Soto-Karass outpoints Dos Santos
Welterweight fringe contender Jesus Soto-Karass earned a spot on the Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view undercard with a typically hard-fought unanimous decision over Edvan Dos Santos in the main vent of an Azteca America-televised card from Grand Prairie, Texas on Saturday.
Soto-Karass (24-3-3, 16 knockouts), the busier fighter and the aggressor throughout the 10-round bout, won by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and a more realistic 97-93.
Dos Santos (10-7-1, 7 KOs) didn't have the activity or the power to seriously threaten the iron-chinned Soto-Karass but the Brazilian boxer's hand speed and lateral movement kept him safe during the early rounds, and his pride made for an entertaining finish to the fight.
Soto-Karass was workman-like as he stalked Dos Santos during the early rounds. The Brazilian wisely circled to his left, away from the powerful left of Soto-Karass, and occasionally stopped to fire off quick but wide power shots.
However, Soto-Karass patiently walked his elusive opponent down with a stiff jab. By the middle rounds of the bout he repeatedly backed Dos Santos to the ropes where he worked the Brazilian over with body-head combinations.
The Mexican fighter's pressure finally forced Dos Santos to fight back in the eighth round. After getting caught and pummeled along the ropes Dos Santos attacked, backing Soto-Karass up with a series of clean right hands. Although Soto-Karass finished the round stronger, Dos Santos realized he could be more effective by taking the fight to his antagonist and fought aggressively in the final two rounds.
Dos Santos forced Soto-Karass back into the ropes in the final minute of the 10th round, sparking a toe-to-toe exchange that lasted to the bell.
Soto-Karass' victory, which extended his unbeaten streak to 15 fights, paved the way for a showdown with popular slugger Alfonso Gomez on the November 14 Cotto-Pacquiao card in New York city. If the bout versus the graduate of The Contender reality TV series is finalized it would be the highest-profile fight of the 26-year-old fighter's career.
In the co-featured bout of the Top Rank-promoted show, featherweight prospect Miguel Angel Garcia looked sharp in breaking down Carlos Rivera to a seventh-round technical stoppage.
Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) used his counter punching skills and an accurate body attack to slow down and twice drop Rivera (16-4-2, 5 KOs) before a cut on the right eyelid of the Florida-based southpaw prompted referee Neal Young to halt the contest 40 seconds into the seventh round on the advice of the ringside physician.
Rivera was able to pester Garcia with his speed and lefty stance in the first two rounds, but once the precocious 21-year-old boxer-puncher began to lure in and time the 31-year-old journeyman with counter punches the fight turned in favor of the younger fighter.
Garcia, the younger brother of former 130-pound titleholder Robert Garcia, dropped Rivera to one knee with a left to the body at the end of the fourth round. He floored Rivera with another left to the body in the fifth and continued to punish the older man's ribcage while landing combinations to the head in rounds six and seven.