Venturing into the super welterweight ranks, did not fare as well as expected for the grinder welterweight Jesus ''Renuente'' Soto-Karass just a couple years back, fighting in that division was a mixed bag of results at best. Having seen his time come and go with his former promotional company, Karass and co-managers Sergio Diaz Jr. along with Pancho Espinoza made the move to Golden Boy Promotions, in which the Los Mochis, Sinaloa fighter began to train harder, move back down to the 147 lb. division once more and put pieces of his game together and has ran a 3-1-1 in his last outings. Stopping the capable Euri Gonzalez in his first fight under GBP then losing via surprising TKO in seven against Marcos Maidana in an all out war.
Many thought Karass, 27-8-3 (17KOs) had seen the end of the line as a top Welterweight, instead, surprisingly enough, the defeat and the way he fought against Maidana netted him much fanfare, seeing his image rise despite the set back.
The fight also brought him in many ways into his own, stepping out from underneath his long-time camp mate Antonio Margarito, seeing his popularity shoot up, putting him into another his profile bout in his next outing.
Seen much as the proverbial opponent in his next fight against once-defeated, Selcuk Aydin 23-1, Karass not only stood his ground against the respected Turk, who had gone the distance against multi-division world champion Robert Guerrero in his previous fight.
Out-punching Aydin, Karass showed new facets to his game, working and tracking down Aydin who began to move, counter punch, nothing the way he fought against Guerrero.
After ten rounds of action, Karass won a majority decision, with many not seeing how Richard Ocasio had it 95-95, rather more along the lines of the other two judges who scored it 97-93 a piece.
The revealing outing for Karass gets him back in line for a his long-sought shot a world title - should he defeat former WBC welterweight world champion Andre Berto this Saturday night.
In Berto, Karass will need to be at the peak of his underrated skills in order to come out on top.
Berto, 28-2 (22KOs) fighting out of Winter Haven, Florida via his native Haiti has very fast hands, power, but a shaky chin, in contrast to the busy punching, solid chin and determination that Karass will bring to the dance in the SHOWTIME-televised main event at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Adding to the expectations of this bout, which has the vacant NABF Welterweight title on the line, a small skirmish between Karass and Berto who crossed paths during the Maidana vs. Lopez under card at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California last month.
Nothing serious came out of it, just fans getting worked up and the news media running with the story, adding to the already high expectations regarding this bout.
Training hard, working on several plans of attack, Karass shared some of his thoughts regarding Berto and the card as whole on a recent Media conference call.
''I'm going to do my game plan. I can't worry about him, about him being the fighter he was or whether he's going to resort to being the fighter he was the last couple of fights. I can't worry about that. I have to do my game plan, what I've been working towards in the gym. I will say this, that I'm going to be in great shape. I'm going to be ready for a war. If (he, Berto) wants to box, we can box. If he wants to stand and fight, we can fight. If I have to counter or be on the inside, whatever it is, I'm just training to win and that's my game plan; I've got to win."
Karass expanded on what he thinks regarding how the fans see him during and after his fights and their outcome.
''Look, it's great that people see me that way. It's great that everybody that follows me, the fans and everybody, they see me that way, but I want to win. The bottom line is I want to win. That's the important thing for me is winning. Yes, I'm going to give a great performance like I always do. I'm ready to die in the ring like every Mexican, but the important thing for me is to win. I have the mentality of winning. I have to win. It's for the future of my family. It's for the future of my trainers. It's a lot of hard work. The bottom line is I want to win, and it's okay to have great fights and this and that but my objection is to win.''
With Berto coming off a total war against Guerrero in which he tasted the canvas twice and ultimately lost a decision, Karass expanded on his thoughts regarding how he will be approaching the still very dangerous Berto.
''I'm expecting a well-prepared Berto. I'm coming to win. I'm coming to win and that's what I'm preparing for. I'm getting ready for the best possible Berto there is. In fact, I haven't even studied any of the last fights because he can throw those out the window. I'm getting ready for the best possible Berto, a guy that's going to be well prepared and is going to come to win. I know that Berto wants to be a world champion again. I also want to be a champion. That's what I've been waiting for all my career, all my life and a victory here is going to possibly get the winner into position for a world title. So, no, I'm not thinking of the Berto that had the last couple of fights. I'm thinking of the best possible prepared Berto that's going to come to win and that's what I'm training for.''
Karass vs. Berto heads up the SHOWTIME Championship Boxing-televised ''Knockout Kings II'' billed show, which will also feature the murderous body puncher, Texas, Own, the southpaw KO artist Omar Figueroa Jr. taking on Nihito Arakawa in a WBC Interim Lightweight clash.
Rounding out the telecast will be hard-punching Keith Thurman vs Diego Chavez with the WBA Interim Welterweight title on the line.
Tickets priced at $200, $100, $50, $25 and $10, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, are on sale now and are available for purchase at the AT&T Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com and ATTCenter.com all Ticketmaster locations, by calling (800) 745-3000 or through Leija & Battah Promotions by calling (210) 979-3302 or emailing [email protected].