Graduation day for Kamegai and Soto Karass
You could make the suggestion that when Yoshihiro Kamegai and Jesus Soto Karass make their ring walks tonight at The Forum in Inglewood, California, they should do so with caps and gowns. Then instead of touching gloves in the center of the ring, they receive diplomas because, the first time, they met on April 15 at the Belasco Theater on a card streamed on RingTVLive.com. The rematch is leading off the evening session on HBO and will be the co-feature at the Forum before WBC flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez tries to make history versus WBC super flyweight titlist Carlos Cuadras.
Yeah, so you could say they have graduated.
Their first meeting was ruled a draw after 10 grueling rounds.
When asked to recall the initial clash, Kamegai said through an interpreter, “I remember getting cut and panicking a little bit and I remember (Soto Karass) coming out in the last round and throwing a lot of punches.” While Soto Karass says,”Kamegai was throwing a lot of kidney punches and I was definitely hurt by them. That’s something I wont forget.”
The fight was close and, while both guys believe they won, they don’t necessarily have a problem with the draw, either.
“Honestly, with a Mexican crowd rooting for Karass, being loud and me getting cut, I really couldn’t tell you (if I won),” conceded Kamegai.
These two are not two elite boxers but who they are is very simple: real honest fighters. The type who may not have the most natural ability or sublime skills but will always give you an honest day’s work inside the ring. You get the sense that, if they fought a hundred times, you’d get the type of fight you saw on tax day a hundred times. Originally this rematch was added to this card as a way to bolster ticket sales. While the main event between “Chocolatito” and “Principe” is a solid match-up, it still features flyweights and the A-side is Nicaraguan.
It wasn’t clear if HBO was going to add this rematch to its split-site telecast but eventually the decision was made to add this bout. Hey, sometimes you just have to broadcast an old-fashioned brawl before the Sweet Science takes place. So damn the pound-for-pound lists and just enjoy the carnage.
“I expect the same war from Kamegai,” said Soto Karass, through his manager Sergio Diaz.
While Kamegai says, “Even if it doesn’t come out to be a similar fight, I think The Forum is going to be excited.”
If Gonzalez should come out victorious versus the undefeated Cuadras, he would become the first Nicaraguan to win four major titles in as many weight classes, surpassing the great Alexis Arguello, who did so in three. But Gonzalez is very respectful of the man he called his boxing mentor.
“It would be a great blessing but, even if I win, I’ll never be number one. It will always be Alexis Arguello,” said Chocolatito, through his manager Carlos Blandon.
Again, the Gennady Golovkin-Kell Brook middleweight championship bout will be aired live on HBO at 5:30 p.m. ET/ 2:30 p.m. PT. The bouts at the Forum (with the GGG-Brook replay) will start at 10 p.m. ET…Promising lightweight prospect Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin is on the undercard in Inglewood…UniMas has a card that will feature heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. and lightweight contender Ray Beltran…Not the strongest slate of college football games this week…OK, that’s all I got. See everyone at the Forum (after I watch the first half of University of Miami-Florida Atlantic University, of course)…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.