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Julian Williams-Nathaniel Gallimore to kick off Showtime tripleheader on April 7

Fighters Network

Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd will fight to unify 154-pounds titles in the main event, but before they meet, two rising junior middleweights will jockey for position in the opening bout.

Julian “J-Rock” Williams and Nathaniel Gallimore will clash in the Showtime-televised opener on April 7 in Las Vegas, and the victor will inch one step closer to title contention.

“This is going to be a really good fight on April 7,” said Williams (24-1-1, 15 knockouts). “Gallimore has been talking a big game, but I’ve got a big chip on my shoulder, and I’ve been training like it. I think he’s going to bring out something different in me. He’s going to find out that there are different levels to this game.

“He’s a bit of a stalker in the ring and he’s been knocking people out. He thinks he’s a puncher, but he hasn’t really fought the level of competition that I have. I don’t care if he’s training with Buddy McGirt now, because no one can save him when he’s in that ring.”

Williams, 27, was climbing the ranks before Jermall Charlo vanquished him inside five rounds in December 2016. The Philadelphian rebounded with a spirited victory over former titleholder Ishe Smith, and now he’ll meet a man in a similar position.

Gallimore (20-1-1, 17 KOs) never possessed the fanfare that accompanied Williams, but the Jamaican puncher will finally compete in a meaningful bout with much at stake. The 29-year-old stopped former prospect Justin DeLoach last year and followed up with a first-round KO of Mexican journeyman Esau Herrera.

“This is going to be my coming out year,” said Gallimore. “This is a huge opportunity to present my skills and my abilities to the world. There’s no mistaking why I’m here, and I’ll make a statement starting with ‘J-Pebbles’ Williams. I call him ‘J-Pebbles’ because he’s not a ‘J-Rock.’ He’s an average fighter. There’s nothing special about him.

“The best way he can prepare is to do chin push-ups, because I’m going to test his chin and that’s the only thing that can protect him. I’m going to dismantle him piece-by-piece, round-by-round, and when that time comes to seek and destroy, I’m going to take him out. I’m the one they should be worried about.”

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger