By Francisco Salazar
Eight losses in his professional career?
A five-bout winless streak at one point?
Down and out?
People would make those assumptions on welterweight Jesus Soto-Karass. Then again, have you seen him fight? More importantly, have you seen him win when he was not expected to?
Forget how many losses he has. Forget that his career was over after having not during a five-fight stretch. Fans and media just want to see him fight because he could win or loss, but look good doing it.
One or the other will happen on Saturday night when he fights Andre Berto at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX.
The bout will headline a “Knockout Kings 2” card presented by Golden Boy Promotions and will be televised on Showtime.
Despite his won-loss record, Soto-Karass knows how to win. From 2005 until a defeat at the hands of Alfonso Gomez, the fighter from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico was unbeaten in 15 straight bouts.
So he’s had some losses. A few of them should have gone his way, including his first fight against Mike Jones, when he was on the undeserving end of a 10 round split decision.
Most fight fans will look back on September 15th when he lost in the eighth round to Marcos Maidana. The back and forth action had fight fans on the edge of their seats inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.
Because of that, some fight fans and media a reason to pick against him in his last bout on January 26th against Selcuk Aydin. The Turkish-born fighter was favored to win, but Soto-Karass boxed (yes boxed) effectively to winning a 10 round majority decision.
Will he be able to do that against Berto on Saturday night?
He believes so and is willing to prove people wrong again.
“Truthfully, I’m motivated by those who pick against me,” Soto-Karass told Boxingscene.com over the phone on Tuesday. “I respect those who pick against me. I do. I remain positive because I know what I’m capable of. I’m actually not against those who pick against me.”
Soto-Karass (27-8-3, 18 KOs), who now resides in the Los Angeles area, is favored by some in the boxing media to beat Berto on Saturday night. Maybe it is due to his style that could give Berto problems. Or because Soto-Karass, in some fights, makes adjustments and gets a second wind in the second half of the fight.
Whatever it may be, Soto-Karass has that fearless style that hardcore and Latino fight fans seem to enjoy. Which makes some believe Soto-Karass’ best bet is to fight fire with fire.
“I know that this is a very difficult fight, but it is a dangerous fight,” said Soto-Karass, who has faced Gabriel Rosado, Manuel Gomez, Yuri Foreman, and Michele Rosales just to name a few in his career. “I train to win. We both know we have to win. This is a good fight, but a dangerous fight. As far as I’m concerned, the fans are the winners.”
With that attitude, it is almost surprising Soto-Karass does not have more victories throughout his career. Then again, boxing was not a priority when it should have been during his career.
Maybe that is why he lost fights when he could have won.
Regardless, it is in the past and Soto-Karass knows that a victory over Berto on Saturday will bring him more lucrative bouts. It has been rumored that should Berto beat Soto-Karass, he would get an opportunity to fight Floyd Mayweather.
“I’m very motivated. I’m no longer a clown or a bum. Boxing is my life and what I do so I could provide for my family. I learn from all of my fights, including those in which I have lost. I feel that I have become a better fighter.”
“That is why I will box an intelligent fight. One with aggression. We can box or if he wants to brawl, we could brawl. If he wants to pressure, then we’ll pressure. But we will do everything intelligently. I can box. You will see Saturday.”
Win or lose, and if he is in good health, one can not help to want to see Soto-Karass in the ring. He goes all out and never shies away from an exchange.
He has gained a great deal of respect in the boxing world, which enables him to be the favorite in his fight against Berto in the eyes of some. Whether people pick against him, Soto-Karass is more confident now and believes he will be the one with his hand raised on Saturday night.
“I will demonstrate what I’m capable of. I will strive for the victory.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper. He could be reached by email at [email protected] or on twitter at FSalazarBoxing