Showtime Boxing Recap 6/24: Adames defends title with TKO win over Williams
Carlos Adames (23-1, 18 KOs) successfully defended his interim WBC middleweight title in Showtime’s main event last night against former unified 154lb champion Julian “J Rock” Williams (28-4-1, 16 KOs). The fight was closely contested, with both men having their moments. The shots of Adames seemed to have more of an effect as he was able to momentarily stun Williams a couple of times. Each time it appeared Adames may have had Williams in trouble, J Rock would hold on to recover and then proceed to get right back in the fight.
Adames targeted the body of Williams from the beginning in an attempt to slowly break down the challenger. Williams used the jab to set up his right hand well in the third round. The fourth round saw Adames hurt Williams with a right hook and then he followed up with a barrage of over 20 unanswered punches trying to put the former unified champion away. Williams would survive the round and boxed well in the fifth. Adames began to show separation as the rounds progressed. He clearly won the sixth and seventh rounds by landing hard shots to the head and body, but J Rock once again rallied back and boxed well in the eighth making it a swing round. Adames once again had Williams buzzed in the ninth round and began to let his hands go as he had Williams on the back foot. The referee stepped in to stop the fight with less than 20 seconds left in the round.
Though it was mostly one-way traffic that round, Williams was still defensively responsible and he deserved the right to be allowed to continue. Williams and his coach Stephen “Breadman” Edwards both protested the stoppage and had every right to be upset. I believe that Adames was on his way to winning, but Williams was still in the fight and should have been allowed the chance to weather the storm like he had been able to do previously. Another problem I had was with the scoring of the fight. One of the judges had it 80-72 for Adames at the time of the stoppage which is not an accurate representation of the fight. I had it 77-75 for Adames and thought J Rock won a few rounds cleanly. Adames will likely soon be elevated to full WBC champion and has shown that he is a rare bright spot in a division that is lacking top-end talent at the moment. Though Williams is now 1-3 since his career-defining win against Jarrett Hurd (24-3, 16 KOs), he showed that he still has enough left in the tank to be competitive at the championship level and is worthy of another high level fight.
In the co-main event, Erickson Lubin (25-2, 18 KOs) met Luis Arias (20-4-1, 9 KOs) in a highly anticipated grudge match. The two have sparred in the past and did their fair share of trash-talking in the build-up to this one. Many wondered how Lubin would look in his first fight back after taking the amount of punishment he did in a TKO loss to Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) last April. Arias is game and if Lubin showed any signs of not being the same guy then it was a common belief that this could be a highly competitive affair. Lubin showed early on that he was not affected by the Fundora defeat and fought well behind his jab which set up his left hand. In the fourth round, a chopping right hook sent Arias to the canvas. Similar to the main event, there was a bit of controversy surrounding the stoppage. It looked like Arias had gotten up between the counts of nine and ten of the referee, but the fight was waived off and Lubin was awarded the knockout victory.
Lubin pitched a shutout and had Arias down, so the stoppage wasn’t as questionable to me as the one in the main event was but I still believe the referee was too quick to pull the trigger and end the fight. Arias had his chance to recover taken away, and Lubin was also robbed of the chance to get a highlight finish that would have shut Arias up for good. Regardless of how the fight ended, Lubin made a statement and made it clear that he is still a legit contender at 154 lbs. This morning Lubin took to Twitter to call out both interim WBC 154lb champion Brian Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOs) and Carlos Adames saying that he wants to fight one of them next.
The opening fight on the telecast featured Fernando Martinez (16-0, 9 KOs) making the second defense of his IBF super flyweight title against Jade Bornea (18-1, 12 KOs). There was plenty of back-and-forth action during this one, and I had it even through eight rounds on my scorecard. Bornea did well using his hand speed to his advantage on the outside, and Martinez had success when he was able to close the distance. The ninth round is where the course of the fight changed. A combination from Martinez busted open the ear of Bornea, which gave the champion confidence to press the action. Bornea was never the same from that moment on, and Martinez had pulled away in the ninth and tenth rounds before the fight was stopped in the eleventh. Martinez said after the fight that his goal is to unify the division, which means he would target either WBC champ Juan Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs), WBA champ Kazuto Ioka (30-2-1, 15 KOs) or WBO champ Junto Nakatani (25-0, 19 KOs). All three would be great matchups and provide Martinez with the opportunity to show that he belongs at the top of a talented 115lb division.
Showtime Sports YouTube Prelims:
An accidental clash of heads caused Kel Spencer (3-0, 2 KOs) and Lyle McFarlane (2-1, 1 KO) to fight to a no-contest to open the YouTube prelims. Former IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (34-3-2, 23 KOs) got back in the win column with a fifth-round TKO victory over Wilner Soto (22-13, 12 KOs). Burley Brooks (7-2-1, 5 KOs) shocked the hometown crowd in the featured event on the prelims, upsetting former IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Traux (31-6-2, 19 KOs) and beating him by unanimous decision.