Showtime Boxing from The Armory in Minneapolis featured 29-year-old Dominican fighter Carlos Adames (22-1) squaring off with former junior middleweight titlist Julian “J-Rock” Williams (28-3-1).
This was a big fight for Adames with the momentum of a five-fight win streak on the line.
Adames is typically a slow starter and boxing pundits were looking for Williams to come out fast and create openings as opposed to waiting for them—an easier thing to suggest than execute on the hard-hitting Adames.
Adames managed to give Williams a taste of his power to both the body and the head early in the fight, but it was a huge flurry in the 2nd that stoked the action.
After landing a three-punch combo that started to the body and ended with a big left hook that landed so flush it turned Williams all the way around, he managed to weather the storm and even offer resistance back in the form of his own three-punch combo.
The straight left of Adames was hitting like Vladimir Guerrero Jr in a homerun derby, but he seemed to fall in love with the hook early.
Williams landed a straight right in the 3rd and you would swear Adames was going to buckle.
This gave Williams all sorts of confidence as he got more comfortable letting his hands go.
He landed a beautiful left hook to the body and right hook to the head before spinning off—a sign that a fighter is finding his rhythm. Adames’s power was never a non-factor on Showtime boxing.
You got the feeling that Adames was trying to line up the left to end the fight, but then he would throw hooks in fits of rage.
Some Back and Forth, Then, The End
It was the fourth round where Williams was showing signs of feeling Adames’s power, and a barrage of power punches pushed the fight into another realm where the ending felt close.
Williams, to his credit, was never in full-retreat mode.
Instead, he decided to try to get back into the fight, and he offered defiance with hooks of his own and completely changed the narrative, though the momentum never truly shifted in Williams’s favor.
He refused to give Adames his highlight reel victory with ease on Showtime boxing.
ShowStats through 6 showed similar punch stats for both fighters with Adames having the slightly higher punch percentage (34% to Williams’s 32%), and, coincidentally, that was the round Adames switched to orthodox after nearly half the fight in southpaw stance.
The body work that Adames pulled off from the righty stance was impressive.
The second half of the fight started on the inside, and that was also where the best work was exchanged. BOMBS.
The torque that Adames was getting out of his hooks to the body made it look like he was teeing off on the heavy bag.
The 7th was Adames most complete round, arguably, and the right eye of Williams started to swell and redden as his opponent started putting together his best work.
This was Adames’ second fight with trainer Bob Santos, and it was important for him to put an exclamation on things on Showtime boxing.
But with just over a minute left in the 8th, Williams was in prime position to take back a round, his first on Steve Farhood’s unofficial card since the 3rd.
Williams’s right hand was set to precision mode, and he reminded Adames that it was in his arsenal.
The very next round, and with less than a minute left, Adames turned up the heat and caught Williams with the cleanest punches in succession of the entire fight.
The eye that had started to swell at the halfway point was now bloodied and battered, and Williams looked close, but to his credit he was actively trying to avoid the onslaught, until he couldn’t.
After a big right hand, Adames managed to close the distance and land a couple bigger rights which put Williams in full-guard mode. Adames, who hurt Williams, clearly, managed to get through Williams’s high guard. This was enough for referee Mark Nelson to call a halt to the bout.
Williams contested the stoppage immediately as it was written all over his face.
It was a debatable stoppage as Williams had shown so much resistance that it could be argued he’d earned the chance to regroup following a tough sequence—like he did previously in the fight.
However, knowing the punching power of Adames, it is hard to completely fault the ref.
Williams’s trainer, Stephen “Breadman” Edwards verbalized his objection to the stoppage directly to referee Mark Nelson, calling him a “piece of sh**” in the process.
In the post-fight interview, Breadman refereed to the stoppage as a “classic A-side stoppage”—likely referencing the Rolly Romero victory on ShowTime a few weeks ago over Ismael Barroso.
We later saw the judges’ scores and everyone’s surprise, judge Raymundo Perez gave every single round to Adames, which did not reflect the fight we saw accurately on Showtime boxing.
It was not the defining stoppage that Adames wanted, but the performance was there and the win over the caliber fighter that is J-Rock will certainly propel Adames to the next stage.
The TV Opener
In the telecast’s opening bout, it was a battle between junior bantamweights Fernando Martinez (17-0, 9 KOs) and Jade Bornea (18-1, 12 KOs) for Martinez’s IBF strap.
The action was back and forth early, but by the early middle rounds it was Martinez who started to separate himself by picking his shots and executing.
Bornea was able to keep the fight competitive enough, but his right eye was busted open in the 9th.
With his eye bleeding profusely, Bornea did his best to fight back from his compromised position, but Martinez did not relent and was able to secure the stoppage in the 11th with his opponent’s back against the ropes.
Erickson Lubin Stays In the Hunt
Erickson Lubin attempted to get back into the win column in the night’s co-feature following a 14-month layoff.
We last saw Lubin in a losing effort against Sebastian Fundora (undefeated at the time) in what was a junior middleweight classic, but he was tasked with the tough and rugged Luis Arias.
Lubin, (25-2, 18KOs) a Florida fighter, was able to press the action and use his jab to keep his opponent off-guard. For a fighter who has been criticized for falling into lulls throughout 10/12, he clearly came out to make a statement tonight.
The fight got a bit messy in the 4th and got even messier in the 5th and final round.
Lubin landed a three-punch combo that ended with a perfectly placed right hand behind the ear of Arias, though a number of boxing pundits considered it an illegal punch. That punch sent Arias to the canvas, but he seemed to regroup quickly on Showtime boxing.
Waiting with his knee on the canvas, Arias tried to time the ref’s 10-count and appeared to make it to his feet at the count of nine.
Regardless, referee Zach Young counted to ten and the fight was over.
Arias, who had never been stopped in his pro career, was adamant that he beat the 10 and was clearly disappointed in the ref’s quick-count.
Lubin boxed well, but he also put together uppercuts from the inside and a right hooks out the clinch. It was the kind of performance that offers promise for his next time out.