Erickson Lubin Returns with KO Victory and Fernando Martinez Retains Title with 11th-Round TKO in Televised Undercard Bouts
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MINNEAPOLIS – June 25, 2023 – Hard-hitting top middleweight Carlos Adames retained his Interim WBC Middleweight Title with a ninth-round stoppage of game former unified world champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams in the main event of action live on SHOWTIME Saturday night from The Armory in Minneapolis in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
“I’m so thankful to everyone who came out here and gave me support today and all week,” said Adames. “We gave the fans a great fight and I accomplished my goal, which was walking out of here with the title.”
The early rounds saw good back and forth action, as Adames (23-1, 18 KOs) appeared to wobble Williams (28-4-1, 16 KOs) in round two, forcing Williams to hold on and survive the rest of the round. After Adames opened up a cut under Williams’ right eye in round three, Williams showed his championship pedigree in rebounding to land several big power shots and control most of the round.
The tide turned again in round four, with Adames landing a series of power shots that again had Williams hurt against the ropes and hoping to hold and keep Adames off him. The fight settled in after the fourth, with both fighters having their moments through the middle frames.
“I really don’t know how he survived the fourth round, but he’s a veteran,” said Adames. “He’s got skills and that’s what got him through that round.”
“I just stayed calm,” said Williams about the fourth round. “I knew he was trying to finish me. I knew he was throwing punches, but I think I won the next couple of rounds after that.”
The Dominican Republic’s Adames broke through once again in round nine, upping his activity again and staggering Williams with a series of power shots. Williams showed his consummate ring IQ and grit by doing everything he could to keep Adames from delivering a decisive blow, however referee Mark Nelson stepped in and called an end to the fight 2:45 into the round.
“When I came with those two rights, that’s when the referee stopped it,” said Adames. “If I would’ve hit him with another one, he probably would’ve gotten really hurt.”
Williams disagreed with the stoppage and expressed his displeasure in the ring post fight.
“I think it was a terrible stoppage, but what can I do?” said Williams. “I’m healthy and I feel fine. I thought it was pretty much even and I was taking over while he was getting tired. Of course I want a rematch. It’s not his fault that the ref jumped in early. It looked corny. It looked bad. It was a great fight, I thought it was an even fight, and he jumps in and stops it because I got a little bit buzzed. It’s boxing.”
At the time of the stoppage, Adames led on all three cards by scores 80-72, 78-74 and 77-74. The overall punch stats were close according to CompuBox, with Adames’ biggest advantage coming in a 64-27 edge on body shots that helped break his opponent down.
“I’m one of those fighters that knows that to chop the tree down, you start with the trunk and then it will fall by itself,” said Adames. “I’m a warrior. I’m going to rest for a little bit and see what’s next.”
In the co-main event, super welterweight contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (25-2, 18 KOs) dropped and stopped Luis “Cuba” Arias (20-4-1, 9 KOs) in the fifth-round of their scheduled 10-round showdown.
Lubin, who was returning to the ring for the first time since losing to Sebastian Fundora in a 2022 Fight of the Year, was the cleaner puncher throughout the five rounds, consistently landing a variety of shots.
“I felt like I was landing my shots pretty well,” said Lubin, “He was a lot slower than I was and I was able to see everything he had coming. I felt good. I’ve been in the gym since my Fundora loss and I’m ready for them all.”
Arias spent much of the fight looking to close down the distance and land a game-changing power shot against Lubin, who had been stopped in both of his defeats.
“Lubin fought a good fight, but I still had five more rounds to land that shot,” said Arias. “I landed it a couple times and he definitely felt it.”
Already having one of his best rounds of the fight, Lubin broke through in round five to hurt Arias with a chopping right hand that sent Arias to the mat. Arias took a knee and appeared to just barely beat referee Zac Young’s count, but instead the fight was called 2:11 into the round.
“I know that if they were going to let him keep fighting I was going to attack him and try to get him out anyways. I knew he was hurt, I hurt him with a body shot earlier in the round and he started to slow down a little bit, and then the head shot just took him down.”
Arias, who had never been stopped before and who had entered the fight having won two of his last three outings, strongly disagreed with Young’s decision when asked about it post-fight.
“That was definitely a bad count,” said Arias. “I need to go back and look at it and see if it was 10. That’s just part of the game. It was loud, [the referee] saw us taking some shots both of us and he did, and what he had to do but I felt like it wasn’t a fair count. And like I said, I’ll be back. my career has always been about reviving myself, fighting the best.”
