Adames stops Williams, says he’s ‘true’ champion


Carlos Adames scored a ninth-round stoppage of Julian Williams on Saturday in Minneapolis and now wants to be recognized as the WBC middleweight champion.

Adames (22-1, 17 KOs), who holds the WBC interim middleweight title, told ESPN on Thursday that Jermall Charlo “needs to be stripped immediately” of the full-fledged WBC title he holds in the same 160-pound division.

Charlo hasn’t defended his WBC middleweight title since June 2021, when he outpointed Juan Macias Montiel. He likely won’t defend that title this year, either, after sources told ESPN earlier this week that Charlo is lined up for a September fight against Canelo Alvarez for the undisputed super middleweight championship.

“This is my belt,” Adames told ESPN through a translator, trainer Bob Santos. “I’m the one working. He’s not working. I’m the true champion. … Charlo, he can keep running. … He’s speaking with his actions so he’s moving up. He doesn’t want it. He’s chasing other things.

Adames added: “Anybody that wants to be great in this division right now has to come through me.”

Adames, ESPN’s No. 4 middleweight, delivered yet another impressive performance at 160 pounds on Saturday night in an action-packed PBC on Showtime main event. The 29-year-old Dominican busted open Williams’ right eye in Round 9 and battered him along the ropes when referee Mark Nelson halted the bout with 15 seconds remaining in the frame.

Williams (28-4-1, 16 KOs) was in the midst of punching Adames back when the bout was halted, causing outrage from Williams and his trainer, Stephen “Breadman” Edwards, who repeatedly called the ref a “piece of s—.”

“I think the referee stopped it because he could have really got hurt,” said Adames, who buckled Williams several times and also targeted the body, where he landed 64 punches.

Williams, a 33-year-old former unified 154-pound champion from Philadelphia, said he thought it was a “terrible stoppage,” while Edwards said he told the ref it was “a typical A-side stoppage.”

“He was hurt. I’m not saying he wasn’t hurt,” Edwards said of Williams. “At least let the fight go. This dude [Adames] is supposed to be the most feared man in boxing; [Williams] didn’t go down.”

Adames was ahead 78-74, 80-72 and 77-74 when the fight was stopped.

Adames was a decorated amateur when Top Rank signed him in 2018. He first competed at 147 pounds and then was stopped by Patrick Teixeira in a 2019 fight at 154 pounds. Adames was released by Top Rank afterward.

He linked up with PBC and scored victories over Sergiy Derevyanchenko and a third-round TKO of Montiel last year. Now Adames is hoping the WBC will recognize him as the champion.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said last month that the organization would support Charlo “unconditionally” after he “suffered a mental-health episode” that contributed to the inactivity.

The situation could change now that Charlo is set to fight Alvarez at 168 pounds, but Sulaiman didn’t respond to a text message seeking comment.

“[Charlo’s] been out of the weight class for two years now,” Santos told ESPN on Thursday. “[He’s] going up to 168 — 100% he needs to be stripped.”

He added: “I don’t know what [Charlo’s] submitted to [the WBC] and what he’s provided them or evidence or the reason that they’ve allowed him to keep his title. … It’s nothing personal, but the bottom line is he doesn’t deserve to be champion. It’s two years.”

Lubin bounces back in KO win

Junior middleweight contender Erickson Lubin returned with a fifth-round KO victory over Luis Arias on Saturday night in his first fight since a brutal TKO loss to Sebastian Fundora last April.

Lubin (25-2, 18 KOs) landed a chopping right hand behind Arias’ ear that sent the 33-year-old to the canvas. Arias listened to referee Zachary Young’s count on one knee and appeared to bounce up just before the ref reached 10, but the fight was waved off with 49 seconds remaining in the round.

Much like Williams in the main event, Arias protested. One judge had the fight scored 38-38 at the time of stoppage, but Lubin was up 40-36 and 39-37 on the other two cards.

Lubin, a 27-year-old from West Palm Beach, Florida, is ESPN’s No. 6 boxer at 154 pounds. He suffered a broken nose against Fundora and underwent right shoulder surgery following the fight, one of the best of 2022.

Martinez makes second successful defense

Argentina’s Fernando Martinez retained his IBF junior bantamweight title with an 11th-round TKO of The Philippines’ Jade Bornea.

Martinez won the title with a decision win over Jerwin Ancajas last February and retained the 115-pound belt in the October rematch.

Martinez (16-0, 9 KOs), 31, opened up a gruesome laceration on Bornea’s right earlobe in Round 9, and it bled profusely for the remainder of the bout.

With Bornea (18-1, 12 KOs) absorbing punishment, referee Charlie Fitch stopped the contest 29 seconds into Round 11. The 28-year-old was challenging for his first world title.

Martinez, ESPN’s No. 5 115-pounder, was ahead 97-93, 98-92 and 97-93.

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