COSTA MESA, Calif. — Former welterweight fringe contender Jesus Soto Karass made it two in a row when he stopped Euri Gonzalez in the fifth round of a Golden Boy Live main event Saturday from The Hangar.
The rugged Mexican veteran snapped a four-bout losing streak — capped by a fifth-round TKO loss to Gabriel Rosado in January – when he scored a 10-round split decision over Said El Harrak in May. However, he looked like a spent bullet as he narrowly outpointing El Harrak.
On Saturday, Soto Karass (26-7-3, 16 knockouts) looked more like the streaking fringe contender who was unbeaten in 15 straight fights by mid-2008 and was nearing a title shot. The 30-year-old native of Los Mochis, Mexico, pressed his more athletic opponent from the onset of the Fox Sports Net-televised bout and he found a home for his overhand right as early as the second round.
Gonzalez (20-3-1, 14 KOs), a 33-year-old former amateur standout from the Dominican Republic who is best known for giving Saul Alvarez a tough fight that he lost by 11th-round stoppage in ’09, held his left hand low – inviting the many well-timed right hands from Soto Karass.
However, prior to getting dropped by a big right early in the fifth round, Gonzalez, who was coming off a two-year layoff that preceded an eight-round decision loss to undefeated prospect Ravshan Hudaynazarov in June, gave as good as he got from Soto Karass.
The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Dominican got the better of Soto Karass when he let his faster hands go and he scored well to the body whenever he was able to maneuver the L.A.-based Mexican to the ropes. However, at the end of the night, Soto Karass took a better punch than Gonzalez, who was unable to recover from the fifth-round knockdown.
Soto Karass hurt Gonzalez again with straight right that rocked him back into the ropes where referee Raul Caiz Jr. waved the fight off at 1:52 of the fifth.
Soto Karass’s management wants another fight against another tough hombre before offering the always game pressure fighter up as an opponent for newly crowned WBA welterweight titleholder Paul Malignaggi.
In the co-featured about of the Fox Sports Net/Fox Deportes broadcast, 2008 Mexican Olympian Francisco Vargas made quick work of Irving Torres, stopping the unheralded Puerto Rican puncher in the first round of their scheduled eight-round junior lightweight bout.
Vargas (12-0-1, 10 KOs) quickly figured out his inexperienced 25-year-old foe and put him away with left hook to the body followed by a chopping right that landed high on Torres’head midway through the opening round. Torres (9-3, 7 KOs) took a knee and remained there for the referee’s 10 count.
At age 27 and with 150 amateur bouts (most of which were international-level fights) under his belt, Golden Boy Promotions, which signed Vargas earlier this year, can confidently step up the level of the Mexico City native’s opposition.
In other action from the popular club venue (which will be replayed on Fuel TV), lightweight prospect Santiago Guevarra of Los Angeles dropped game Ricardo Garcia of La Habra, Calif., in the first and fourth rounds of their entertaining four-rounder to secure a unanimous decision by scores of 40-34 and 39-35 (twice).
L.A.-area amateur standout Joet Gonzalez looked sharp and relentless winning his four-round junior featherweight pro debut by outworking, outpunching and outclassing tough club fighter Jesus Carmona (0-3), of Chula Vista, Calif., to unanimous shutout scores of 40-36.
Junior lightweight Uriel Torres (1-1), of L.A., won his first pro bout with an entertaining four-round unanimous decision over game but winless Naphi Mohammad (0-3), of Santa Ana, Calif.
Heavyweight club banger Javier Torres (4-6, 2 KOs), of Long Beach, Calif., scored a one-punch highlight-reel style knockout of Fancisco Diaz (2-7, 2 KOs), of Orange, Calif., in the first round of their scheduled four rounder. Torres clipped his flabby foe with a perfectly timed left hook that spun Diaz half way around before he landed on his side in a heap that prompted the referee to wave the bout off without a count.