The 27-year-old Lubin was jovial post fight and declared his intention to take on top fighters, including the winner of the night’s main event.
“That Fundora fight just motivated me,” said Lubin. “We got Fight of the Year last year, and I just came back strong. It just motivated me man. I’m ready for the fights at 154 and I’m ready for the winner of this main event.”
In the telecast opener, undefeated 115-pound world champion Fernando “Puma” Martinez (16-0, 9 KOs) delivered a dominating performance to defend his IBF title by 11th-round TKO over the previously unbeaten Jade Bornea (18-1, 12 KOs).
“I said before the fight that the tougher, stronger fighter was going to win and that was me,” said Martinez.
Martinez, who is promoted by fellow Argentine and former two-division champion Marcos Maidana, used an aggressive, blitzing style to batter the Filipino challenger on his way to his second successful world title defense. A steady diet of hooks caused a large welt to form on Bornea’s left cheek early in the fight, with the accumulation of punches eventually causing Bornea to bleed badly from his right ear.
“I definitely saw the injury in the ear,” said Martinez. “The inflammation was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I hit him with a left and it popped, exploded. I even told the referee to be cautious, I think he’s really hurt. That’s when I just kept going at the ear and trying to finish this fight.”
“The first seven rounds were pretty even, but then I had the injury to my ear,” said Bornea. “It’s unfortunate, but it happens. I tried to keep fighting to the end.”
Bornea had some success in out-landing Martinez in jabs (33-13) and body shots (42-22). . However, Martinez dominated in power punches landed (124-84), including landing 20 power shots in each of the crucial ninth and 10th rounds.
Martinez began to pull away in rounds nine and 10, connecting even more regularly with his power shots, as Bornea offered little return fire despite showing his heart by hanging tough. Early in round 11, Martinez continued to tee off on Bornea and forced referee Charlie Fitch to call the fight 29 seconds into the round.
“It’s time, I’m ready to face the other world champions,” said Martinez. “We had it evident that we’re better than the number one contender. Now it’s time to get the truly big fights and show that I belong at the top.”
Preceding the telecast, action streaming live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS® YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing® Facebook page was topped by Dallas’ Burley Brooks (7-2-1, 5 KOs) earning a unanimous decision (98-91, 96-93 twice) over former world champion Caleb “Golden” Truax (31-6-2, 19 KOs) in their 10-round light heavyweight clash. Burks was able to edge the decision despite being deducted a point in round nine for repeatedly losing his mouthpiece, and despite the Minnesota-native Truax fighting in front of his hometown crowd.
Also featured on the live stream was former super flyweight world champion Jerwin Ancajas (34-3-2, 23 KOs) scoring a fifth-round stoppage of Colombia’s Wilner Soto (22-13, 12 KOs). Ancajas first dropped Soto in round four, before following up in round five with the decisive blows that ended the fight 2:43 into the round. The action opened up with 19-year-old prospect Mickel Spencer (3-0, 2 KOs) and Lyle McFarlane (2-1, 1 KO), who fought to a no-decision after an accidental head butt in round three left McFarlane unable to continue according to the ringside physician, officially halting the bout 1:31 into the round.
Veteran sportscaster Brian Custer hosted the telecast while versatile combat sports voice Mauro Ranallo handled the blow-by-blow action alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and three-division world champion Abner Mares. Three Hall of Famers rounded out the telecast team – Emmy®-winning reporter Jim Gray, world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr., and boxing historian Steve Farhood, who served as unofficial scorer. The executive producer was four-time Emmy Award winner David Dinkins, Jr., with Ray Smaltz III producing and Bob Dunphy directing. Sportscaster Alejandro Luna called the action in Spanish on Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) with former world champion and SHOBOX: The New Generation® commentator Raúl “El Diamante” Marquez serving alongside him as the expert analyst. The SHOWTIME BOXING COUNTDOWN show was hosted by award-winning MORNING KOMBAT live digital talk show hosts Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell, who also serves as an analyst alongside Marquez on SHOBOX®.
Tonight’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader will re-air on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME and Monday, June 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME®.
The event was promoted by TGB Promotions and Warriors Boxing. Lubin vs. Arias was co-promoted with Mayweather Promotions.
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