Sprinkled throughout boxing history are fights pitting two over-the-hill warriors against each other who deliver a beaut. The latest entry in the ledger: Mauricio Herrera vs Jesus Soto Karass, Friday night on ESPN.
Maybe “beaut” isn’t the right word. Soto Karass has never fought pretty, and while Herrera is a crafty scientist in there, he’s not a picture of grace, either. But while they combined for some sloppy action, it was still action, and especially in the 10th, a Round of the Year candidate.
Herrera walked away with the win in their welterweight showdown, buoyed by his accuracy bonus — he took the fight by scores of 96-94, 96-94 and 95-95, all viable.
Herrera started stronger, seemingly fresher than Soto Karass, who has gotten hit more over his career. But Soto Karass started to take more and more rounds as the fight wore on, especially with his body attack, and the classic volume puncher/counterpuncher match-up materialized.
By the 9th Herrera was bloodied, and by the 10th they were just standing and swinging away at each other, too tired not to get hit cleanly in return.
The fight idea made folk mildly queasy in advance; neither fighter has looked like he had much left in the tank in recent bouts, and neither has big knockout power, and sustained beatings are when people get hurt.
Thankfully, nobody did. We got the opposite feeling in our belly, especially as the bout heated up: a thrill.
(Mauricio Herrera left, Jesus Soto Karass right; credit: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions)