CARSON, California – Carlos Adames almost didn’t make it to Los Angeles in time to weigh in for the impressive victory that made him the WBC interim middleweight champion and the mandatory challenger for Jermall Charlo’s 160-pound title.
An extended delay in receiving the work visa Adames needed to travel to the United States to box Montiel essentially trapped the Dominican fighter in Mexico City for two weeks before their fight Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park. Adames (22-1, 17 KOs) planned to spend anywhere from one to three days in Mexico City while awaiting his work visa, which replaced the tourist visa that previously enabled him to train in Las Vegas, but the lengthy delay limited him to one hastily arranged, 10-round sparring session at Rey Vargas’ gym on the outskirts of the Mexican capital during the entire time Adames remained in Mexico.
Adames had already broken camp for several days in August to attend a funeral for his daughter, who died during the birthing process. Bob Santos, Adames’ trainer, applauded Adames’ mental toughness for enduring everything he experienced prior to knocking out Mexico’s Montiel (23-6-2, 23 KOs) in the third round of their high-stakes middleweight match on the Sebastian Fundora-Carlos Ocampo undercard.
“You know, we thought the visa was gonna come in in one to three days,” Santos said during their post-fight press conference. “Two weeks had went by. They told us the visa was gonna be coming in on Wednesday, so I felt pretty confident. They said, you know, go to a loading place to get the visa. And the visas were distributed there. His visa wasn’t there. So, they said, ‘Maybe tomorrow,’ which was Thursday. And at that point, I was like, ‘If we don’t get it Thursday, obviously the fight’s off.’ So, thank God the visa came in Thursday morning. And when we got the visa, that’s set, we couldn’t get a flight out. And we gotta make weight, so you know, luckily there was a cancelation, we were able to get on the flight.”
Santos estimated during a subsequent interview with BoxingScene.com that they were probably “two or three hours” away Thursday from having to withdraw from their fight with Montiel. Adames missed a press conference Thursday at The Westin Los Angeles Airport and didn’t arrive at his hotel room until very late Thursday night, less than 12 hours before he had to weigh in.
“We got in after, I don’t know, a 4½-hour flight,” Santos said. “We had to go through customs for 3½ hours. And from there, we had to go straight to make weight. And the obstacles that he had to overcome in Mexico City, you know, the logistics of everything – we thought he was gonna be there, like I said, one to three days.
“And then having to start up a completely new camp, having to buy equipment over there, find sparring over there, the food is completely different over there. It was very, very, very difficult. And, you know, I’ve said this a lot – he’s one of the most talented fighters I’ve ever seen. So, I knew if anybody could overcome those obstacles, it would be him.”
The 28-year-old Adames was more determined than ever after his daughter’s death to go through with his fight against Montiel because he wants to make a better life for his wife and their four children, who reside in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.
“Yes, I did lose my newborn daughter,” Adames said. “What gives me strength is God. He allows me to move forward. He’s the one that guided the way for me. Without him, I would be nobody. And he’s the one that gives me my strength.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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