September 17, 2021

Julian Williams To End Long Layoff On Fury-Wilder Undercard October 9; Opponent TBD

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Julian Williams has another date for his long-awaited return to the ring.

BoxingScene.com has learned that Williams has been scheduled to box October 9 on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder undercard at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Williams’ opponent hasn’t been secured, but the Philadelphia native is expected to compete in a 10-round bout that will be broadcast by ESPN2, FS1, ESPN Deportes and FOX Deportes before the ESPN/FOX Sports pay-per-view portion of the Fury-Wilder undercard begins at 9 p.m. EDT.

Undefeated super middleweight knockout artist Edgar Berlanga will headline the ESPN/FS1 part of the Fury-Wilder undercard. Brooklyn’s Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs) is scheduled to square off against Argentina’s Marcelo Coceres (30-2-1, 16 KOs) in the first 10-round fight of Berlanga’s five-year pro career.

The two-fight telecast that’ll feature Berlanga and Williams is set to start with Williams’ fight at 7 p.m. EDT.

Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs, 1 NC), a former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champion, hasn’t boxed since Jeison Rosario upset him by fifth-round technical knockout in January 2020 at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. The 31-year-old Williams was consistently listed as a 30-1 favorite over the Dominican Republic’s Rosario entering that optional title defense.

The ex-champion subsequently underwent surgery to repair scar tissue above both eyes and declined his contractual right to a rematch with Rosario.

Williams was supposed to end his long layoff June 26 on the pay-per-view portion of a Showtime event that featured Gervonta Davis’ 11th-round stoppage of former WBA world super lightweight champion Mario Barrios at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

A favored Williams was set to battle Brian Mendoza in a 10-rounder, but Williams suffered an elbow injury while training and withdrew the week of their fight. That marked the second time the Williams-Mendoza match was postponed, which prompted Mendoza to request another opponent.

They first were supposed to meet December 26 in Los Angeles, but Williams contracted COVID-19 and withdrew from what was slated as a “PBC FOX Fight Night” main event. Mendoza (19-2, 13 KOs), of Albuquerque, New Mexico, lost a one-sided, 10-round unanimous decision to 20-year-old Jesus Ramos (17-0, 14 KOs) on September 5 in a main event FOX televised from The Armory in Minneapolis.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.