By Keith Idec
HOUSTON – Count Ronnie Shields among those Brandon Adams impressed Saturday night.
Jermall Charlo’s trainer commended Adams for proving he’s a contender, not just “The Contender,” in their 12-round, 160-pound title fight at NRG Arena. Many experts expected Charlo to knock out Adams, who had been stopped by John Thompson in the second round of their May 2015 fight in Corona, California.
Adams not only withstood Charlo’s power, he made their fight difficult at times for Charlo because the shorter, slippery challenger was hard for Charlo to catch clean. Charlo connected on only 24 percent of his overall punches, according to unofficial statistics.
Houston’s Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) won convincingly on all three scorecards, but Shields praised the 29-year-old Adams (21-3, 12 KOs) for his performance versus a much bigger, stronger opponent.
Before Saturday night, Los Angeles’ Adams was known mostly for winning the fifth season of “The Contender” reality series last year.
“You know, styles make fights,” Shields said during a post-fight press conference. “We wanna give Brandon Adams a great big up because he came to fight. And that’s what we wanted, that’s what we need. We need people to come here to fight. If he’d have knocked him out in the first round, people would’ve called [Adams] a bum. But Brandon Adams is a really, really top-notch middleweight and Jermall took care of business.”
Two judges scored all 12 rounds for Charlo (120-108, 120-108). One judge scored 11 of the 12 rounds for the WBC middleweight champion, 119-109, in a fight Showtime televised from Charlo’s hometown.
Charlo also fought through an unspecified injury to his left hand for 10-plus rounds.
“You can never stop learning in this sport,” Shields said. “And the more he wants to learn, the more we have to keep teaching him. Of course, we wanted to get the knockout, but we just wanted to put on a great show. When he hurt his hand in the second round, I just had to put him on the outside to let him just win the fight. We’ll win the fights by knockout later. But we still want the big fights – Canelo, Triple-G, come on, let’s do this.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.