By Ian S Palmer
Mauricio Herrera of Riverside, California will be squaring off against veteran slugger Jesus Soto-Karass of Mexico this Friday, August 4th at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. The 10-round welterweight bout can be seen live in the U.S. on ESPN. Karass hasn’t fought since last September when he was stopped after the eighth round by Yoshihiro Kamegai in their rematch. Herrera’s last bout was an eight-round unanimous decision win over Hector Velazquez in March.
Soto-Karass also met Kamegai in April of 2016 and fought to a 10-round split decision draw in one of the year’s best fights. The Mexican has never been a world champion, but he’s faced some of the best boxers in the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions over the years. He may not have beaten the top names out there, but he’s always been more than competitive. He’s now 34-years-old and will enter the ring with a record of 28-11-4 along with 18 Kos.
Soto-Karass has fought the likes of Kamegai, Keith Thurman, Mike Jones, Marcos Maidana, Vince Philips, Selcuk Aydin, David Estrada, Yuri Foreman and Devon Alexander and was the first man to stop former welterweight titleholder Andre Berto. Soto-Karass is known more for his brawling abilities than boxing finesse. He’s tough with a lot of heart and heavy fists and that’s what makes him exciting to watch. Soto-Karass stands 5-feet-9-inches tall and has a 72-inch reach.
He’s been stopped three times, by Thurman, Maidana and Gabriel Rosado, so his chin is questionable at this stage of his career. Surprisingly, his knockout ratio stands at just 41 per cent and he’s fought 320 rounds since turning pro in 2001. Due to his aggressive come-forward style, he needs to make sure he doesn’t leave himself open for Herrera to pick him off with punishing counter shots since Herrera has the better boxing skills for sure.
The 37-year-old Herrera has proven over the years that he’s tough to beat due to his excellent skills, but he’s still lost seven times as he enters the ring with a mark of 23-7 with just 7 Kos. Six of his seven defeats have come in his last 11 outings and all of his losses have been by decision with most of them being quite controversial. So far in his career he’s held the WBA World Super Lightweight title along with the IBF North American Super Lightweight and USNBC Super Lightweight and Welterweight crowns.
He’s been in with some of the best in the division and even though he doesn’t have much in the way of power, Herrera has wins over the likes of Mike Dallas, Hank Lundy, Johan Perez, Miguel Angel Huerta and Ruslan Provodnikov. Herrera turned pro in 2007 and has 231 rounds under his belt since then. His KO percentage stands at just 23. He stands just over 5-feet-7-inches tall and has a reach of 71.5. Herrera has lost to Danny Garcia, Pablo Cesar Cano, Frankie Gomez, Jose Benavidez, Karim Mayfield, Mike Alvarado and Mike Anchondo.
Both of these guys have plenty of experience with Soto-Karass facing the tougher opposition. However, they’re both on the downside of their careers at this point. Herrera is an excellent boxer and as long as his chin continues to hold out as it has through his entire career he should be able to beat Soto-Karass on points. This is a fine matchup and it has the potential to be quite exciting.