Lucas Matthysse: Matthysse’s first-round knockout of Mike Dallas Jr. on Saturday in Las Vegas isn’t particularly meaningful given Dallas’ limited accomplishments. The Argentine certainly gets points for style, though. Matthysse gave us a “wow” moment by putting his young opponent to sleep with a single right counter punch 2:26 into the fight, which bolstered his reputation as a killer puncher. Matthysse (33-2, 21 knockouts) has stopped 21 opponents inside three rounds. He reportedly has knocked down his opponents 20 times in his last nine fights. And one could argue that he deserved the nods against Zab Judah and Devon Alexander, each of whom claimed disputed split-decision victories against him. That’s some resume. And the beauty of the deep junior welterweight division is such that he’ll have opportunities to make even bigger statements. Danny Garcia? Brandon Rios? Amir Khan? Zab Judah? Matthysse could turn out to be the best of the bunch.
Mike Dallas Jr.: Dallas (19-3-1, 8 KOs) is a resilient kid. He demonstrated that by bouncing back from back-to-back losses in 2011 – including a seventh-round knockout against Josesito Lopez – to earn a shot at Matthysse. And he’s young, only 26. That knockout was brutal, though. A punch like that can rattle your confidence along with your brain unless you have unusual mental toughness, particularly because it came in the biggest fight of Dallas’ career before a national television audience on Showtime. Dallas undoubtedly is still reeling a day later. And sometimes it’s more difficult to rebuild a second time, which he presumably will try to do. Indeed, Dallas has a tough road ahead if he has any hope of becoming a championship-caliber boxer. If he can bounce back again, I’ll be surprised – and impressed.
Jesus Soto-Karass: Soto-Karass is a tough, crowd-pleasing fighter who gives everything he has every time he fights. But let’s face it: He is considered more of a capable opponent who gives elite fighters a tough time than a true title contender. He was only 3-5 (with one no-contest) in his last nine outings going into his 10-round fight against sturdy Selcuk Aydin on the Matthysse-Dallas card, which is the kind of cold streak that leads some fighters to retire. That’s why his performance against Aydin was a surprise. Soto-Karass (27-8-3, 17 KOs) controlled the fight from beginning to end, outboxing and outworking his favored opponent to win a majority decision. One judge somehow scored it 95-95 while the other two had it 97-93 (six rounds to four) for Soto-Karass. The Mexican fought like a seasoned pro who remains a serious threat to the top fighters in the welterweight division.
Selcuk Aydin: The strong, hard-punching Turk came to the U.S. with a perfect record, the moniker “Mini-Tyson” and the reputation of being a legitimate welterweight contender. After two fights here, he appears to be just another boxer. Robert Guerrero outclassed Aydin (23-2, 17 KOs) by a convincing unanimous decision in July even though the American had jumped two weight classes for the fight. And, on Saturday, the underdog Soto-Karass – a solid, but limited opponent – handed him another fairly clear defeat. Aydin has demonstrated neither the skills of a world-class boxer nor the fire and punching power of a formidable brawler, evidence that he might’ve been overrated all along. No one should write him off at 29. At the same time, he had better turn things around quickly if he hopes to salvage what seemed to be a promising career.
Jermell Charlo (20-0, 10 KOs) is loaded with both athletic and boxing talent, as he proved again during his eighth-round round stoppage of Harry Joe Yorgey (25-2-1, 12 KOs) on the Matthysse-Dallas card. But he fought very carefully even after Yorgey was wounded, which won’t win him fans. He needs to find his killer instinct to become a star. … Demetrius Andrade (19-0, 13 KOs) didn’t dazzle anyone with his shutout victory over Freddy Hernandez (30-4, 20 KOs) on Friday in Huntington, N.Y., but it was a nice step in his career. Hernandez is no star but he’s a solid veteran who figured to provide a test. Andrade passed easily. … Brian Vera (22-6, 13 KOs) scored another surprising victory Friday in Verona, N.Y., stopping former junior middleweight titleholder Sergei Dzinziruk (37-2-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight fight and putting him down three times. Vera defeated crafty Sergio Mora by a majority decision in his previous fight. He has come a long way since he lost a near-shutout decision to Andy Lee in 2011. … Raymond Serrano (18-2, 8 KOs) was an unbeaten prospect only a year ago. Today, after Emmanuel Taylor (16-1, 11 KOs) handed him his second consecutive knockout loss, his future in boxing looks shaky. … Jose Hernandez (14-6-1, 6 KOs), who has shown flashes of talent but has come up short against his best opponents, finally got over the hump with an eighth-round knockout of then-unbeaten Tony Luis (15-1, 7 KOs) of Canada on the Vera-Dzinziruk card.