Carlos Adames is still a titleholder, but not without controversy.
The interim WBC middleweight champion successfully defended his belt against Julian Williams (28-4-1, 16 KOs) on Saturday in Minneapolis and though Adames (23-1, 18 KOs) walked out with a knockout win, the TKO stoppage was immediately protested by his opponent.
Watch the ending sequence below.
Adames was landing solid punches and pressuring Williams against the ropes, but just as Williams began to fire back, referee Mark Nelson stepped in to wave off the bout. The official time of the stoppage was at the 2:45 mark of Round 9.
In the clip, Williams reacts incredulously at the referee’s decision and commentator Mauro Ranallo criticized the call, saying, “referee steals a headline.”
Williams later tweeted his frustration at the stoppage and with the scorecards (at the time in favor of Adames 80-72, 78-74, and 77-74).
Last night I fought 5 people Carlos adames 3 blind judges and 1 terrible Ref all I ever ask for was a fair shake and I didn’t get that last night I’m gutted
— Jrock (@Jrockboxing) June 25, 2023
“Last night I fought five people,” Williams wrote. “Carlos Adames, three blind judges, and one terrible ref. All I ever ask for was a fair shake and I didn’t get that last night. I’m gutted.”
William’s trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards echoed those sentiments on Twitter, taking particular umbrage with the 80-72 scorecard and the timing of the stoppage.
Rough one. Proud of my kid @Jrockboxing . We did our best. Adames is a good fighter, very good. But no one was scared of him or that “most feared man in boxing narrative..”The fans were robbed of a great fight down the stretch. And 80-72..boxing has to do better….
— Stephen Edwards (@BreadmanBoxing) June 25, 2023
Edwards also complained of the result following the fight.
“[The referee] couldn’t say nothing to me,” Edwards said, according to Boxing Scene. “I told him it was a typical A-side stoppage. It was a good fight. He was hurt and I’m not saying he wasn’t hurt, but a fight like this, a man not going down, they going back and forth. If he’s the killer that they say he is let him finish him. He was tired too. But it’s always predictable, it’s always the A-side that gets the same s***.
“[Williams] may not even have no more fights. At least let the fight go. [Williams] was down one time in the fight. [Adames] is supposed to be the most feared man in boxing, he never went down. Let him finish him if he’s going to finish him.”
Adames also addressed the stoppage, praising Williams for surviving some rough moments in the fight, but ultimately agreeing that the referee did the right thing to protect his opponent.
“When I came with those two rights, that’s when the referee stopped it,” Adames said, according to Boxing Scene. “If I would’ve hit him with another one, he probably would’ve gotten really hurt.”
Take another look at the stoppage in the official highlights below, courtesy of Showtime.