JERMALL CHARLO retained his IBF world super-welterweight title with a vicious fifth-round stoppage of Julian Williams in Los Angeles last night.
The pair clashed in the first super-welterweight world title fight between two unbeaten fighters since Floyd Mayweather dominated Canelo Alvarez in 2013.
Charlo dropped Williams three times in total, once in the second and twice in the fifth. A brutal right uppercut signalled the beginning of the end in the fifth, sending Williams over face-first. He bravely rose but a thunderous left hook floored him again and the fight was stopped at 2-06 of the round.
Afterward a fracas broke out in the ring between the fighters and their cornermen after Charlo wouldn’t acknowledge Williams’ congratulatory hand shake. Williams immediately stormed from the ring. The fans booed Charlo loudly throughout his post-fight interview.
“I did what I was supposed to do, I’m very happy with my performance, I listened to my trainer,” said Charlo. “I trained hard for this fight, I stayed in the gym the whole time.
“No matter what, people have to respect my accomplishments. He just wasn’t on my level. I told everyone what I was going to do since the fight was announced. I knew I was going to win; he was badly hurt after the knockdown.
“I just want to tell Julian Williams, I’m sorry. Leading up to this fight Julian 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.
“I said I don’t want your congratulations; I want your apology. I don’t care what they 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.
“Yes, I want to unify. I want to prove I’m the best junior middleweight in the world, none of them are on my level.”
In the main event of the card at the Galen Center former multi-weight world champion Abner Mares dropped and outpointed pre-fight favourite Jesus Cuellar to win the secondary WBA featherweight title (Carl Frampton holds the legitimate title).
Dropping the hard-hitting Argentinian in the 11th, Mares was awarded scores of 117-110 and 116-111 while one judge gave Cuellar the nod on a score of 115-112.
Mares ended a 16-month hiatus with the win, having not fought since his points loss to Leo Santa Cruz last year.
“I feel so good, it’s been a long time. I’m champion, baby,” the former WBC featherweight and super bantamweight world champion and IBF bantamweight world champion said. “We had the perfect game plan.
“I never doubted myself. I felt it in my heart. When I fought Leo I beat myself because I fought the wrong fight. I fought smart tonight. I thought it would be a unanimous decision, but at the end of the day I’m champion.”