By Jake Donovan
Former three-division titlist Humberto ‘Zorrita’ Soto kept his career afloat after outlasting Jose ‘Piston’ Lopez in a hard-fought unanimous decision win Saturday evening in Ecatepec, Mexico.
Scores were 115-112, 115-111 and 114-112 in a bout Soto promised to be one-and-done in the welterweight division.
Experience proved wiser than youth on this evening, as Soto’s superior skillset trumped Lopez’ determination over the course of 12 rounds. Soto boxed brilliantly in the early rounds, but was forced to contend with repeated low blows over the course of the evening.
The worst of the offending fouls came in round six, when a frustrated Lopez went severely low not once but twice. While Soto did his best to recover from the stinging pain, referee Juan Jose Ramirez dealt a mighty blow of his own, docking two points from Lopez’ final tally.
The deductions only proved to be the difference between a majority decision win and all three judges ruling in favor of Soto. Even in defeat, Lopez managed to make a fight out of it every step away, particularly in the second half of the contest.
Two-way action down the stretch left the capacity crowd on its feet by fights end.
Soto advances his record to 59-8-2 (34KO) in his first fight since suffering a devastating knockout loss to Lucas Matthysse earlier this year. The win was as much about moving on from that setback as it was proving that he still has something left to offer the game.
"I had family and personal issues (going into the fight, and didn't prepare well," Soto admits, though while also offering full praise to his conqueror. "Matthysse is an excellent fighter; I don't take anything away from his win."
Lopez may or may not one day prove himself to be an excellent fighter. What the 21-year old (who turns 22 in December) showed was plenty of upside and heart, even in defeat. The loss snaps a modest two-fight win streak as he falls to 17-3-1 (10KO).
While Lopez’ career is just getting started, Soto will next figure out how to spend his remaining years in the ring. The 32-year old has been pro for nearly half of his life, and eyes a big fight or two before perhaps finally calling it a career.
“I would like to go for a bigger fight, maybe Danny Garcia, Amir Khan or a rematch (with Mathysse)," Soto states.
On the undercard, Antonio Lozada was dominant in scoring a 2nd round knockout of Edgar Llinas.
All of the damage was done in the deciding second round of their super lightweight affair. Lozada scored three knockdowns in the frame, all from the result of head shots. Llinas didn’t show much in his chin, but offered tremendous heart in peeling himself off of the canvas after every knockdown.
The third and final knockdown of the round was enough to convince the referee to stop the contest at 2:55 of round two.
Lozada scored his 6th straight win as he improves to 29-1 (25KO). Llinas falls to 13-4 (8KO), as he is now .500 over his last six contests.
In earlier action...
Yessica ‘Kika’ Chavez (16-3-2, 4KO) pitched a ten-round shutout over visiting Kanittha Kokeitgym (17-5, 6KO) of Thailand. Scores were 100-90 across the board in their flyweight bout… Rodolfo Hernandez offered a brutal beatdown of Dennis Contreras en route to a 7th round stoppage… Brian Flores stopped Arturo Delgado in the 2nd round of their featherweight contest… Super featherweight Sergio Torres was equally as dominant, though was forced to put in more work as he forced Tomas Sierra to wilt in round eight… Raul Denis Martinez knocked out Orlando Garcia in one round… Juan Pablo Lopez also won by 1st round knockout, sending Isidro Hernandez home early in their lightweight preliminary.
The show aired live on Televisa.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox