Any true boxing fan will want to be tuned in this Saturday night when undefeated, pound-for-pound superstar Roman Gonzalez looks to become a four-division world champion against undefeated, WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras. It promises to be a thrilling fight, with potentially historic implications.
But tune in early. The co-main event for Gonzalez vs. Cuadras will be a rematch of one of 2016’s best fights, as tough Mexican journeyman Jesus Soto Karass meets Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai, for the second time in less than six months.
Last April the two faced off at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The result was a non-stop slugfest that resulted in a split-decision draw. In Round 10, Soto Karass set the Compubox record for punches in a round by a junior middleweight, letting his hands go an astonishing 168 times. Both fighters landed nearly twice as many punches as the weight class average.
Absolutely nobody was surprised that a clash between these two created fireworks. Soto Karass and Kamegai have a similar approach to prizefighting: They both come forward, throwing as many punches as possible.
Soto Karass has been on both the winning and losing side of some shootouts. Marcos Maidana stopped him in Round 8 in September 2012. Soto Karass stopped Andre Berto in Round 12 of a back-and-forth war in July 2013. In Kamegai’s June 2014 loss to Robert Guerrero, the two landed a total of 777 punches, 689 of which were power shots.
But Soto Karass came into last April’s fight having lost seven of his last 11 decisions. Kamegai dropped his bouts with Guerrero and Alfonso Gomez, the only two opponents he has faced who could be remotely viewed as contenders. So they both desperately needed a win. And the both fought like they did.
Expect more of the same Saturday night. Neither man knows how to do anything else.