Home Boxing News Carlos Adames out-muscles Julian Williams to keep his name near the top...

Carlos Adames out-muscles Julian Williams to keep his name near the top of the wide-open middleweight division

Carlos Adames (right) defeated Julian Williams. Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

Carlos Adames 23-1 (18) scored perhaps the biggest win of his eight year pro career when he stopped Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams 28-4-1 (16) in the ninth-round to retain his WBC interim middleweight title at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday night.

The 29-year-old Adames from the Dominican Republic was awarded the interim belt with a third-round knockout of Juan Macias Montiel in Carson, California last October. The full WBC champion, Jermall Charlo, has not fought in two years – a wide unanimous decision over Montiel – due to issues outside the ring.

Williams, 33, from Philadelphia, is a former IBF and WBA junior middleweight champion. This was his second bout at 160-pounds.

The Adames-Williams bout was fought at a good pace with excellent exchanges that saw both boxers have their moments to the body and head. But it was Adames who broke the fight open in the fourth with his superior strength and power when he had Williams visibly hurt.

It was arguably a 10-8 round.

“He’s a fighter that’s a veteran,” Adames said of the fourth. “He has skills and all that, and that’s what got him through that round.”

Williams recovered well between rounds and with a blend of will power and veteran savvy forced his way back into the fight.

The problem was that even when things were going his way, Adames would use his physicality and skill to switch the fight back into his favour.

Williams more than held his own in the eighth round but early in the ninth got rocked by Adames again. Not wanting to let him off the hook again, Adames hunted him around the ring, letting bombs fly with both hands. The crafty Williams was able to evade some shots, block others and clinch when the opportunity arose. But the shots that were getting through were hurtful blows, repeatedly snapping his head back.

Finally, referee Mark Nelson made the call. He called off the contest at the 2:45 mark of the ninth round.

Williams’ corner, led by head trainer Stephen ‘Breadman’ Edwards, were furious with the stoppage, but Adames thought it was a good call.

“I think the referee stopped it [at the right time],” Adames said in the post-fight interview. “Because he could’ve really got hurt… That’s when the referee stopped it, when I hit him with those two rights. And if I would’ve hit him with another one, he would’ve got really hurt.”

Williams admitted he was hurt in the ninth round but still disputed the stoppage.

“I think it was a terrible stoppage,” Williams said. “But what can I do? I’m healthy, I feel fine. I thought it was a terrible stoppage. I thought the fight was pretty much even and I was taking over, and he was getting tired. You know what I mean? But what can I do?”

All three judges had Adames ahead at the time of the stoppage. Judge John Mariano had it 78-74, judge Nathan Palmer saw it 77-74, while judge Raymundo Perez viewed it 80-72.