Big time junior middleweight prospect Julian Williams took out last minute replacement, Jamar Freeman with a 9th round TKO. Williams (17-0-1, 10 KOs) was to face Edgar Ortega (15-2, 10 KOs) tonight, but Ortega dropped out and Jamar Freeman (13-3-2, 6 KOs) stepped in. The lightly regarded Freeman was taking a huge step up in class, but had won four of his last five.
Williams looked every bit the part of the prospect moving up to contender status. Despite Freeman giving Williams almost nothing and taking hardly any chances, Williams showed his patience skill and power in a dominant performance.
On to the rounds:
Round One: The fight starts slow. Williams seems to be figuring out how he wants to approach the last minute replacement. He’s controlling the round, but not much is happening early on. Williams is coming forward with patience, content to work his jab. The only punch Freeman appeared to land was a jab in the last ten seconds of the round. Slow round to say the least.
Round Two: Freeman seems more willing to interact, but that’s not saying much. Williams is almost professorial in his approach. A lot of faints and jabs. Williams opens up with three body shots. Freeman lands a right hand counter in the exchange. With 30 seconds to go in round two, Freeman has landed all of 5 punches. Williams controls a slightly less sleepy round.
Round Three: Freeman is tightly coiled. Can’t let his hands go. Williams is starting to press his will. Freeman lets his hands go for a moment, but nothing significant lands. Williams lands a clean left-right combo. Freeman sticks out his tongue, which at this point is more imposing than his fists. Williams is showing excellent movement. Freeman is longer and taller, but is making no use of those physical advantages. A hard left by Williams gets Freeman’s attention. Williams is starting to put together combinations.
Round Four: Williams opens with a 4 punch combination. You get the feeling that whenever he steps on the gas, this could end fairly quickly. Freeman is clearly outclassed. Even when Freeman lets his hands go, Williams’ superior movement leaves him wanting. Williams is a seriously focused guy. Freeman is even losing the staring contest even though that’s about all he’s doing. Williams ends the round backing Freeman against the ropes with a series of short fast punches.
Round Five: Williams lands a hard right early. He’s starting to pick up the pace. Through four rounds, Freeman has yet to land more than 4 blows in any round. Freeman is just not trying to make this fight. Williams pushes Freeman against the ropes and digs to the body. Freeman circles out without throwing a punch. Hard left breaks through Freeman’s constant guard with authority. The round ends with Freeman getting worked over in the neutral corner.
Round Six: Williams is starting to do whatever he wants. Williams is starting to break Freeman’s guard with regularity. Freeman throws a three punch combination and even though it does no damage, it still nearly makes my jaw drop. This feels more like a sparring session than a prize fight. And not a very good one. Williams lands a hard left to Freeman’s jaw against the ropes.
Round Seven: Williams opens up with a combination that goes up and down Freeman’s body. Freeman flurries for a moment. More of a shoeshine than anything else. Williams continues to press forward looking for openings that Freeman is doing his best not to provide. Williams lands a monster overhand right and Freeman willingly takes a knee. He beats the count at eight. Freeman shows a little spunk and lets his hands go, but Williams responds with more of the same and drops Freeman in the corner with three vicious blows. Freeman beats the count and survives the round…barely.
Round Eight: Freeman did not look like a guy who wanted to come out of the corner. Williams bullies Freeman into the corner, landing blows with nothing coming back. Freeman drops down in the corner again and referee, Robert Byrd, quite correctly stops the fight at the 2:31 mark.
Freeman was nowhere near the class of Williams, but you can still see all the reasons why those around boxing are high on Williams and 2015 could be a big year for him. I would not be surprised to see him in a title bout as early as next year.