Monday, May 29, 2023  |


Soto-Karass tops Jones in barnburner

Fighters Network

Jesus Soto-Karass (right) and Carson Jones traded brutal punches like this left hook and right uppercut throughout their welterweight battle, won by Karass. Photo / Chris Farina-Top Rank

MAYWOOD, Calif. – Jesus Soto-Karass doesn’t possess the hand speed, technique or overall athletic ability that Carson Jones is blessed with. But the attributes the welterweight fringe contender does possess were enough to carry him to a unanimous-decision victory over the tough and talented Oklahoma native Friday night.

Relying on his iron chin, conditioning and a hard left hook to the body, Soto-Karass (23-3-3, 16 knockouts) out-pointed Jones (18-7-1, 10 KOs) in the spirited 10-round main event of an Azteca America-televised card at the Maywood Activity Center.

Soto-Karass, a Los Angeles-based native of Los Mochis, Mexico, dropped Jones twice in an all-action third round and walked through quick one-two combinations and a series of uppercuts to win the bout by scores of 99-89 (twice) and 97-91.

However, the lop-sided nature of the official scorecards do not tell the story of the fight. The Top Rank-promoted main event was a competitive, give-and-take barnburner that had the capacity crowd of 1,500 on its feet for much of the fight.

After a brisk two rounds that could have gone to either fighter, the wild third round set the tone for the rest of the fight. At the start of the third, Jones teed off with accurate jabs, straight rights and compact uppercuts, while Soto-Karass pursued him with a hit-and-miss body attack. Mid-way through the round, Soto-Karass connected with a double-hook to the body and head that sent Jones to a knee. Jones got up and fired back with gusto, sparking a toe-to-toe exchange that eventually backed Soto-Karass to the ropes, where he absorbed the worst of the exchanges. However, with seconds left in the round, Soto-Karass landed another left to the body that put Jones down at the bell.

The two welterweights took turns landing punishing shots over the next seven rounds. Jones snapped Soto-Karass’s noggin back with what seemed like every uppercut he threw, while Soto-Karass punished Jones’ body and head with left hooks. The fighters fired off heavy power shots while in close for most of rounds six, seven and eight – hotly contested rounds that could have gone either way.

Jones dominated the start of the ninth round, but Soto-Karass came on in the final minute. Both were exhausted going into the 10th, but the final round belonged to Soto-Karass, the clear aggressor who appeared to want it more. Soto-Karass wobbled Jones late in the round to the delight of his adopted hometown fans.

In the co-main event, Oxnard, Calif.’s hot prospect Miguel “Mikey” Garcia stopped Pennsylvania’s Lucien Gonzalez after the fifth round of a scheduled eight-round featherweight bout. Garcia (16-0, 13 KOs) took his time early in the bout but surged in rounds four and five, heaping too much punishment on Gonzalez (9-5-1, 1 KO), who didn’t come out for the sixth.

Omar Chavez, one of the fighting sons of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez, won a four-round majority decision over previously unbeaten Rodolfo Armenta. Culiacan’s Chavez (14-0-1, 10 KOs), who won by scores of 40-36, 39-37 and 38-38, impressed the judges with his body attack and accurate head shots, but Nogales, Mexico’s Armenta (4-1, 3 KOs) won over the Maywood crowd with his aggression and wild overhand rights.

Riverside, Calif.’s popular bantamweight prospect Michael Franco (14-0, 9 KOs) made quick work of Antonio Cochero (18-9-1, 13 KOs), stopping the Colombian journeyman in the first round.

Santa Ana, Calif.’s junior lightweight prospect Jose Roman (4-0, 3 KOs) won an entertaining, hard-fought unanimous decision over L.A.’s game Rufino Flores (1-2) in a four-round swing bout.

In a another four-round swing bout between L.A.-based super middleweights, Joe Mills dropped Mario Evangelista (2-3-1, 2 KOs) in the first round en route to a unanimous decision.

Las Vegas-based junior lightweight prospect Diego Magdaleno (8-0, 3 KOs) won a one-sided unanimous decision over Rodrigo Aranda (8-9-2, 2 KOs) in the card’s six-round opener.