Eliminator between Julian Williams and Marcello Matano is announced
The IBF junior middleweight eliminator between Julian Williams and Marcello Matano for March 5 on Showtime (10 p.m. ET) was formally announced on Wednesday at the Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Williams and Matano are vying for the chance to face IBF junior middleweight titleholder Jermall Charlo as the mandatory.
The co-feature will pit Antoine Douglas against former titlist Sam Soliman in a 10-round middleweight bout. Tony Harrison and Fernando Guerrero will open the telecast with a 10-round junior middleweight tussle.
Williams (21-0-1, 13 knockouts) was dominant in his last fight, stopping the normally sturdy Luciano Leonel Cuello in the first round on Sept. 22, further stamping his imprint on the division.
“This upcoming fight will be the biggest fight of my career,” Williams said in a press release. “I’m chomping at the bit to get back out there. I am taking my opponent very seriously and I refuse to let Marcello Matano stop me from being a world champion.”
Matano (16-1, 5 KOs) was similarly euphoric about the opportunity. The Italian will be stepping up in class and fighting outside his home country for the first time.
“This is a dream come true,” said Matano. “I’ve been working for my whole life for a real opportunity to make to the top level and I will not let Julian Williams take it away. What will happen when Williams has to go to the championship rounds? Will he be ready? I know for sure that I will. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I will do all I can to grab it.”