Saturday, September 30, 2023  |



On social media or in the ring, Julian Williams is ready to fight

Fighters Network
Photo by Christopher Toney

Photo by Christopher Toney

Julian Williams has every reason to brag and boast.
He is unbeaten, has a growing fan base and is regarded as a young fighter who could wind up wearing a major title belt sooner or later.
It all looks good thus far but Williams has no reason to count his chickens before they hatch. He believes he still has a lot to prove in the ring and that his greater challenges still await.
He will face another test on Tuesday night when he fights fringe contender Luciano Leonel Cuello at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Penn.
The 10-round bout will top a “Toe-to-Toe Tuesday” telecast that will air on FOX Sports 1, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.
The fight was originally scheduled to take place at the Palladium in Hollywood, Calif. but wound up in Bethlehem, which is over an hour’s drive from Williams’ hometown of Philadelphia.
“It’s a dream come true,” Williams told RingTV over the phone on Sunday afternoon. “My dream is to fight one day in Philadelphia but to fight near my hometown is a great feeling. I’m happy and thrilled. I’m going to go out there and execute my game plan.”
Cuello will be the subject of that game plan. The Argentine fighter has fought nearly twice as many fights as Williams and is riding a three-fight winning streak.
Cuello’s three losses as a pro have come at the hands of Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Canelo Alvarez and, most recently, Willie Nelson. Williams may be the favorite but he is not taking anything for granted or overlooking Cuello.
“He’s a tough guy,” said Williams, who is trained by Stephen Edwards. “[Cuello] is a solid guy. He’s not coming from Argentina just to lay down. He’s coming to win. He has a few losses but maybe there was a reason why he has those losses.”
“I never go into any fight trying to make a statement. Winning impressively, in my opinion, is a statement in itself. I want to go in there and impress with a nice jab or with other methods I feel I could beat him with.”
If fight fans believe Williams (20-0-1, 12 KOs) can only be at his best in the ring, they may be surprised that the 25-year-old can hang with the best of them on social media.
During the summer, Williams exchanged words with former junior middleweight titlists Ishe Smith and Austin Trout on Twitter on separate occasions.
Williams has expressed a strong interest in fighting either one but believes they are both reluctant to face him, instead looking for an easy payday. Williams cites Joey Hernandez, whom he defeated in April and whom Trout recently stopped earlier this month.
“I think these guys would rather fight easier opponents than step in the ring with me. They’d rather fight bums. I don’t dislike those guys but my eyes are set on becoming a world champion and if they’re in my way of that goal, I need to get them out of my way.
“A fight was offered to [Trout]. He decided to fight someone else. He could’ve fought me. Fans deserve to have the best fights. If you have the same manager [Al Haymon], why not have the top and best guys fight each other? Those are easy fights to make.”
Those are some of the frustrations Williams has dealt with as he climbs up the ranks. He has demonstrated his willingness to fight the top contenders, verbally and on social media.
In addition, Willlams believes he has yet to hit his ceiling as a fighter. He is on the cusp of becoming a bona fide contender at 154 pounds and 2016 could be a breakout year for him.
A win over Cuello could springboard him toward that goal.
“I’ve yet to hit my ceiling. I want to fight those top guys. I really believe that, when I face the better competition, I’ll get better as a fighter. I want to take that next step and face world title contenders and champions.
“My mindset is on Cuello but I really believe the best is yet to come for me.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since Oct. of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing