Julian “J Rock” Williams Talks To BSO on Fighting Ishe Smith, Maintaining His Privacy & Why He’s Supporting Meek Mill

JW: I spent a lot of time with my daughter since she’s at the age now where notices when I’m gone. Over the course of the last four months I was gone for two of them so when I come back I just like to chill out. But I still hit the gym a few days a week. I don’t like to go to long without doing anything.

BSO: Before the promotion of this fight started did you know Ishe at all?

JW: I didn’t know him personally but I met him once at Floyd’s daughter’s birthday party. When she had that big bash a couple years ago.

We had a chance to have a short conversation there but I don’t know him too well.

BSO: You’re both at very different points in your careers. It could be considered do-or-die for him given his age (39). How do you view this fight?

JW: I see every fight as a do-or-die situation for me. You can never afford to not look good. That’s just how I look at things. 

BSO: Preparing for a fight against Ishe Smith is very different from preparing for a fight against Conley. In ring strategy changes but does the mental advice Breadman (Trainer, Stephen Edwards) gives you vary from opponent to opponent?

JW: That’s a good question. Different opponents are going to bring things out of the coach, the fighter, everyone. The bigger the threat level, everyone becomes more cautious. 

BSO: Instead of telling me camp has been “amazing” and the “best camp ever,” what’s it really been like?

JW: Camp has been long, really long and I’m glad it’s over. Now the fun part starts, getting to Vegas and fight night. I’m ready to get it over with so I’m happy the fight is here.

BSO: Once the fight is over, does a win over bring more activity for you in 2018?

JW: I’d like to hope so.

BSO: What do you expect Saturday night?

JW: I expect Ishe to be Ishe Smith. I’ve been watching him for a long time, since the amateurs, and he’s pretty much been the same guy the whole time. He has a defensive approach to his fights and I don’t think he does well with certain styles. But he is a crafty veteran, a former world champion and he brings a lot of experience to the fight. But I do too. I’m not 13-0.

It’s going to be an exciting fight, I really believe that. He’s fighting in front of his home crowd so he’s going to want to look good.

BSO: Is there a part of you that wants the fans to know more about you?

JW: No. I don’t’ want them to know anything except that I’m a hungry fighter, I want to be world champion and I want to make tons of money.

I don’t care about spotlight, I don’t’ care if I have 200K followers on social media I don’t care about any of that stuff. I’d say I’m just a private person.

BSO: Before I let you go, since you are from Philly, Are you out there campaigning for Meek Mill?

JW: I didn’t because I’m camp but I definitely support him. I don’t know him personally but I think he’s being railroaded in the situation but more importantly, I think what’s happening to him is happening to plenty other people. When they protest for him, they are protesting for the other people that this has happened to that don’t have a voice. It shines light on a much bigger problem. I think if they let him out or his situation gets rectified, it’ll be good. I mean its good that he gets out and can work and support his family but I think some things need to change in the judicial system.

Julian “J Rock” Williams faces off against Ishe Smith Saturday night at The Chelsea Inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m.