PHILADELPHIA — Jeison Rosario’s only defeat came against an opponent Julian “J Rock” Williams had beaten easily, but that meant nothing when they met each other.
In a major upset, Rosario stopped Williams in the fifth round of Williams’ homecoming fight to take Williams’ unified junior middleweight world title in the Premier Boxing Champions on Fox main event on Saturday night at Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
Williams was making the first defense of the two 154-pound belts be won by upset decision against Jarrett Hurd on May 11 in a 2019 fight of the year contender in Hurd’s home region in Fairfax, Virginia. But when Williams returned to his own hometown of Philadelphia, he suffered Hurd’s same fate.
The fight was only Williams’ third in Philly and the first since 2011, when he was still a six-round preliminary fighter.
But on a snowy night — with Philadelphia-born boxing legend Bernard Hopkins at ringside — Rosario, who embraced his road-warrior status, stunningly ended Williams’ title reign and wrecked his plans for either a rematch with Hurd or a three-belt unification fight with Jermell Charlo, both of which were on the drawing board.