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Mauricio Herrera vs. Jesus Soto Karass – Results

Image: Mauricio Herrera vs. Jesus Soto Karass - Results

By Sean McDaniel: Former world title challenger Mauricio Herrera (24-7, 7 KOs) overcame a bad cut suffered in the 9th round to go on and defeat high level journeyman Jesus Soto Karass (28-12-4, 18 KOs0 by a 10-round majority decision on Friday night on ESPN in welterweight action at the Fantasy Springs Casino, in Indio, California.

(Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Tom Hogan Photography/Golden Boy Promotions)

The judges’ scored the fight 96-94, 96-94 for Herrera and 95-95 even. Boxing News 24 scored the fight 96-94 for Herrera. This was one of the best fights of 2017 in this writer’s opinion. It was an exciting back and forth fight between two Mexican warriors that were trading shots all night long. Herrera didn’t have a lot of power, but he did an excellent job of making Herrera miss and hitting him with clean shots. It was impressive to see.

This was a nice win for the 37-year-old Herrera, who had found himself on the losing end of 4 controversial decisions in the last 5 years in defeats to Mike Alvarado, Danny Garcia, Jose Benavidez and Pablo Cesar Cano.

It was good to see Herrera finally win a close one for a change instead of ending up on the receiving end of yet another questionable decision. In the case of tonight’s fight, it really could have gone either way. Soto Karass, 34, landed the harder blows in every round, and he was incredibly busy throwing tons of shots to the head and body.

Where Soto Karass went wrong is he spent too much time head hunting and not enough time throwing to the body of Herrera. The body shots were the only ones that Soto Karass could land with any degree of accuracy in the fight. Herrera did a fantastic job of making the taller, longer-armed 5’9 ½” Soto Karass miss with his shots.

Soto Karass looked to be the stronger of the two in the first 4 rounds. He was landing the better shots, and he was dominant with his nice hooks to the body and the head. He was backing Herrera up constantly, and hitting him with some big shots.

In round 5, Herrera figured out Soto Karass’ fighting style, and he stayed in the center of the ring, making him miss with shot after shot, and then firing back counter punches that were landing cleanly. Herrera was like a much slower version of Floyd Mayweather Jr. with the way he was making Soto Karass miss and then hitting him hard with punches.

Herrera got the better of Soto Karass in rounds 6 through 8 with his excellent inside work and beautifully timed counter shots. Soto Karass was winging punches nonstop, but he was leaving himself open for punches from Herrera. The boxing that Herrera was doing was causing Soto Karass fits, as he was unable to land cleanly to the head. Had Soto Karass listened carefully to his corner and followed their instructions when they told him to focus on Herrera’s body, he would have done much better in the fight. The body shots that Soto Karass was throwing were his beat weapon in the fight.

All in all, it was a superior performance from Herrera, who picked up a badly needed victory to keep alive his boxing career. Herrera came into tonight’s fight having lost 2 out of his last 3 fights in the past year. Things were looking bleak career-wise for Herrera. The victory will likely put him in position to get a bigger fight.

Just how big is unknown. Herrera isn’t ranked in the top 15 at welterweight, so he can forget about getting a title shot against one of the major champions. But he can get a fight against a well-known contender in the division. It would be nice to see Herrera and Adrien “The Problem” Broner fight each other. Broner would have his hands full against Herrera or Soto Karass. He might even lose to both.

The loss for Soto Karass must be viewed as a backbreaker for him, considering that he hasn’t won a fight since 2013. It’s hard to believe that a fighter with the kind of talent, work rate, power and heart of Soto Karass would go that long since his last victory. The problem that Soto Karass has had is he’s been fighting high quality opposition.

Before tonight’s loss to Herrera, Soto Karass was beaten by Yoshihiro Kamegai, Devon Alexander and Keith Thurman. Soto Karass fought Kamegai twice, and he deserved to get a win in the first fight in April 2016, but the judges scored it a 10-round draw. In the rematch last year in September, Kamegai beat Soto Karass by an 8th round stoppage after Soto Karass retired after the 8th.

Soto Karass’ last win was against Andre Berto in July 2013. Soto Karass fought well enough tonight to deserve a fight against a top contender. He didn’t like a washed-up fighter by any means. If you compare how Soto Karass fought tonight to how Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero recently fought in losing to Omar Figueroa Jr. by a 3rd round knockout, it was like night and day. Soto Karass was much better.

I think he would give Figueroa Jr. all kinds of problems with his power, size and body punching. that would be a fun fight to see. I don’t rate Figueroa Jr. as being a true top-level welterweight or light welterweight. I see him more as a fringe level 140 pounder. Soto Karass would give Figueroa Jr. all he could handle. I can’t see Figueroa Jr. stopping Soto Karass in 3 rounds like he did against Guerrero.

In other Boxing results on the card, light heavyweight Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KOs) was too powerful for previously unbeaten Todd Unthank May (10-1-1, 4 KOs) in stopping him in a 7th round of a scheduled 10 round fight. The fight was halted after the 7th round by the ringside doctor due to May being cut over his left eye. May was taking a lot of punishment in every round of the fight, especially in the 6th and 7th.

May was virtually defenseless to stop the hard-right hands the 30-year-old Shabranskyy kept nailing him with repeatedly. May was cut early in the fight in round 2 from a right hand from the Ukrainian Shabranskyy. In round 3, Shabranskyy was cut over his left eye from a hard shot from May.

The fight stopped being competitive after May suffered the cut over his left eye in the 2nd. May was dealing with blood leaking into his eye, effectively making him a one-eyed fighter inside the ring. Shabranskyy took over the fight and landed some nice shots once May was unable to see clearly out of both eyes.

This was an interesting fight with both guys having their moments. Unfortunately for May, Shabranskyy could land a lot more shots than May did, thanks to his good footwork. Shabranskyy did a respectable job of staying out of range of May’s shots for the most part, When Shabranskyy would go on the attack, he would use a slight amount of head movement to keep from getting caught by May’s big punches. Shabrankyy’s jab was an effective weapon to setup his right hands.

The victory for Shabranskyy was his second consecutive since his 7th round knockout loss to Sullivan Barrera on December 16 last year. Shabranskyy was over-matched by the highly skilled Barrera in that fight. In his last fight, Shabranskky bounced back in defeating journeyman Larry Pryor by a 2nd round knockout. As good as Shabranskyy’s win was tonight, he’s still a long way off from being able to compete with the best fighters in the light heavyweight division. If this was a good fighter that Shanbranskyy was in the ring with instead of May, he would have likely been knocked out again. Shabranskyy doesn’t have the amateur background in boxing for him to have the same kinds of skills as the top fighters in the 175-lb. division.

Other boxing action on the card:

Niko Valdes UD 6 Jaime Solorio

Ricardo Sandoval UD 6 Antonio Rodriguez

Jonathan Navarro UD 8 Angel Sarianana

Marvin Cabrera UD 6 Esau Herrera

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