Thursday, March 22, 2018  |


Julian Williams turns back valiant Ishe Smith to win by unanimous decision


LAS VEGAS — Julian “J-Rock” Williams fought his way back into the upper echelon of a crowded junior middleweight division with a hard-fought 10-round unanimous decision victory over Ishe Smith at The Chelsea inside of The Cosmopolitan.

It was guts and determination against youth and ability as the grizzled veteran in Smith gave Williams all he could handle for 10 exciting rounds. It was evident that the 39-year-old Smith is no longer at the peak of his athletic ability. However, his will and determination wouldn’t be denied against an opponent who was clearly the better athlete. The scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 were a bit misleading considering that Smith was competitive throughout the fight.

Ultimately, it was Williams’ sharp counterpunching that led the charge against a 17-year veteran who prided himself on guts and determination over skill and ability. The dynamic was obvious from the opening rounds as Williams demonstrated faster hands while Smith trudged forward with wide, looping punches. Things continued to go downhill for Smith in the second after a clash of heads opened a cut over his left eye.

In the fifth round, “Sugar Shay” caught a second wind and clobbered Williams with combinations to the head and body. But Williams would steady himself with sharp counters slipped between Smith’s wide punches.

Williams remained in control in the early parts of the middle rounds but slowly seemed to fatigue. Meanwhile, Smith poured it on with a valiant assault to close each round and kept the pro-Smith crowd in the fight.

Williams was younger, faster and stronger but probably allowed Sugar Shay to get off far more than he should have. Smith closed the ninth strong with yet another flurry of punches while the 10th was symbolic of how the entire fight went as Williams started off quick with crisp counters and well-placed hooks but gave way to Smith’s gutsy assault as he refused to lay down.

But it would be Williams who would end up with his hand raised as he improved to 24-1-1 (15 knockouts). It was his second victory in a row after losing by knockout to Jermall Charlo last December. Meanwhile, Smith falls to 29-9 (12 KOs) but has nothing to be ashamed of. His best years are likely behind him but he’ll always be a tough out for the young lions of boxing.


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  • learnmore

    Good win by Jrock, probably the type of fight he should of have before challenging Jermall. 99-91 was an awful score, I thought the first 5 rounds were easy to score 3-2 to Jrock, for me Smith won 3 & 5. I thought Jrock won 6,8,10 with 7 & 9 close. I ended up with 6-3-1 could give 9 to either Jrock or Smith. Good scores for this fight for me would be 96-94 or 97-93 to Jrock because I know some judges dont give 10-10 rounds. Dont know how long he will carry on but Ishe Smith still a problem for any 154lb pospect or contender who are not ready for the top table. Jrock probably get a shot at Jermell for the WBC title in 2018.

  • J rock

    Seemed like a draw to me.

    • ceylon mooney

      one of those times where i say, im not imagining things–the whole crowd is booing. checked scores from other boxing writers, too, so apparently the only three folks who found the official scoring acceptable were…the officials who scored the fight.

  • ceylon mooney

    fuck the judges and whoever bought those scores

    • Giuseppe

      never saw it but heard it was a baaaaad score.

      • ceylon mooney

        i saw it from round 5 til the end. great fight. great fight.

  • Cousin Strawberry ( Cheech)

    Paid off judges, I had it a draw…ridiculous scorecards.

  • Thomas Browning

    I thought Smith won the fight by a competitive but close decision. Horrible decision.

  • Ignacio Ortiz

    I had Williams winning 96-94 but I could see Smith getting a draw since Williams looked like he gave away the last two rounds which was puzzling for sure. Russell Mora was an awful referee he allowed too many low blows and no points were deducted from Smith who was pretty blatant with them and he missed a knockdown that Williams got on Smith also!