All items courtesy of Showtime and PR man extraordinaire Marc Abrams
Here is what Julian and his trainer, Stephen Edwards, had to say Tuesday:
“I am extremely focused. There is a lot at stake this Saturday. I am finally in the position I wanted to be in since turning pro.
“I have come to a conclusion that if people don’t have to fight Julian Williams then they won’t. It hasn’t been that frustrating though because I always have a fight on the books. I can’t worry about the people who won’t fight me. I just have to stay ready and put myself in the mandatory spot. That’s what I am going to do on Saturday night.
“It’s never any challenge fighting at home. I know exactly what I have to do. I don’t cut any corners in camp. The biggest challenge is the waiting because I am so anxious to get in there and get a win, especially in front of my home crowd.
“I always knew I wanted to pursue a boxing career, so I treat it like I want it. I’ve been dreaming about this for a long time and my opportunity is finally here.
“I’ve been a student of the game since I started watching boxing. I want to learn and I want to know everything about boxing.
“It means everything to have my biggest fight to date in my backyard. I know my fans cheer loud and it feels great to have their support in my corner.
“I know everything about my opponent. I probably know what kind of toothpaste he used this morning. I searched high and low for videos of Matano. I am ready because I know he is ready.
“He is a little bit awkward. He seems to have a really good gas tank. He said he wants to take me the distance, so we’ll see.
“The last fight solidified the things that I already knew about myself. I know I am fundamentally sound and I know I am the hungriest fighter in the world.
“I always want to put on an explosive performance. It’s always about a win.
“In about nine months, Philadelphia will have it’s fourth IBF super welterweight champion after David Reid, Robert Hines and Buster Drayton.”
STEPHEN EDWARDS, Williams‘ trainer
“We are ready. It’s been a long four-month camp. We thought were going to fight in January, so we’ve been grinding through this rough weather early in the morning.Julian is chomping at the bit and ready to rock ‘n roll.
“We thought we were going to fight Austin Trout in December, and he saw thatJulian gave his opponent a concussion and said I don’t want to fight him. It’s just that simple. We have to get past Matano and then we can talk about (super welterweight champion Jermall) Charlo.
“Anybody with two hands and a heartbeat can fight. Matano is ranked and just because he isn’t well known, it doesn’t mean he can’t fight. He is 16-1 and they didn’t have a hard time convincing him to take the fight. The best soldiers are volunteers. Any time someone willingly comes to someone else’s country, you have to take him seriously.
“I don’t want to make a prediction, but Julian will hurt this guy very bad.”
At the pre fight press conference two days later Marcello Matano went on the record to say:
“I feel very good. I’ve been here since Friday so I have gotten used to the time zone difference and I’m ready to fight. My American experience is just starting and I’m looking forward to it.
“It’s been a hard two months of training for this fight. This is by far the most important fight of my career so I’ve trained even harder than I usually do.
“I know that Julian Williams is a top-notch athlete and that he is coming to give his best, just like I am. It’s going to be an exciting fight because we both want to get to the top.
“I can adapt myself to any opponent. I can be a boxer or I can be a brawler. But in my heart, I am a warrior and I will come forward all fight. I am coming to leave that ring victorious.