Neeco Macias looks to impress in Golden Boy debut against Jesus Soto Karass
California-born junior middleweight Neeco “The Rooster” Macias, 17-0 (10), will return to the ring for his third bout of 2018 and his first since inking a new promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions, when he takes on veteran Jesus Soto Karass on November 8th, at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California (ESPN2, 11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT).
With the ink still drying on his new contract, Macias will certainly be tested by Soto Karass, who has faced Yuri Foreman, Vince Phillips, Alfonso Gomez, Andre Berto, Keith Thurman and Devon Alexander, to name but a few in his impressive career.
While this will be the classic test of the up-and-coming prospect against the grizzled older veteran, The Rooster feels he is more than ready for the test and is excited to show his new employers that they made the correct move in signing him.
Macias turned pro five years ago and has been perfect in 17 outings so far. However he has never been in with a battle-tested fighter like Soto Karass. He knows he needs to bring his A-game to get past the rugged Mexican.
Soto Karass, who had been talking about retiring from boxing, knows a win over a hot prospect like Macias injects some new life into his 17-year, 46-fight career and would let him live to fight another day. However a loss might be the final nail in his career. So clearly he will be motivated come first bell.
And the fans might just be the ultimate winners in this one. If styles make fights, then these two warriors may have the perfect blend for a good old-fashioned war. Both Macias and Soto Karass aren’t hard to find in the ring, as both like to wade in and wage war. Expect to see a lot of leather flying in this one.
UCNLive.com caught up with Lancaster, California’s Macias to get his thoughts on his Golden Boy debut, his new career focus and what he expects from Soto Karass heading into the fight.
“Yes, I just got signed by Golden Boy. It was the best fit for us. We had spoken to some other promoters and there was a time not too long ago where we would have signed with anyone probably,” said Macias. “But we were just looking for someone to show us some love. The one thing that was great was that I love fighting at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio. So the fact that Golden Boy said they were going to showcase me there and sort of make that my home was a perfect fit for me. That was the hook and the sinker.”
That said Macias realizes his first assignment for Golden Boy will be a tough day at the office.
“It’s a real honor to be fighting Soto Karass. I’ve seen him fight a lot and he is a great fighter. I know he’ll be there for the full 10 rounds but Golden Boy wants to put me in a main event on ESPN, so I know it’s going to be a tough fight. He’s a great fighter and I have a lot of respect for him,” said Macias. “I think it’s going to be a tough fight and great fight. He is a heavy-handed guy but I am going to use my speed against him and see if I can use my speed to counter him. My defense is getting better all the time as well. That is something we are working on.”
Macias also sees a bit of himself in the North Hollywood resident Soto Karass.
“I met him a few weeks back and we chatted because he speaks English. He was telling me he fights for his people and his family and, you know, he reminds me of me, at times, in many ways. We have there same attitude towards our approach to boxing in some ways,” said Macias.
And while Macias is excited to show his new promotional bosses that he is someone to watch, he also knows patience is the key to step-by-step success in the fight game.
“I think if we can finish this year strong and then look to make a great year next year, 2019, we’ll be in a good spot. We are set to have four fights a year but you never know what can happen in boxing. You can get cut; anything can happen,” said Macias. “I just take every fight as the most important fight and I don’t look ahead because, like I said, anything can happen so I just focus one fight at a time.”
Pressed for a prediction, Macias was thoughtful in answering that he was looking to bring the same excitement for which he has become known but not forfeiting his defense to do it.
“In reality, I probably see the fight going 10 rounds. Soto Karass is a tough guy and he’ll be there all night – but so will I. It’s going to be a great fight,” he said. “You hear (former WBA/WBA middleweight titlist Gennady) ‘GGG’ (Golovkin) talking about the ‘Mexican Style.’ Well, that is kind of how I see myself, the tough Mexican style but a smart Mexican style.”
* In closing, we say farewell to one of my favorite writers Steve Kim. A longtime journalist, ringside commentator, writer, podcast host, radio guest, you name it. He has worked in all areas of boxing media and has been scooped up by ESPN. He still creates written content and is already delivering. I am so happy for “K9,” as he has worked hard over the years and deserves everything he gets and more. It was a pleasure woking with you as a writer here at UCNLive, Steve, and we’ll see each other down the road. Viva Kimster!