In a head-butt filled affair, Julian “J Rock” Williams scored a unanimous decision win over former belt-holder Ishe Smith at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on Saturday night. This was Williams second fight since suffering a devastating fifth-round knockout at the hands of Jermall Charlo last year. The scorecards read 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.
Williams (24-1-1 15 Ko’s), used his jab early and often to establish control over the more experienced Smith. However, as fight went on, it was Smith who brought the fight to the Philadelphia native.
Smith, who won 3 of his last 4 fights since losing to 154lb kingpin Erislandy Lara, suffered two cuts, both caused by accidental head butts. One happened in round two, the another in round seven.
Smith (29-8 12 Ko’s), feeling a sense of urgency, started to show his experience in the second half of the fight. The former titleholder started putting combinations together, landing some beautiful body shots and right hands.
Williams continued to box well and weathered the storm from the Las Vegas native. J Rock showed great counter-punching skills, landing some vicious uppercuts and right hands in between the wide punches of Smith.
Although, the fight seemed to be a bit closer than the judges scorecards, it was a extremely competitive fight between two warriors. Both fighters showed they belong in a talent packed junior middleweight division.