MAYWOOD, CA.-Wow. That was some show opener.
Jesus Soto Karass and Carson Jones erupted into a welterweight firefight for the debut of Azteca America’s new television boxing series at the Maywood Activity Center on Friday. The Top Rank card was dazzling from the beginning to the end.
On paper it looked more like a formality with Soto Karass overwhelming Oklahoma City’s Jones (18-7-1, 10 KOs) with his never ending assaults, but for 10 rounds the pair bludgeoned each other back and forth.
“I hit him very hard with punches that would normally knock somebody down,” said Soto Karass (23-3-3, 16 KOs). “He was very tough.”
The stablemate and clone of Antonio Margarito poured on the punches up and down Jones from the first round. In the third round some pinpoint blows to the midsection forced the African-American fighter to take a knee. Then Jones rallied with some nonstop combinations but ran into some more body blows and collapsed to his knees again. He beat the count.
It could have been all over for Jones, but he sucked in some air, patted his gloves together and out he went to trade punches with the Mexican body snatcher again.
Jones changed tactics from round six through 10 by allowing Soto Karass to expend energy with his attacks to the body and head for the first two minutes. He would hold his ground and then unleash his own barrage of rights to the head and body shot combinations to keep the Mexican fighter from winning the rest of the rounds outright.
It proved to be a good tactic but the two knockdowns in the third gave Soto Karass too much cushion when the fight finally ended in the 10th with both fighters pouring it on against each other.
The judges scored it 97-91 twice and 99-89 for Soto Karass.
“I hit him with solid shots that would have knocked down other guys,” said Soto Karass. “He prepared very well.”
Omar “The Businessman” Chavez (16-0, 10 KOs) continued his unbeaten streak and broke Rodolfo Armenta’s (6-1) unbeaten streak after four rounds in a junior welterweight bout.
Chavez, who is the second oldest son of Mexico’s great Julio Cesar Chavez, used his strength and left handed power to win by majority decision over Armenta in a fight that saw both unable to hurt the other.
Like his father, this Chavez also has a good left hook and used his defense to keep Armenta from landing flush shots. A solid left jab by Chavez kept Armenta from unloading power combinations.
“I’ve been working harder,” said Chavez, who seemed more effective with his right hand when he fired it straight, instead of looping.
Las Vegas guys
Two Las Vegas fighters tussled in Maywood, with southpaw Diego Magdaleno (8-0, 3 KOs) winning by unanimous decision over Rodrigo Aranda (8-9-2) in a six round junior welterweight bout. Magdaleno was busier and more accurate but was unable to hurt Aranda. The judges scored it 60-54 twice and 59-55 for Magdaleno.
Miguel Angel Garcia (15-0, 12 KOs), the young brother of former junior lightweight world champion Robert “Grandpa” Garcia, ran over Lucien Gonzalez (9-5-1) of Pennsylvania. The first two rounds saw both fighters looking for openings but in the third round Garcia an uppercut and double left hook caught Gonzalez, who miraculously never went down.
The fourth and fifth rounds saw Garcia overwhelm the Puerto Rican fighter, who seemed unable to find an answer for the Oxnard fighter’s assault. Finally, at the end of the fifth round, Dr. Paul Wallace walked over to Gonzalez’s corner to inspect the fighter and advised the referee to call the fight off.
Michael Franco was in against a veteran but got to the heart of the matter with a counter right uppercut to the heart of Antonio Cochero Diaz (9-10) in the first round. It took only 1:08 for the Riverside fighter to end the fight dramatically. Most of the fans were stunned by the suddenness. Diaz looked at Franco as if he had been wearing brass knuckles.
“I felt rested,” said Franco (14-0, 9 KOs) who had a month between fights to recuperate and felt stronger. “I felt good and strong.”
Santa Ana’s Jose Roman (4-0) used a stiff left jab to keep L.A.’s Rufino Flores (1-1) from gaining a foothold in the four round featherweight bout. It was a sharp rapier-like punch that snapped Flores head repeatedly. And if he paid too much attention to it, a flurry of punches pummeled him. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Roman.
Joe Mills (3-2) knocked down Mario “Super Mario from the Barrio” Evangelista (2-3) in the first round of a super middleweight fight and cruised to victory by unanimous decision 40-35 twice and 39-36. Both boxers fight out of Los Angeles.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV