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Julian Williams didn’t have the comeback he imagined. Vladimir Hernandez made sure of that.
The Mexican applied intense pressure from beginning to end to defeat the former 154-pound champion by a split decision in a 10-round bout on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder card at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.
Two judges score it for Hernandez, 97-93 and 96-94. The third had Williams winning, 96-94.
Williams, coming off a knockout loss to Jeison Rosario in January of last year, seemed to have success early in the fight even though he fought more flat-footed than he has in past. He landed the cleaner, more accurate punches in the face of Hernandez’ relentless aggression.
However, Hernandez, who suffered cuts over both eyes, had more and more success as the fight progressed and Williams grew tired. Maybe it was Hernandez’s body work that wore Williams down. Maybe it was the layoff. Maybe it was both.
Whatever the reason, the remarkably hit Hernandez (13-4, 6 KOs) took control of the fight in the later rounds to pull out the victory and spoil Williams’ return to the ring.
Williams (27-3-1, 16 KOs) hasn’t won a fight since he outpointed Jarret Hurd to win two 154-pound titles in May 2019.
Hernandez, who lives in Stockton, Calif., was coming off a unanimous-decision victory over veteran Alfredo Angulo in August of last year. He has now won three consecutive fights since losing back-to-back fights in 2018 and 2019.