Let's say you're staying in tonight to watch the Showtime card since the DAZN clash between Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn has been postponed…with all the focus on the main eventer Sebastian Fundora, let's dig deeper into it.
WHO IS CARLOS ADAMES?
Well, the Dominican super welterweight first hit my radar when he beat a very good fighter of the 2010's; Carlos Molina by a very rare eleven-round decision. Two fights later, Adames was with Top Rank Inc., and around this time began to train with Robert Garcia's Boxing Academy. Brad Goodman and Bruce Trampler of Top Rank Inc. moved him well, setting the stage for Adames' first world title fight against Patrick Teixeira, a vulnerable world title contender, as the two did battle for the vacant WBO super welterweight title. The result was shocking. Teixeira, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, dropped Adames en route to the biggest win of his career, a 12-round decision over the prizefighter.
Going into the bout, it was widely believed Adames was too strong for Teixeira because Teixeira was stopped by Curtis Stevens early on a pay-per-view undercard fight. This leads to Adames biggest flaw – he starts early but tends to fade late. It is a pattern throughout his career.
ADAMES WOULD MOVE UP A DIVISION TO MIDDLEWEIGHT NEXT
Adames would take a hometown fight and then get two fights on Premier Boxing Champion's cards. His first fight was on the Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios pay-per-view card against Alexis Flores, who he stopped in three rounds. At this time, Adames began to train with Ismael Salas, who had been credited with changing the career direction of Yordenis Ugas and has been lead to some major wins in his career, most notably beating Manny Pacquiao in Pacquiao's last professional bout.
Adames would return yet again on a Gervonta Davis undercard, this time when Davis fought Isaac Cruz as he faced Sergiy Derevyanchenko, one of the best fighters in the division. Derevyanchenko has fought everyone in his era but is just lacking a marquee win. Against Adames, it was a very even fight, in which, however, you had more of an emotional connection with who you'd probably score the fight for.
Tonight we see Adames' third fight with PBC, a gateway fight, if you will. Adames will have Bob Santos as his trainer instead of Ismael Salas and will likely fight for a world title if he wins tonight.
WHO IS JUAN MACIAS MONTIEL?
Sharing the same promoter as Sebastian Fundora, Sampson Lewkowicz, Montiel is a battle-tested tough guy who has two traits: 1) making fun fights and 2) having issues with the highest level of competition he has faced. The two best fighters Montiel faced were Jermall Charlo at 160 lbs. and Jaime Munguia at 147 lbs. five years ago. Charlo beat him by a decision, and Munguia stopped him.
Montiel became a capital ‘G' Guy for television when he stopped the beloved cult-boxing figure, James Kirkland. It isn't rocket science what Montiel does. He can box and bang a little bit and he is talented enough to get by in both regards, but nothing stands out as extraordinary. This has a chance of being a lot of action and drama, but it also has a chance of being a quality, world-class fight that is occurring and lacks a path of engagement for viewers.
WHERE DOES THIS FIGHT LEAD FOR BOTH GUYS WITH A WIN?
For Adames, it seems a win could land him one of two things, a chance at a vacant world title against Jermall Charlo, who has been out since facing Montiel last year and is one of the more inactive champions, or a vacant world title shot in his near future as this is for the interim WBC world title.
In order, Adames is #1 for the WBC title, Jaime Munguia is #2, and Chris Eubank Jr. is #3. This fight probably came about since it took until the #6 fighter in the division, Juan Macias Montiel to accept the fight. The positive would be if Adames wins; he is a much better name on paper to fight than Maciej Sulecki, Charlo's previous opponent before being injured.
For Montiel, this is a business first. This high-grossing fight might not step him up for life but will add to his creature comforts. Adames is by no means an unbeatable adversary. In fact, he has made a lot of fights far too close and lost a winnable fight as well. For Montiel, this gives him a chance at the WBC title again and to rematch Charlo, who had just beaten him, or even better – rematch Jaime Munguia or another notable name.
Montiel is fighting to get more relevant fights and is being slept on. Well, to be fair, both guys are being slept on, as despite entertaining fighting styles, both fighters have yet to catch on as must-see main-event talents just let.
What do the experts think? Adames is a -500 favorite, to a +400 underdog in Montiel. A sneaky good fight that the purist will like but could go under the radar to most, and if you miss it, I could see a slew of hardcore fight fans casually glancing over the results…why?
It feels like the best fighters at middleweight are not fighting enough. So, fights that create world title contenders begin to lose their luster when the best of their division don't actively provide opportunities to those working hard to change for the title.