What We Learned: Williams vs. Rosario

A look at the key takeaways from Saturday's big night of boxing on FOX PBC Fight Night.

From another major upset to a night of tests for Chris Colbert, Joey Spencer and Vito Mielnicki Jr., here’s what we learned from Saturday’s FOX PBC Fight Night Card.

One stands alone

Jermell Charlo,  Julian WilliamsJarrett HurdErislandy Lara, Tony Harrison, Brian Castano and Erickson Lubin.  In a time where boxing is on the rise, the 154-pound division has emerged as the best of the bunch, full of high-end fighters. 

Add 24-year-old Jeison Rosario to that list. 

A stunned Philadelphia crowd looked on as Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) pummeled their native son, the aforementioned Williams, knocking him out in five rounds and snatching his WBA and IBF World 154-pound titles away. 

The win upsets the super welter apple cart again as heavy favorite Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs) was expected unify versus WBC champion Jermell Charlo later this year. Could that slot now go to Rosario? Charlo and Rosario are arguably the two biggest punchers in the division—and both carry a never-say-die into the ring. 

Or maybe we see the long awaited showdown between Charlo and Jarrett Hurd? Hurd, who lost his undefeated record and world titles to Williams last May, looks to rebound versus Francisco Santana Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on a SHOWTIME-PBC card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). 

Charlo is coming off a resounding 11th-round TKO over Tony Harrison last December in a rematch of their December 2018 encounter, when Harrison won a close decision over Charlo. 

Perhaps Williams exercises his rematch clause and faces Rosario again. Or chooses to give Hurd a chance to avenge the loss to him. Or we see Harrison-Lubin. Lara-Castano 2. Mix and match any of the top guys at 154 and you’re sure to produce a great fight.

WBA Interim World Super Featherweight Champion - Chris Colbert

A step forward

Chris “Primetime” Colbert may not have delivered the performance he wanted, but he has to be pleased with results. The 23-year-old Colbert captured the WBA Interim World Super Featherweight title with a wide 12-round unanimous decision over former world champion Jezreel Corrales.

Colbert, 14-0 (5 KOs), scored a knockdown off a left hook in the 11th, one of the few rounds where they exchanged. The rest of the bout was fought at a distance. Colbert stalked throughout but Corrales (23-4, 9 KOs) wisely played spoiler—and his hand speed commanded respect. 

Colbert showed patience, adaptability and a versatile skillset in a fight that could only help the 23-year-old improve. The talk of Leo Santa Cruz may be too soon for the Brooklyn product, but he could be ready for the elite in a couple more fights.

Undefeated Super Welterweight Prospect: Joey Spencer

Spencer and Mielnicki go the distance

Joey Spencer, the fan-voted 2019 PBC Prospect of the Year, began his 2020 with a six-round decision over a passive Erik Spring. Spencer pressed for the KO but didn’t come close to one until the final seconds of the sixth, when a left hook staggered Spring. Spencer followed up but the bell rang moments later. 

Spencer is now 10-0 (7 KOs). He’s gone the distance in three of his last four fights and been tested by a couple of those opponents. However, he’s still only 19, and bursting with physical tools. Expect to see continued refinement as he further hones his skills in the gym.

Another prospect, 17-year-old welterweight Vito Mielnicki Jr., went the distance for the first time in his career, easily outpointing Preston Wilson over four rounds. 

Mielnicki was a blue-chip amateur who, as a pro, has the potential to win titles in multiple weight divisions. He fights with a veteran’s composure, works well behind the jab and can step in with fast combinations, as he showed against Wilson. Expect the New Jersey native to stay active this year, learning with each fight.

A happy homecoming?

Undefeated IBF World Super Middleweight Champion Caleb Plant makes the second defense of his title against mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz on Saturday, February 15, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, live on FOX PBC Fight Night (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)

But after watching Julian Williams upset in Philadelphia and DMV’s Jarrett Hurd shocked in Virginia, Plant may be having seconds thought about fighting in his home state of Tennessee. Especially against a hard-hitting unknown. But Plant can look to Errol Spence Jr. in Dallas, Gervonta Davis in Baltimore and Jermall Charlo in Houston as examples of fighters who kept their undefeated records intact when they came home. 

An Illadelph crowd

A host of Philadelphia’s fistic royalty were ringside at the Liacouras Center, including the legendary Bernard Hopkins and former two-division champion Danny Garcia. Garcia returns to the ring this Saturday, January 25, against Ivan Redkach at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)

After watching Williams fall at the hands of Rosario, Garcia, would do well not to overlook underdog Redkach. The latter is coming off an impressive sixth-round stoppage of former world champion Devon Alexander and seems to have found his groove at welterweight. 

But so has Garcia, who looked rejuvenated in dominating and stopping Adrian Granados last April. Garcia credits his performance to working with strength and conditioning trainer Greg Garrett, who works with a number of NFL players. Should Garcia defeats Redkach, expect him to return in a major event later this year. But if Saturday night taught us anything, it’s not to look too far ahead.

For a closer look at Williams vs Rosario, check out our fight night page. 

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