Only 18 months ago, Julian Williams was regarded as the premier 154-pounder on the planet.

Then, in an upset few saw coming, disaster struck against hulking Dominican Jeison Rosario who shocked Williams in five rounds in January 2020.

After a long break and an unwelcome bout with Covid-19, Philadelphian Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs and 1 NC) returns to the fray against Albuquerque’s Brian Mendoza (19-1, 13 KOs) in Atlanta on June 26, boosted by new trainer SugarHill Steward in his corner.

The former WBA Super, IBF and IBO champion insists the Rosario loss was an aberration and he is still the best in the business at 154lbs.

“I’ve been out in Las Vegas with SugarHill Steward grinding and putting in the work. The fans can expect an explosive performance and a victory for myself on June 26,” said Williams. “I just have to be myself on June 26. I think I’m more skilled than anyone else in the division and I plan on proving that again against Brian Mendoza.

“I’ve known who Brian Mendoza is. I expect him to get beat. He’s a decent fighter, but victory is the only thing on my mind. I don’t want to talk about what happened before the Rosario fight because it’s in the past. I don’t want to make any excuses. It wasn’t that I didn’t focus or train hard. Right now, I’ve had a great camp and I’m prepared to win.

“I went through a four-week training camp before my fight in December was cancelled because I got Covid-19. It was almost a full camp and it definitely kept me motivated going into this next training camp for this fight.

“I’m the best fighter in the division. I just lost, that’s all. LeBron James and Michael Jordan had bad nights, I can have a bad night, too. I’m still the best in the division and I’m anxious to get back in the ring.”

Main image: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions.