Betting man? Should be a safe call if you're laying money on Devon Alexander to handle Jesus Soto Karass, because one man is a super-skilled pugilist who is pretty masterful at doing the "don't get hit and hit" thing and the other is...less so. A lefty, he's adept at making the other guy miss, while landing enough of his blows to tell the judges he's the better man. Usually…
Alexander went up against the most improved man in boxing, Shawn Porter, and the Ohioan snagged Devon's 147 pound crown. I'd expect Alexander (age 27; 25-2 with 14 Kos) to get it, to know that he needs a W to keep himself in the mix for meaningful (read: lucrative) bouts.
His hand speed and accuracy and mobility will carry the night, I do believe, unless he has truly slipped in the last year, and what we saw from the St. Louis boxer vs. Porter wasn't an aberration, but a new norm.
Soto Karass (age 31; 28-9-3 with 18 Kos) is a guy who will always look a step behind his more athletic foe, and will give a good account of himself in a loss, which is why he keeps getting invited back to the party. But you can only pull that party trick so many times before the invites stop coming; so when he told us this week it's do or die for him, that he knows his professional window could be closing, we believe that he believes. Thing is, even if the Mexican holds a desire and hunger edge going into the ring at Stub Hub, his athletic proficiency, his ring IQ, his skill set is a cut beneath Alexanders.' He was on a high with wins over Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto, but I think his streak could be near the end, as Keith Thurman put a thumping on him (TKO9) in his last effort, on Dec. 14.
Al Bernstein sees this as an intriguing fight.
What about you, readers? Could Soto Karass make it a rumble, and show us what he showed versus Andre Berto? Or will the technician Alexander use his feet, get his angles, and keep the match looking structured and get that W?
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV