Jesus Soto Karass vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai II Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, September 10, 2016
Where: The Forum, Inglewood, California
Weight Class: Welterweights: 10 Rounds
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Jesus Soto Karass, 28-10-4 (18 KOs), Los Mochis, Mexico
Yoshihiro Kamegai, 26-3-2 (23 KOs), Tokyo, Japan
Betting Odds: Jesus Soto Karass -110, Yoshihiro Kamegai -120
Jesus Soto Karass and Yoshihiro Kamegai will fight a rematch in a welterweight bout on the undercard of the Gonzalez vs. Cuadras main event at the Forum on September 10. This is a rematch of an April bout that ended in a draw. It was a crowd-pleasing war between a pair of 147-pound gatekeepers who are known to leave it all in the ring. It should be another highly-pitched battle between these two veterans.
I've stopped questioning Soto Karass and his ability to emerge intact after a long list of fierce wars. He has won some and lost some, but has given hell to the best at and around 147 pounds. The first time I saw him in a blood-and-guts battle was in 2008. He has fought a ton of them and at the end of the day, is able to boast of wins over David Estrada, Carson Jones, Selcuk Aydin, and Andre Berto, among others. Not given the benefit of the doubt in many fights with the judges, that list should be even more impressive. He might look like a guy who works at the tire shop, but he's a highly-credentialed warrior who deserves a lot of respect.
Soto Karass, a 33-year old North Hollywood resident via Los Mochis, has been in a lot of tough fights and it's fair to ask what he has left. He has a certain amount of resolve, however, that makes him a guy you can never sleep on. He is winless in his last three and was atypically non-competitive against Keith Thurman, while not getting much business done against Devon Alexander. But he still can hit. He throws a large volume of shots and is very difficult to dissuade. He just needs some better results and a win here would put him in line for some more big-money fights. Make no mistake, the sport can use a lot more guys like Soto Karass, entertaining fighters that eschew personal safety to boost their appeal.
Kamegai fought in Japan from the time of his debut in 2005 through 2013, before settling in Los Angeles. He has shown a lot of guts and moxie. His 2012 fight with Jorge Silva was a pulsating war. He gave former multi-division champ Robert Guerrero a good fight in a 2014 loss. His decision loss to a past-his-prime Alfonso Gomez in 2015 was a troubling development. He has yet to really score a signature win. And at 33 and some wear on his body as well, he is pressed for time to make something substantive happen. A lot of people think he edged the first fight with Soto Karass. However, it was one of those evenly-fought frenetic wars where a handful of rounds can go either way. Again, the punches will be flying. It won't be technical, but you can bet it will be entertaining.
The wear and tear both men have endured is almost alarming. But Soto Karass may have shown himself to be more resilient to it. He has faced far better fighters and more of them than Kamegai. The Japanese battler has been through far less, but is showing the same kind of wear. One would think any negative affects from their war a short 5 months ago in April could maybe resonate more with Kamegai.
Still, Kamegai has shown himself more than up to the task in getting through tough fights. It just seemed that after his high-water moment in a competitive bout with Guerrero, he was poised to make a mini-move. Losing to Gomez and not being able to beat Soto Karass shows that nothing comes easy for this guy. The same can be said for Soto Karass, but when it comes to being an uncompromising warrior, Soto Karass may be more suited for that role in a long-term sense.
Soto Karass has scaled heights that Kamegai will never climb. He's a more proven commodity. He may have ebbed some from several years ago, but whenever you write him off, he bounces back. Before he scored two big upsets over Aydin and Berto, a lot of people were writing him off. But with Kamegai, we don't know that he can bounce back. He hasn't been on that great of a run and what we're seeing might be part of the decline-period for Kamegai. He has lost less fights than Soto Karass, probably has less miles on the odometer, and might have deserved to edge Soto Karass in their first fight. He is just struck with a stubborn case of mediocrity that makes it hard to back him at this level.
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Soto Karass has a lot on the line. It would be tough to have him emerge from a 2-fight series with Kamegai winless and be able to justify giving him more big fights. If he wants to retain his lucrative role as a dangerous and entertaining 147-pound gatekeeper, he could really use a "W." Something tells me that his slightly-sharper punching, urgency, and maybe just having an on-night will give him the slight edge in a close fight.
Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting on Jesus Soto Karass at -110.