When Julian ‘J Rock’ Williams steps into the ring Saturday night against Ishe Smith, he looks to makes a defining statement that will act as a foothold into his next run at a world championship.
After coming up short against Jermall Charlo, Williams returned to the ring 6 months later to defeat Joshua Conley by second round knockout. Now matched against former champion and seasoned veteran Ishe Smith, Williams finds himself in another tough battle that he views as “do-or-die.”
With the fight a day away, Williams gives BSO a rare glimpse into his personal life, what he expects from Smith and his thoughts on the legal firestorm surround co-Philly native Meek Mill.
BSO: A number of your peers run towards the spotlight but you still maintain your low-profile. Does that still help you to feel centered and focused?
JW: Definitely. The less being in the mix you do, the more you can focus on being in this fight thing. That’s been my motto since I’ve been a professional. I focus on boxing and I don’t like being involved in what everybody else got going on.
BSO: Looking back at your most recent win over Joshua Conley, the first time seeing you since coming up short against Jermall Charlo, did that fight loosen you up and restore any confidence you may have lost in your previous fight?
JW: Not necessarily. I didn’t have a lack of confidence, I mean it’s always good to win, but it didn’t do what I needed it to do. The way he fought turned me off and turned off a lot of other people but nevertheless a win is a win. I got to get back in there and get my feet wet and start trying to make another run at this thing.
BSO: With a loss in one fight and your last fight not necessarily doing what you wanted, how did you keep your spirits up until this opportunity against Ishe Smith came along?