by German Villasenor
Seen by millions on the SHOWTIME televised, Mexican independence day weekend last September, Jesus Soto Karass took part of a fight of the year candidate against Marcos Maidana.
Also on that card, Daniel Ponce De Leon defeated Jhonny Gonzalez, Leo Santa Cruz stopped Eric Morel and Saul ''Canelo'' Alvarez stopped a game Josesito Lopez... the show stealer would be the all-out war for eight rounds between the always exciting welterweight contender, Jesus ''Renuente'' Soto Karass and former WBA Lightweight champion Marcos 'Chino'' Maidana in a WBA welterweight title eliminator.
Having been stopped for only the second time in a career comprised of 26-8-3 with 17KOs, one would think Karass' spirits would be down, that would not be the case whatsoever..
Right after that fight, while strolling through the MGM Grand casino's lobby, a crowd gathered around one fighter, keeping him busy with requests for photos and autograph's.
No, it wasn't any of the other fighters... but Karass.
''After I came back from the hospital, where I was sent to get a precautionary MRI, and got back to the MGM, I began to get noticed and people were asking if I was Karass, who just fought Maidana, I said yes, to fans, who began to gather around me.''
''I was amazed at how quickly a crowd formed around me and my team, I was in the lobby for more than an hour and half signing autographs and taking pictures with fans.'' said Karass a couple of days after what many are calling it ''The fight of the Year''
The response has been overwhelming in a positive sense, despite Karass having been in other big fights, the response to this, his latest battle tops all others.
''I have had other fights, big fights, such as the Mike Jones fights, that people were asking me for autographs after the fights, but nothing like this, it's crazy, and I'm grateful for it.''
''The people know that I, along with Maidana gave them the best fight of the night, whether it was in the card I was on, or the one on the other side of the town, ours was a war and people know it.''
''I got careless, taking nothing away from Maidana's victory, but If you see the fight, you will see that I took much harder shots than the one which dropped me, the thing was that I was taking a step back, and again, you can see on the replay that both my feet weren't firmly planted on the canvas, I was literally on my toes, the punch came in and sent me down.''
Long seen as one fighter with a granite chin, does he think this diminishes the perception of how he can take a shot?
"'He has respectable power, but if it hadn't been for me not having been footed solidly, the knock down wouldn't have come.''
''It is, what it is, he won because the referee stopped the fight, he felt it was the right choice and I have to respect that, but I don't feel that it was the right call, I wasn't hurt or buzzed as bad for the fight to have been stopped, that's how I feel.''
A few more rounds, the fight could have turned, and turned, but Karass feels he was ahead.
''From what I have seen and heard, the fight was very close, I was already beginning to break him down, he was holding, fouling, getting a bit desperate, he got lucky with the knockdown and his team sent him out to let everything go, fortunately for him, it worked.''
''I'm in very good spirits, after the fight I spoke to people from Golden Boy who were very happy with the fight and also spoke with the WBA representative, who also told me that due to the performance I gave, they would keep me in the top WBA Welterweight ratings.''
''Although I have heard from people at Golden Boy, he (Maidana) told them that he was planning to go back to super lightweight, maybe he knows this division is not really his, but I do hope that he sticks around and gives me a rematch.''
''I know everyone will love to see that for sure.''
That would be World War II if Karass has anything to do with it.
Fast forward to December, 2012 when Karass got back in training for his next fight, right back into the fire so to speak, as the Los Mochis Sinaloa fighter takes on once defeated Selcuk Aydin 23-1 (17KOs) this Saturday night on the triple header fight card promoted by Golden Boy Promoted and to be televised through SHOWTIME.
Aydin is no push over, having taken and given hell to Robert Guerrero in a game losing effort back in July of last year.
The Turk and Karass will lock horns in what surely will be another war to witness.
Already within a couple of pounds over the pacted weight for the fight (149 lbs.) Karass seems in very good spirits and spoke regarding his new opponent.
''The (Aydin) fight came about two months, I knew who he was and I accepted (seen him before) fighting him, we have to take the fighters whom Golden Boy gets us, and beat them in order to stay in this game, which I plan to be for a long time still.''
''I know Aydin is a hard rival, very strong, doesn't move a lot and comes forward. He is a dangerous fighter, I have to be smarter than him.''
Still looking for a rematch with Maidana might be in the future.
'' I know he (Maidana) was mentioning other names such as Berto, but since we are with the same promoter now, who knows, maybe we can still get it on in a rematch sometime in the future.''
Of course, first things first, with Karass practically at weight and ready for this Saturday night.
''Im at 151 fight is 149 lbs, so there are no problems, just watching the weight and making sure not to eat anything that can get me out of weight.''
Karass has seen a lot of ups and downs in his career, but one constant are his fans and specially his management team comprised of Francisco ''Pancho'' Espinoza and Sergio Diaz, whose unwavering faith are still with their fighter, as well as Golden Boy Promotions who have promoted his last couple of fights.
Karass knows who are behind him and hopes not to dissapoint.
''The people know what I bring and believe in me, I'm thankful to all my fans for their support, everywhere I go know people are recognizing me and asking me when I'm fighting next, to all of them I want to thank, and I will be back on the winner's column very soon, thanks to my manager's Pancho Espinoza and Sergio Diaz and of course to Golden Boy Promotions who believe in me.''
''I will come out on top of this dangerous fight, we have done very good work and you will see a smarter Karass who wins this Saturday night.''