CARSON, California – Carlos Adames and his handlers aren’t sure whether Jermall Charlo will want to fight him after what transpired Saturday night.

Adames’ demolition of Juan Macias Montiel earned him the WBC interim middleweight title. His third-round knockout of Montiel also made Adames (22-1, 17 KOs) the mandatory challenger for Charlo’s championship.

The emerging Dominican fighter so thoroughly dismantled Montiel, though, that his head trainer, Bob Santos, wouldn’t be surprised if Charlo moves in a different direction whenever he returns to the ring. Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) hasn’t fought since Mexico’s Montiel (23-6-2, 23 KOs) gave the unbeaten champion a more difficult fight than anticipated in June 2021 at Toyota Center in Charlo’s hometown of Houston.

“Well, you know, again, I think Charlo is one of the most talented fighters there is out there,” Santos said during a post-fight press conference late Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park. “His record speaks for itself. That said, obviously I’ve been with Erislandy Lara for a lot of his career. So, I’ve watched him and Charlo spar many, many times. And I’m pretty familiar with him. And he’s a great fighter. But Carlos Adames is different; he’s a different animal. He’s a different animal and I have no doubt that Carlos Adames, if we fight him, is gonna be victorious. There’s no doubt in my mind.

“So, you know, he has a choice – he can either give up the title or he’s gonna fight us. And if he fights us, there’s no doubt in my mind that Carlos Adames is gonna beat him. I’ve seen [Adames] in there with Caleb Plant. He’s been in there with [David] Benavidez. I know what he’s capable of doing. They know what he’s capable of doing. And I’m telling you right now, take it to the bank – this man will beat Charlo. No doubt in my mind. And I have the utmost respect for the Charlos.”

Jermall Charlo was scheduled to make an optional title defense against Poland’s Maciej Sulecki (30-2, 11 KOs) on June 18 at Toyota Center. Charlo withdrew from that bout, reportedly due to a back injury sustained while training, but the Charlo-Sulecki clash hasn’t been rescheduled and it isn’t clear when the 32-year-old Charlo will fight again.

The 28-year-old Adames, meanwhile, has beaten credible contenders Sergiy Derevyanchenko (14-4, 10 KOs) and Montiel in back-to-back bouts.

Ten months after defeating Derevyanchenko by majority decision in a 10-rounder, Adames overwhelmed Montiel with his power in the third round of a scheduled 12-round fight Showtime aired as its co-feature before Sebastian Fundora defeated Carlos Ocampo on points in the 12-round main event, which was contested for Fundora’s WBC interim super welterweight title. Adames drilled Montiel with a right hook that made Montiel take an awkward step forward and turned him around with 35 seconds to go in the third round.

Adames then unloaded an array of power punches that further hurt Montiel and caused referee Ray Corona to step between them. The official time of the stoppage was 2:37 of the third round.

“I know that once I hit him with that right hand, I knew it was over,” Adames told Showtime’s Jim Gray in the ring, according to a translator. “He didn’t have much left, and then I just went for the kill.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.