Newly crowned IBF and WBA junior middleweight champion Jeison ‘Banana’ Rosario 20-1-1 (14) credits a four-month training camp for his victory over Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams 27-2-1 (16) at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic took control of the fight in the second round before stopping Williams at 1:37 of the fifth. Rosario was leading 39-37 on two cards at the time, while the third card had it even at 38-38.
“As soon as I stepped into the ring, I knew he could not hurt me,” Rosario said. “I knew that my power was affecting him right away.
“This is a big victory for me and for the whole Dominican Republic. When I lost my last fight, I said I will never lose again until I become champion of the world and that’s what happened tonight. I came prepared. I knew before the fight that I was going to win it.
“I have to give a lot of credit to my team. I had a 16-week training camp and that prepared me for this. My life is changed forever and I can support my family in a whole new way. I realized that I was going to win, once I was offered the fight. I knew that if I made the sacrifice, that I would do what I did tonight. I knew it 16 weeks ago.”
Williams was cut in the second round but refused to blame the injury for the loss. The 29-year-old said he would invoke the immediate rematch clause in the fight contract.
“Rosario was the better man tonight. It was a great homecoming for my fans and I’m sorry I let them down. What went wrong tonight needs to and will be fixed,” Williams said.
“We’re going to an immediate rematch and we look forward to returning the favour. I wasn’t surprised he was so good. I told everybody he’s a real fighter. I have to accept it.
“The cut blurred my vision a little bit, but it wasn’t the reason why I lost. He was the better fighter tonight. We’ve got a rematch clause. I’ll see him again soon. I’ll be back.”
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