The long-time 154-pound contender has set his sights on a middleweight strap but must first get past the dangerous Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a mouthwatering matchup Sunday night on SHOWTIME pay-per-view.
Carlos Adames has successfully transitioned from super welterweight to middleweight. The hard-hitting boxer from the Dominican Republic is hot on the trail of a world title as he climbs the 160-pound rankings.
A Career Borne From Sibling Unity
Carlos Adames was the 33rd-born of 35 siblings in Comendador, Dominican Republic, only 12 of whom were girls.
“I came from humble beginnings where not everyone lived in the house at the same time,” said Adames. “There were usually seven of us there at any one time, and everyone had to work hard. But that wasn’t always enough to keep me occupied and out of trouble.”
It is primarily for that reason that a 12-year-old Adames was encouraged by an older brother, Angel Santiago Adames, to enter a boxing gym.
“My brother was a former boxer who never made it because he suffered severely damaged broken hands in a motorcycle accident,” said Adames. “My brother was always looking out for me like a father, and since he could no longer compete in boxing, I became motivated to make it happen for him.”
Adames went 273-7 as an amateur, earning gold medals in the 2012 Pan American Youth Championships, 2012 Dominican Republic Youth National Championships, 2013 Bolivian Games, 2013 World Amateur Championships in Kazakhstan and 2015 Jose Cheo Aponte Tournament in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
“I had a very good amateur record,” said Adames, who represented the Dominican Republic in the World Series of Boxing between 2014 and 2015. “I was nicknamed ‘Caballo Bronco’ because I’m considered to be strong and fast like a horse.”
Beginning with a four-round unanimous over previously unbeaten Jeff Souffrant in July 2015, a 21-year-old Adames won his first six professional fights during a span that included three of five stoppages ending in the first round.
That year’s run covered three consecutive first-round knockouts by Adames, with those over previously unbeaten Rudy Lozano and 48-fight veteran Jose Vidal Soto being separated by 15 days in October. November’s second-round TKO of Colombian Deivis Casseres was against a rival who entered at 18-5 (12 KOs).
In 2016, the switch-hitting Adames stopped all four of rivals in four rounds or less, including a fourth-round TKO of 2000 and 2004 Venezuelan Olympian Patrick Lopez in April, and December’s first-round knockout of Panama’s John Renteria, who entered at 13-3-1 (10 KOs).
Already 10-0 (9 KOs) while competing between 146 ½ and 149 ½ pounds, Adames was more impressive in 2017 with successive victories by second-round TKO over 2004 Venezuelan Olympian Jean Carlos Prada in February, a one-knockdown, near shutout 11-round unanimous decision over former IBF 154-pound champion Carlos Molina in July, and a sixth-round stoppage of hammer-fisted Venezuelan southpaw Adrian Perez in November.
A southpaw, Prada entered at 31-3-1 (22 KOs), Perez was at 7-2 (5 KOs) coming in, and Molina had won six straight bouts as Adames improved to 13-0 (11 KOs).
“Caballo Bronco” won twice more in 2018, following a 10-round unanimous decision over hard-punching Mexican Alejandro Barrera in May with a second-round TKO of Joshua Conley in October.
“I’m a very talented fighter,” said Adames, who weighed 146 pounds against Molina, 152 ¾ for Prada, and 156 for Perez, improving to 15-0 (12 KOs). “The Dominican Republic is known for having good baseball players, but I'm trying to make it known that the country has good boxers as well. My responsibility is to always be ready to put on a good show for the fans.”
Surviving a Fall
Adames went 3-1 (2 KOs) in 2019, halting his initial pair of opponents, Juan Ruiz and Frank Galarza, in the third and fourth rounds in January and April, respectively.
Ruiz entered at 22-3 (13 KOs) but was floored for the 10-county by a right hook to the body. Galarza rose from the canvas following a final-round left hook from Adames, but he slipped to 20-3-2 (12 KOs) after several unanswered blows prompted a referee’s stoppage.
June’s 10-round unanimous decision over Patrick Day dropped the loser to 17-4-1 (6 KOs), as Adames rose to 18-0 (14 KOs) entering November’s clash with Patrick Teixeira for the WBO’s interim 154-pound title.
Despite landing blows which turned the face of Teixeira (31-1, 22 KOs) into a crimson mask and left the Brazilian bleeding around both eyes, Adames’ suffered his first loss by unanimous decision (114-113 twice, 116-111).
“That was a tough fight to lose, but I gained experience and learned a lot,” said Adames, who was badly hurt in the seventh round. “But there is no room for mistakes in a big fight, which is why I continue to work so hard in the gym.”
Adames stormed back in 2021 with an impressive pair of stoppages, scoring a two-knockdown, sixth-round TKO of countryman Bryan Medina in March, and a one-knockdown, third-round TKO of Mexican-born Alexis Salazar in June.
Medina entered at 14-1 (10 KOs), and Salazar at 23-3 (9 KOs), but each was stopped for the only time in his career.
Salazar’s 15-fight winning streak included five knockouts before he faced Adames, who prepared alongside Cuban WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas under legendary trainer Ismael Salas in advance of Ugas’ unanimous decision over eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao in August.
“I learned a lot being around Ugas, who encouraged me and gave me some tips,” said Adames. “And I will only continue to get better with Ismael Salas as my trainer.”
MAKING A STATEMENT
A rejuvenated Adames made his middleweight debut on December 5, 2021. And he did it against the toughest opponent of his career -- and one of the toughest in boxing, period -- middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. In a SHOWTIME pay-per-view from Staples Center in Los Angeles, Adames simply shined, overcoming a stiff challenge from the former world title challenger to win a 10-round majority decision in their WBC Middleweight World Title Eliminator.
One judge scored the middleweight bout even at 95-95, while the other two scored it for Adames by scores of 96-94 and 97-93.
“This means a lot for me in my career and this is a big accomplishment winning against a fighter of his caliber,” said Adames.
"This gives me an opportunity to move on. I dominate at both 154 and 160, so wherever they give me the opportunity to fight for a championship is where I’ll go.”
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