In the final preliminary fight on the November 13, 2010 Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito HBO pay-per-view from Cowboy Stadium – Philly welterweight contender Mike Jones (23-0, 18ko’s) was scheduled to take on registered ruffian Jesus Soto-Karass (24-5-3, 16 ko’s). It was a prime opportunity with literally millions of people tuned in from around the globe. Many felt that Soto- Karass was tailor made for Jones style and a full scale showcase would be the result. It turned out to be a 10-round war that could have gone either way.
This match had it all. It offered a strong candidate for round of the year (round 2), a strong comeback from a fighter who seemed to be out of his feet and will also dubiously be nominated for robbery of the year in some other publications. The Philly fight fans also got to see another thing – how Mike Jones would hold up when given a stiff challenge.
For the opening five minutes, everything was going according to the script. Jones was clearly out boxing and out banging his more experienced foe. Midway through round 2, Jones wobbled Soto-Karass and like a vulture – he swooped in to unleash something along the lines of 40 consecutive non-stop power punches on his stunned opponent. Karass covered for dear life on the ropes but still absorbed tremendous punishment. It was truly amazing display of killer instinct.
But – like the boxing lifer once told me “You can hit a Mexican boxers head all day and they will keep coming. You need to hit the body for them to fall”. Unfortunately for the Philadelphian – Karass did not go down. Somehow he weathered the storm and Jones was absolutely spent. Karass, marked with two leaky eyes, would go on to hammer a tired Jones in the middle rounds. To Jones credit – there was no quit in him – even though there were times when it looked like his legs were going to fail him.
The long awaited second wind came back somewhere near round 7 and Jones began to get himself back into the contest against an ever pressuring Karass. With the fight hanging in to balance – with trainer Vaughn Jackson in his ear telling him to “Come on man!” Jones responded like a champion – convincingly winning the final two rounds as he stood on steady legs – getting the better of hard two way exchanges with Karass.
The bout went to the scorecards which first read draw at 94-94 but was overruled by scores of 95-94 & 97 – 93 in favor of Jones. Over all it was a very good, very close fight that could have gone either way. I personally scored it a draw.
While many will argue what they thought of the decision and what they think of these guys against top fighters – it must be mentioned that this is what a pay-per-view fight should be like. The opening two bouts were a shade short of stinkers – this match had the fans (and many crowds at home) yelling and cheering at the TV. We also learned a lot about Mike Jones. He took some very hard shots, he was behind in a fight, he was dead tired at one point yet still found a way to win. I am sure he will learn from his mistake in round two – he likely won’t be let off the hook for an error like this when facing a top opponent.
With the win, Jones retains his two regional titles and picks up a third in the process. He is widely expected to compete for the WBO title in his next bout against England’s Kell Brook.
In the main event, Manny Pacquiao laid a whoppin’ for the ages of Margarito. Instead of cement gloves, I think he wore cement shoes as he couldn’t touch – or get out of the way – from anything Pac Man offered.
Enough is enough, we want Mayweather vs. Pacquiao!