Photos: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
In front of a sold out crowd of his hometown fans, WBC middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo defended his new title for the first time and kept his unbeaten record in dominating fashion against Brandon Adams Saturday night at NRG Arena in Houston, Texas, live on Showtime. In a near-shutout unanimous decision, Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) won by the scores of 120-108 (twice) and 119-109.
In his first defense since being elevated to WBC middleweight champion on Wednesday, Charlo methodically picked apart the much smaller Adams (21-3, 13 KOs), a Los Angeles native who earned his title shot by winning the 2018 reboot of The Contender. Despite an injury to his left hand, Charlo recorded double digit connects in every round but the first while limiting the resilient and durable Adams to single digit connects in all but the final round.
Charlo was unable to punctuate his dominating display with the knockout he craved in front of the 6,408 fans who saw him headline in his hometown for the first time in his career. Despite that, Charlo was even more active than usual and led 151-73 overall in total punches landed and 118-42 in power punches connected. Charlo also made a concerted effort to attack the body, landing more shots to the body than in any his last five fights.
“I wasn’t frustrated that I didn’t get the knockout,” Charlo told SHOWTIME’s Hall of Fame ringside reporter Jim Gray following the fight. “This is boxing and he came out to box. I came out to fight. It was a good fight. The city of Houston, I’ll be back.
“My hand will be alright. I hurt my hand in like the second round but I kept throwing it. It was obvious my jab wasn’t flowing.”
“I was coming up here to win,” said Adams. “I was coming to try to take him out in his hometown. He did what he was supposed to do. He’s a champ for a reason and I take my hat off to hm.
“He’s a much bigger guy, period. I just tried to put my best foot forward and tried to take him out at the end.”
Looking ahead to what’s next, Charlo fired a warning shot to his fiercest competitors in the middleweight division.
“Canelo has done a great job of being a champ, Golovkin also,” said Charlo. “Those guys are at the top but there’s always a young underdog and a lion ready to take over. That’s me.”