First things first for rising junior middleweight contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams.
There has been much back and forth between Williams and former titlist Austin Trout on social media and their eventual meeting seems destined to happen. And soon.
But Williams has a date with Argentina’s Luciano Cuello in front of him. They meet in a scheduled 10-round fight in a Premier Boxing Champions main event on Tuesday night (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, 9 ET) at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, not far from Williams’ hometown of Philadelphia.
Cuello, 31, is no pushover. He has won three fights in a row since a competitive decision loss to Willie Nelson on HBO in June 2013. His only other defeats came against very familiar names: A decision to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a very close 2009 bout and a sixth-round knockout to Canelo Alvarez in 2010.
"I am in great condition as usual and ready to get in there,” the 25-year-old Williams said. “Cuello is a tough guy. He is a real fighter that will come to other guy's countries and hometowns and put up tough fights.
"I really don't think about being close to home or even that the fight is on television. It is an honor, but I am not going to let fighting close to home distract me."
While Cuello (35-3, 17 KOs) figures to pose a solid test for Williams (21-0-1, 12 KOs), the fight that has many talking is a showdown with Trout (30-2, 17 KOs), 30, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, who has won four fights in a row since back-to-back decision losses to Alvarez (in a title unification bout) and Erislandy Lara.
Trout, who owns a decision win against Miguel Cotto, and Williams – both of whom are with adviser Al Haymon -- are on similar schedules too. Trout knocked out Joey Hernandez in the sixth round on Sept. 8.
Williams claimed he is not looking ahead to Trout, however.
"I will address the stuff with Trout after I win on (Tuesday),” Williams said. “I am close to getting a big opportunity and a shot at the title. I am ready now. I just want the fans to tune into FS1 or come out to the Sands and enjoy the 'J- Rock' experience."