Karass Weathers The Storm

By Roy Marquez
Photos: Marlene Marquez

Jesus Soto Karass is a body snatcher. On a stormy Friday night in Southern CA, Karass rained crippling body shots on Carson Jones to earn a hard fought victory. From the opening bell it was evident Jones (18-7-1, 10 KOs) would enjoy a hand speed advantage over Karass. Jones darted in and out landing head shots with both hands. Karass committed to the body seemingly willing to take two shots to the head to dole out one to the body. In the third the strategy paid off. Mid way through the round Jones took a knee as Karass came crashing down on him. When the action resumed Karass went in for the kill but got caught careless on the way in. Jones dominated the ensuing exchange and nearly reclaimed the round when he went down from a brutal left hook to the body. The third was the signature round of a furious welterweight fight.

Karass continued the body assault in the fourth to dominate the action. Following the round Jones made an adjustment. By moving continually to his left he took away Karass’ left hand. In the fifth Jones bloodied Karass’ nose on route to winning the round. Jones captured the sixth with head popping uppercuts and combinations. The seventh was close but Jones dictated the action by pressing ahead while Karass retreated.

Karass did bring his right hand to the fight but tried not to use it. Like a tennis player who runs around his backhand, Karass stepped to the right and threw his left every chance he could. A Karass body shot in the eighth hurt Jones to turn the tide. Karass attacked in the tenth pressing for a knockout he nearly achieved. Karass staggered Jones with a big right hand seconds before the final bell. The judges favored Karass 98-90, 97-91 & 99-89. The fight writers on press row scored the fight much closer than the judges.

Undefeated featherweight Miguel Angel Garcia added another knockout victim to his ledger when Reading, PA fighter Lucien Gonzalez failed to answer the bell for the sixth. The Oxnard, CA based Garcia now has 13 KOs in 16 professional fights. Gonzalez (9-5-1) took the opening round but steadily gave ground as the fight progressed. In the 2nd Garcia increased his work rate and won the round. Garcia wobbled Gonzalez early in the fourth and proceeded to punish him until the bell sounded. By the 5th Gonzalez had nothing on his punches. Garcia was free to plant his feet and sit on his punches. Though Gonzalez had no quit in him the ringside physician decided he was finished and advised referee Wayne Hedgepeth to stop the fight.

Not surprisingly, Omar Chavez’ best punch is the left hook to the body. The younger son of Julio Cesar Chavez, Omar Chavez was put to the test by compatriot Rodolfo Armenta (4-1). Chavez (14-0-1) landed enough hooks and uppercuts throughout the contest to eke out a 40-36, 39-37, 38-38 majority decision victory. Armenta, from Nogales, Mexico, is raw but determined; a nearly winning combination.

In the opening bout of the night, Las Vegas based super featherweight Diego Magdaleno shut out fellow Nevadan Rodrigo Aranda over six rounds. A southpaw with plus hand speed, Magdaleno out-boxed the more experienced Aranda (8-9-2, 2 KOs). Magdaleno loaded up on the left yet rarely missed Aranda who was content to stand in front of him and trade. With the unanimous decision Magdaleno remained undefeated with 8 victories, 3 by way of knock out.

Young Jose Roman pitched a four round shut out to improve to 4 wins with no losses. Working behind a stiff jab and digging hooks, Roman dominated fellow super featherweight Rufino Flores (1-2). All three judges scored the bout 40-36 for Roman. At 6’0” and just 20 years of age, Roman looks promising.

Michael “Lil Warrior” Franco stopped journeyman Antonio Cochero with a single shot to the body in the first round of their bantamweight fight. Referee Hedgepeth waived off the bout at 1:08 when Cochero was unable to get to his feet. With the victory Franco improved to 14-0 with 9 KOs.