By Rick Reeno
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas - Welterweight Mike Jones (24-0, 18KOs) kept his unbeaten record with a twelve round unanimous decision over Jesus Soto Karass (24-6-3, 16KOs). The scores were 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111.
In the first meeting which took place last November on the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito undercard at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas, Jones won a controversial majority decision.
Karass came out well in the first, but it didn't take long for Jones to start counter-punching and using his legs to set his own pace in the second. In the third round, Karass suffered bad cuts above both of his eyes. One of those cuts appeared to have come from a clash of heads. Soto Karass came out with a burst of aggression in the fourth. Jones stuck to his gameplan by allowing Soto Karass to come forward and picked him off with counters.
During the fifth, Karass made several attemps to bait Jones into a war, but his tactics didn't work. Jones used the ring, made Soto Karass miss quite often and usually made him pay when cornered. Every so often, Karass would land a good shot to the head or body, but not often enough. Soto Karass was doing excellent work to the body in the seventh round. Jones seemed to slow down just enough for Karass to get closer, and closer, and he began to land more often.
They went to war at the start of the ninth, with the two boxers standing at close range and trading hard hooks to the head and body. Initially, Jones was getting the better of the exchanges, but he appeared to be getting very tired and then Soto Karass staged a late rally to steal the round. Jones came back very well in the tenth, with combinations and hard hooks which certainly put some hurt on Soto Karass.
Jones went for the finish at the start of the eleventh. The cuts above the eyes of Soto Karass were bleeding heavily. Soto Karass' face was a mask of red from the blood flowing down from both sides. In the twelfth and final round, Soto Karass charged forward and he was swinging for the fences. Jones continued to move, stayed defensive and ran out the clock.