ESPN results: Mauricio Herrera edges Jesus Soto Karass in action fight
After 10 rounds of back-and-forth action, Mauricio Herrera earned a majority decision (96-94 twice, 95-95) nod over Jesus Soto Karass on Friday night but there really weren’t any losers. The welterweight contest was the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card televised live on ESPN, and hosted at the Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino in Indio, California.
They’ve been there and done that but these two veterans fought as if everything was on the line. There was no meaningless title or glorified importance within the division, just a chance to prove they can continue on with their boxing careers.
After an opening round, in which Herrera controlled the fight with his jab, Soto Karass forced a fight on the inside, where his skills were better suited against the savvy boxer from Riverside, California. Herrera, 24-7 (7), whose jab-first mentality ultimately carried him through the fight, often times found himself helpless once Soto Karass trapped him against the ropes and throwing a flurry and landing a big right hand. The ability to keep the fight on the inside in spurts kept Soto Karass from getting out-boxed on the outside and this battle of game-plans dominated much of the first half of the contest but late rallies by Jesus before the end of seemingly every one of them indicated he was playing from behind.
Soto Karass, 28-12-4 (18), didn’t get into a complete groove until the seventh round. Then, he started to stun Herrera with his power right cross, turning the fight into a barnburner. Herrera would often answer back with a left-handed counter that touched the body and head but neither fighter was ever seriously hurt after getting hit flush but they were compelled to stay in the pocket, trying to outdo one another offensively. Fans rose to their feet once both got in this rhythm that continued throughout the second half of the fight. In the final two rounds, Herrera and Soto Karass had them applauding their efforts, as each round came to a close and, once the decision was read, they kept clapping because they really won on this evening. Herrera’s win was well-earned and ultimately the right ending but a rematch with Soto Karass wouldn’t be rebuffed by anyone.
In the co-feature, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy earned a stoppage win over Todd Unthank May after seven full rounds of one-sided action in the light heavyweight division. Scheduled for 10, the doctor at ringside advised the stoppage before the eighth round could start.
The fight kicked off with plenty of action in the opening round, in which both men landed their fair share of shots in some heated exchanges. Without any defense regarded by either guy, the fight seemed destined to be a back-and-forth thriller but, starting in the second, the Ukrainian transplant fighting out of Carson, California was in control.
Shabranskyy, 19-1 (16), was more assertive in his attack going forward and his jab was much more effective than his counterpart’s. Fighting out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Unthank May was too patient for his own good, holding back shots, at times, and his jab was close to being a non-factor. Shabranskyy also put combinations together well and, while Unthank May would land an occasional right hand, “Slava” would always one-up it with a better shot by round’s end. The 30-year-old was getting progressively better from the second round on as he gave Unthank May a slow beating.
Unthank May, 10-1-1 (4), showed a pretty good chin, considering the big shots he was absorbing. Sometimes he’d start a round inspired to be the aggressor but, by the midway point of any given stanza, he often seemed gassed, with no other idea in his head but to survive. Shabranskyy slightly buckled him a few times and, in the second, forced a cut over Unthank May’s right eye. It bled throughout the fight and, once the seventh round concluded, Unthank May let out a big sigh before walking to his corner. Evidently, the commission at ringside saw the same signs of trouble. It was the right call.
In the televised swing bout, Niko Valdes earned a unanimous decision (60-54, 59-55 twice) over Jaime Solorio after six rounds of super middleweight action. A southpaw fighting out of Miami, Florida, Valdes, 6-0 (5), let an out-of-shape Solorio, 10-2-2 (7), have his moments but clearly won the fight, despite the crowd booing the decision. They seemed to find the Mexican’s spirit endearing, as he went against the prospect, and because the 24-year-old Valdes couldn’t produce the knockout, they let him have it.