In the final undercard bout before the main event, Phillys Mike Jones tangled with Jesus Soto-Karass in a welterweight scrap.

Jones was looking to send a message, take himself to the next level, into the mix with the top dogs at welter. It didnt happen that way; Jones showed himself to still be more of a bottom half of the 147 pound top 20 type, rather than the top. No shame in that, hes no slouch, but still has some holes to patch.

After ten rounds of solid action, the up no comer and the gatekeeper waited for the scorecards, including one from the esteemed Gale (Im Not A Gal, Im A BOY) Van Hoy: he saw it 94-94, while the other less notorious arbiters saw it 95-94, 97-93, for Jones.

He did outland the loser 258 to 141, so if youre a stathead, youll wonder why Boy Van Hoy saw a draw. Relax; it was close, and not another prototypeTexas screwup.

The 23 year old Jones (22-0 entering; NABO, NABA welter champion) was 145 1/2 pounds, while the 28-year-old S-K (24-2-3 coming in; from Mexico) was 147 pounds.

In the second round, Jones threw one of the longest combos Ive ever seen…it looked like it lasted about six minutes. He landed some, but missed a ton. S-K came out of the fire with a bloody nose, but he pressed forward right at Jones, who has a tendency to wing with his arms. S-K was in Jones face in the third, though blood came from both of his eyes. He had Jones eating on the ropes.

Jones really did seem to punch himself out in the second, trying to go for that flashy KO.

He seemed in danger of getting stopped himself through the middle rounds, but came around in the eighth. The fight was up for grabs in the tenth.

Overall, Jones squares up too much, arm punches too much, backs up straight too much, does commit to the jab and body work, mixes up his punches, has a good heart, and room to improve.

Unbeaten Guillermo Rigondeaux, in just his seventh pro bout, after taking part in about ten thousand amateur bouts, fought for an interim 122 pound belt, against Ricardo Cordoba, who came in with a 37-2 mark. fought the right word, considering Rigo spent much of the fight on his unicycle, looking to stay out of harms way? Word choice aside, the judges spoke after 12 snoozy rounds: they saw it 114-112 for Cordoba, 117-109 for Rigo, 114-112 for Rigo.

This split decision win earned about a .05 on the decibel chart for Rigo, as the crowd was too busy trying to slap themselves awake to cheer.

The winner outlanded the loser 126 to 78, but both men had best run to the bank, and cash the check before someone stops payment.

This, the second TV fight of the pay per view show from Dallas, didnt start out all that promising, with both men in countering mode.

The lefty Rigo is trained by Ronnie Shields, who said after the second round, You gotta shoot the uppercut, and then come with the hook.

A right to the body, one in which Rigo invested fully, sent Rico down in the fourth. Would he make it to the fifth? Yes, he would. His trainer Orlando Cuellar told him to keep his elbows close to his body after the round.

Rigo went down, just his glove actually, supposedly for the first time EVER, and that includes in the gym, in the sixth. The shot was a right jab, for the record. In the seventh, Rico was in a new ballgame. He was coming forward, taking it to the Cuban. Rigo was running a whole bunch in the eighth, and Rico got sick of it. He ran more in the ninth, to the crowds displeasure. You moving too much now, Shields told Rigo. He asked him to be more aggressive, believing he could stop Rico. Shields told Rigo to win the last round, unsure of what the judges might be seeing, before the 12th. What the judges and we were seeing was a guy, in Running Man Rigo, who needs to overhaul his strategies and tactics if he wants to be a star.

Classy quipster Brandon Rios went the Floyd Mayweather route, and got himself a weight advantage against Omri Lowther in the opening bout on the Pacquiao-Margarito pay per view broadcast on Saturday night. The Kansas born Californian, who made news in a not good way when he mocked Freddie Roaches Parkinsons on video, weighed 140 pounds for a 138 pound catchweight. Hell pay $5,000 to Lowther for the two extra pounds. He looked just fine in the ring, as he stalked Lowther, who did score periodically with some left hooks that didnt seem to bother Rios.

Rios grinned more broadly after every round. After the fourth, there was some talk from his corner that Lowther might say no mas, but he went out for the fifth. He moved, but wasn;t quick or smooth enough to get enough distance from Rios to slip hard shots. Rios is like a bad recurrent dream; hes in your face, again and again and again, and leaves you shaken. Analyst Manny Steward thought his corner should not have let his man out for the round, and just then, ref Raul Caiz saw enough. His head was snapping back, and his legs were getting more and more flimsy.

SPEEDBAG Freddie Roach wanted to make Antonio Margarito shave his beard, but when he brought it up to Pacquiao, saying hed get the Texas commission make him shave, Manny said forget it. Classy Pacman, as always.

—Margarito weighed 165 today, after making 150 yesterday, while Manny is 148, after hitting 144.6.

—We saw Freddie Roach watching Robert Garcia wrapping Antonio Margaritos hands in the Mexicans dressing room. He didnt send a stand in to play the scrutinizer, nossir.

—Steward noted that both wrappers were putting tape right onto skin, rather than over gauze. Most places, he said, that isnt allowed. We saw Pacquaio interrupt Miguel Diaz, who was wrapping Pacman, and take a piece of tape off. Was it the right move to have Freddie in Tonys room, instead of wrapping Manny? Indeed, Manny was doing the job himself when the crew checked backed after the eighth round of the Rigo-Rico bout.

—Team Margarito didnt like the looks of Mannys wrap, saying that they saw some twisted tape. The commission said it looked fine to them. But trainer Robert Garcia persisted, wondering why his man didnt get a chance to watch the entirety of Mannys wrap session. Analyst Max Kellerman explained that Garcia said his team didnt see Team Manny roll up one of the twisted tape pieces that gets placed in between the fingers. Roach said that Team Margarito had a person watching, and it was their fault if they didnt see the twistup. Then, Roach said that he believes Margarito ingested ephedra orally, ephedra being a banned substance in Texas for fighters. He asked for a urine test, pre fight. The commission said that the urine test would occur after the bout, as per usual. Roach said the ephedra would be out of his system. The two beefs were tabled, so the fight could go on. Viewers saw a Margarito team member empty two packages of powder into a cup, and Lampley said he saw Tony sipping from a cup, presumably the same cup. HBO was trying to get the name of the powdered product as Jones and Soto-Karass battled.

Kellerman said the substance was HydroxyCut, which he said contains ephedra. Then it was said that Margarito drank a few cups of coffee, which Steward said was a no-no in most jurisdictions. Then, it was put forth that perhaps the paper packages torn open, from which the powder came, might be packages of Splenda, not a banned substance.

Kellerman during the eighth of the Jones-S-K, said he had the last word on the ephedra charge. He said a Pacman team member said he piped up when a Margarito team member offered Tony HydroxyCut. A doctor present, Max said, said it was up to Tony if he wanted to take it, while acknowledging that ephedra is a banned substance. Team Pacman didnt get that reasoning. The HydroxyCut went unsipped, as far as the Pacman watcher knew…Stay tuned for more on Wrap Flap 2, and the HydroxyCut Affair.