now set.
PBC announced that Williams will defend his WBA and IBF titles against Jeison Rosario on January 18, 2020. The fight will headline a PBC on FOX broadcast from the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
After a loss to then-IBF junior middleweight champion Jermall Charlo in 2016, Williams won four straight fights to earn a shot at the WBA and IBF world titles. Back in May, Williams dropped Hurd in the second round en route to a unanimous decision win to become the new WBA and IBF champion. A rematch was planned for the end of 2019, but it never materialized.
Rosario has bounced back well ever since he suffered a sixth-round TKO loss to Nathaniel Gallimore back in 2017. After that loss, Rosario has won seven of his last eight fights and had a draw in that span, last competing in April when he defeated Jorge Cota by split decision. Rosario is currently ranked No. 13 by the WBA and No. 5 by the IBF.
Also announced for the telecast is a fight between Jezreel Corrales and Chris Colbert for the newly-created interim WBA super featherweight title. Although the WBA created an interim 130-pound belt, the governing body has not one, but two titleholders in Leo Santa Cruz ("Super" champion) and Rene Alvarado ("Regular" champion).
Corrales, a former WBA super featherweight world champion, is heading into the fight coming off a split decision loss to Ladarius Miller back in July. Colbert entered the year as one of PBC's fastest-rising prospects and last fought in September when he knocked out former title challenger Miguel Beltran Jr. in the first round.