Soto-Karass Stops Estrada

By Boxing News - 07/27/2008 - Comments

karass.jpgBy Scott Gilfoid: Welterweight prospect Jesus Soto-Karass (21-3-3, 15 KOs) scored a sudden knockout in the 8th over David Estrada (22-5, 13 KOs) on Friday night to win the vacant NABF welterweight title at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Soto-Karass, 25, connected with a big left hook in the 8th round just as Estrada was attempting to land a left of his own, stunning him badly. Karass quickly followed up with a quick flurry of shots, sending Estrada down to the canvas. He immediately sprang to his feet, but was badly hurt and the fight was stopped by referee Tony Weeks at 1:03 of the 8th round.

Estrada, 29, perhaps took this fight a little too soon after his 11th round TKO loss to Andre Berto two fights ago in September 2007, and he probably should have reconsidered taking on a fighter as young and as tough as the 25 year-old Soto-Karass. Immediately it was clear in the first round that Estrada would be having problems against Soto-Karass as he took big looping hooks from his constantly in the round. Near the end of the round, Estrada was staggered by a big right hand from Soto-Karass and then took a big number of shots as the round came to a halt.

In the 2nd round, Soto-Karass continued to punish Estrada with huge hooks to the body and head, hitting him constantly and looking like a poor man’s version of Antonio Margarito. Estrada, who was listed at 5’9″, looked considerably smaller than the 5’10” Soto-Karass, closer to 5’7″ than the listed height for him. The lack of size was a big problem for Estrada, because he didn’t have the size to stand and trade with the bigger, more active Soto-Karass for long in the round without sustaining a lot of punishment.

Estrada came back strong in rounds three and four, firing back at Soto-Karass with powerful right hands to the head and hard shots to the body. During this time, Estrada was able to back up Soto-Karass, and had him actively moving to avoid mixing it up with him. This was a big change from the earlier two rounds in which Soto-Karass looked like a carbon copy of Margarito during that time. Both Soto-Karass and Estrada had bad swelling under their left eyes by the end of the 4th round. Neither were blocking many shots during their war-like exchanges during the rounds, although Soto-Karass tried his best to stay out of harm’s way by moving and using his jab.

In rounds five through seven, Soto-Karass came back firing while backing up with hooks, right hands and jabs. It was made easy for him because Estrada was coming forward with his face leading the way, not throwing any jabs and looking to land big shots. Soto-Karass still looked pretty timid for a fighter ranked #8th in the WBO, and looked really uncomfortable with the pressure that was being put him by Estrada during this time. Though I had Soto-Karass winning the 7th round, it was fairly close because Estrada landed well in the round and was the one coming forward and trying to make it a fight.

In the 8th round, Estrada got a little too careless and was caught with a powerful left hand as he was coming forward trying to land a left of his own. The shot stopped Estrada in his tracks, causing him to drop down about a foot and just freeze there for almost a second, allowing Soto-Karass to hit him with a short combination to the head that caused Estrada to drop to the canvas. After Estrada made it up, the referee looked him over closely and deemed him not fit to continue fight. The fight was then stopped at 1:03 of the 8th round.

Soto-Karass looked okay in winning the fight, but far from championship material. I’ve seen him in other fights and he looked much better against Estrada than he did in those past fights, but still not even close to being good enough to win a championship over any of the current welterweight title holders. Margarito, now the WBA welterweight champion, would destroy a fighter like Soto-Karass, as would Andre Berto and Paul Williams.