Saturday, April 20, 2024  |


Emotional Jermall Charlo makes statement with Williams KO

Photo by German Villasenor
Fighters Network

LOS ANGELES – Jermall Charlo made a statement with a fifth-round knockout of Julian “J-Rock” Williams to successfully defend his IBF junior middleweight title in the co-feature to the Jesus Cuellar-Abner Mares fight on Saturday at USC’s Galen Center.

Charlo, from Houston, Texas, sent Williams to the canvas a total of three times in the fight. In the second round, a strong jab caught Williams’ chin and it forced the challenger to stumble backwards and on his backside. Williams, of Philadelphia,

Photo by German Villasenor

Photo by German Villasenor

Pennsylvania, stumbled upon getting up from what looked to be a flash knockdown, but he gathered himself by the end of the round with a clean overhand right.

Williams (22-1-1, 14 knockouts) did his best work with that right hand. Early and often, his counter hook was timed well off Charlo’s long jab, but it wasn’t enough to thwart the defending titleholder’s game plan. Charlo (25-0, 19 KOs), who had a slight size advantage, kept a comfortable distance thanks to his jab and savvy footwork that had his lead foot always on the inside.

After a close fourth round where Williams’ counter right hand reared it’s head, Charlo put on a beatdown in the fifth. It all started when the two began to exchange toe-to-toe, and a flurry of shots highlighted by a right hand folded Williams to the canvas for the second knockdown of the fight. Williams slowly got up on wobbly legs and Charlo could be seen in the neutral corner champing at the bit for action to resume. Once it did, Charlo went back to letting his hands go, and after another precise flurry, a left uppercut of his dropped Williams a final time and sealed his fate.

“I did what I was supposed to do, I’m very happy with my performance, I listened to my trainer,” said Charlo after the win while getting booed by the crowd. Their reaction was because Williams went to Charlo’s corner to shake hands, and Charlo refused to do so.

Photo by German Villasenor

Photo by German Villasenor

“I said ‘I don’t want your congratulations, I want your apology.’ I don’t care what they (the fans) say, I knocked him out. No matter what they say about me I’m going to continue to work hard. I did what my trainer told me to do, I stayed in there and bang the shot came home.  I’m never disrespected this dude, never, until I knocked him out.”

Blaming it on his own emotions, Charlo did realize they may have gotten the better of him.

“I just want to tell Julian Williams I’m sorry,” he later said. As for a reasoning, he explained, “Leading up to this fight Julian Williams talked, and I held it in. I did what I had to do to become the champion of the world and I deserve my respect. He disrespected me all the way up to the fight.

“I made the fight happen; I gave the fans what they wanted to see. I stayed at 154 pounds, although I do want to move up to 160, just to fight someone the world said I couldn’t beat.”

Williams didn’t offer any excuses for the first loss of his pro career.

“I just got caught. I was fine after the second round and kept going. He just caught me. He wasn’t too big. He just caught me,” admitted Williams. “I didn’t care about any of that [post-fight drama]. I just wanted to win.”

The undercard:

In a bloody affair, Sergey Lipinets was victorious after knocking out Lenny Zappavinga in the eighth round of what was an IBF junior welterweight eliminator.

Zappavinga (35-2, 25 KOs) played the role of aggressor to start, and he seemingly edged the early rounds for the sole reason of his trigger happy game plan. With his lead left hand down for the fight’s entirety, Lipinets, from Marut, Kazakhstan, basically welcomed the fight with his stance alone, but in the fourth, his lax defense rewarded him with a nasty cut on his forehead. Lipinets was momentarily stunned by a Zappavinga right hand, and in the last half of the round, he was battered around the ring by the Australian.

The ringside doctor had to check the cut out before the fifth round began, but Lipinets had retribution in store for Zappavinga. Brutal exchanges commenced in that fifth round, and it was the Kazakh who was slowly turning the tide of momentum after each standoff. During one of them, a left hook caught the chin of Zappavinga, and it sent him to the mat for a knockdown. Zappavinga slowly took his time getting up, and although he fought out the rest of the round, he walked back to his corner with a gash above his left eye.

In a moment of deja vu, it was Zappavinga getting looked at before the seventh round was allowed to begin by the ringside doctor. The two had just put together another action-packed round in the sixth, but again, it was Lipinets who had the memorable moments. In that seventh, Lipinets furthered his onslaught with two body shots that clearly had Zappavinga slowed down.

With his counterpart now weathered down in the eighth, Lipinets turned up the heat. A right hand of his caught Zappavinga flush, and the Aussie slowly crumbled to the canvas. Zappavinga’s legs were already wobbly on the way down, and he wasn’t able to get up after withstanding referee Tom Taylor’s ten count.

“Yes, this was my toughest fight, it’s bloody and rugged but no problem for me,” said Lipinets (11-0, 9 KOs) after the important victory. “This was an eliminator and now I want my next fight to be for the world championship. Julius Indogo has the IBF title and now I’m the mandatory.”

Zappavinga was as raw and honest during his post-fight interviews as he was during the bout.

“I left it all in the ring. I fought my heart out and I came here to give it my best. Even though I’m disappointed with the loss, I am at peace with the result because I know I couldn’t have done anything else,” he said. “I wish Sergey all the best in his world title fight.”

The younger brother of Abner, Adan Mares, fought to a draw with Evincii Dixon in a four-round junior welterweight scrap. Mares (14-1-4, 3 KOs) had the crowd’s support behind him, but Dixon (7-15-2, 2 KOs) was able to keep up with Mares’ offense. All three judges ringside scored the competitive match identical: 38-38.

Hot junior middleweight prospect Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin was explosive in his second-round knockout of Juan Ubaldo Cabrera. Fighting out of Orlando, Florida, Lubin was a bit tentative to start, but all it took was the first three minutes in order to feel out his opponent. Cabrera (23-2, 15 KOs) was forced into a fight in the second, and after an accumulation of shots, fell to the canvas early in the round for a knockdown.

Lubin, 21, followed it up with a perfect straight right hand that had Cabrera’s back slowly touching every tier of the ropes as he went down, and referee Ray Corona didn’t even bother with a ten count.

“He was a little awkward in the first round. I set him up with my jab and I knew I hurt him in the second. That’s when I knew it was time for him to go,” said Lubin after the win. “I think that fight defnitely proves that I’m in the discussion as one of the top up and comers in the sport, but I don’t feel any pressure. I’m back in the gym on Monday.”

Veteran Josesito Lopez won his only fight of 2016 after receiving a unanimous decision over Todd Manuel (60-54, 60-54, 59-55). Lopez (34-7, 19 KOs) was dominant over Manuel (12-12, 1 KO) thanks to a jab that was always followed up by a right hand.

Hugo Centeno Jr. got himself a win over Ronald Montes once the super middleweight contest was stopped between the third and fourth rounds by referee Tony Crebs. Centeno (25-1, 13 KOs), gets back in the win column after suffering his first defeat in June by the hands of Maciej Sulecki. Montes (17-5, 15 KOs) suffers his third stoppage loss in his past four outings.

In the opening bout of the card put on by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, lightweight prospect, Mario Barrios, stayed undefeated once knocking out Claudio Rosendo Tapia in the second round. Barrios (17-0, 9 KOs) knocked down his Argentinian foe twice in the fateful round, and Tapia (28-18-4, 13 KOs) was clearly out-matched within the first six minutes.