Big Bear, California - In what is being agreed upon by boxing experts as a sure-fire, barn burner of a fight, Welterweight contender Jesus ''Renuente'' Soto-Karass 26-7-3 (17KOs) will be taking on former WBA Super lightweight KO artist, Argentina's Marcos ''Chino'' Maidana 31-3 (28KOs) on September 15th at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In Maidana, Karass will be taking on a fighter much like him, a fighter who almost never takes a step back, pressures and loves a good shoot-out of a fight, with styles to match.
A second outing at welterweight by Maidana (who gave a gallant effort in his last fight- against a much faster Devon Alexander) the Argentinian will take on a re-invigorated Karass, who is motivated and moving back down at welterweight after a couple of super welterweight fights in his last couple of bouts.
Speaking with Karass, who is currently training in Big Bear, the Los Mochis, Sinaloa fighter looks and sounds in good spirits, expanding on his current challenge and immediate future, Karass took time out of his busy schedule to tell us about his state.
''I've been up here (Big Bear) for five weeks now, I feel very, very good, in excellent condition. This has been one of my best camps so far,'' stated Karass.
'I have been working hard, getting very good sparring with Abel Ramos and Aron Martinez, among others, as always, looked out for by my long-time and always excellent management team (Sergio Diaz and Francisco ''Pancho'' Espinoza) my trainer Ramon ''Yuquita'' Morales, my brother Jose Luis ''Mapache'' Karass and Rene Miranda, all of them have been instrumental in this camp.''
The iron-chinned Karass, a very good boxer-puncher who is always involved in action packed fights, spoke about training, his plans and weight, something which has been an issue at times in the last couple of years.
''I'm right on weight, like I said before, I feel great, as a matter of fact, I have to watch myself at the moment that I don't go under the weight before the fight. I'm at 151 right now, looking to stay around the weight for about a week, then gradually go to 147, so I can be strong and in optimal condition on fight night. Said Karass.
Expanding on his training ground, Karass added- ''I'm at Mr. Bob's Sky High Training, he (Bob) is also my strength and conditioning coach. We brought back mitt-man Carlos ''Chino'' Espinoza (who worked alongside Karass and then-team mate Antonio Margarito in the past.
Regarding the actual work and training he has put in, Karass would continue..
''I feel very good, you can see the definition in my stomach, something which I really didn't have before. The training is different, I've accepted and enjoyed it's challenges and look forward to its rewards. The running at the higher altitude has also helped me a lot.''
Longtime staple under the Top Rank promotional umbrella, a change was made, seeing an opportunity to work with Golden Boy Promotions after Top Rank gave Karass his release after his last fight- a win over very capable Said El-Harrak back in May of this year.
Sergio Diaz who co-manages Karass spoke at length regarding his charge's immediate plans and deal which brought his fighter under the Golden Boy Promotions fold.
''After Top Rank gave Jesus (Karass) his release, we contacted Golden Boy Promotions and spoke to (matchmaker) Eric Gomez, hoping that they would be interested in Jesus.''
''Eric (Gomez) expressed his interest in Karass, saying that he liked the type of action fighter that Karass is, all action and never in a bad fight. Eric offered and we accepted a fight against Euri Gonzalez that we believed would be a difficult challenge, but highly winnable. Many felt that Jesus was a finished fighter and Euri Gonzalez, would walk through Jesus.''
''Jesus won by TKO and proved that night that he was not a finished fighter, and that he could defeat any fighter at any given night. ''
With an impressive fight to kick off his new relationship with Golden Boy Promotions, Karass was up and running, as Karass is now set to battle the well-known and dangerous Maidana.
''A week after Jesus' fight, Eric asked me how we felt about a possible match up against Marcos Maidana? We saw this as the opportunity for Karass to put himself in play again and accepted the fight. Eric spoke to Maidana's people and the fight was made".
''As far as why we decided to send Jesus up to Big Bear, Francisco and I new that it would be imperative to isolate Jesus from all of the distractions Los Angeles has to offer. We had to decide if we were going to send him to the Otomi or Big Bear. Our only concern would be the trainer situation, since Jesus and Daniel Ponce De Leon share the same trainer and they both would be fighting the same night. Fortunately, Daniel was also making plans to train in Big Bear. At the end, it all worked out. said Diaz.
Having fought above weight in his couple of fights, and not being that impressive in them, made Karass reflect and re-dedicate himself, working back to fighting at the welterweight limit at which he is at his best.
Diaz would expand on the subject.
''There is a big difference on how Jesus is training now. Jesus is aware of where he stands in boxing. Golden Boy has given him an opportunity that we all know might not come around again. I've never seen Jesus this focused. He's never been this hungry. He knows he has to take full advantage of the opportunity.''
Diaz continued- ''He's on weight, this past weekend he was 151. He'll maintain that weight, then gradually drop the remaining four pounds. What's important is the fact that he's on the right track and dropping weight correctly.'' - something that Karass also stated. ''
Should Karass win and look impressive against Maidana, doors and bigger fights will happen, but first things first, as Maidana, the dangerous power puncher is not one to be over looked.
''We are not overlooking anyone, or wondering what's next,. Jesus is focused on Maidana. We are not concerned about the future. There might not be a future if Jesus does not come out with the victory'' concluded Diaz.
Look for Karass vs. Maidana to be a fight of the year candidate, as both fighter's don't back-up, are pressure fighters, and will surely stand their ground in a true battle.
The SHOWTIME-televised show will feature Karass vs. Maidana in a pacted ten round battle in the welterweight rank, along with former world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon searching for his second division world title as he faces Jhonny Gonzalez for the WBC Featherweight belt and WBC Super welterweight kingpin Saul ''Canelo'' Alvarez facing Josesito Lopez in the main event.