In an astonishing fight, veteran Jesus Soto Karass upset previously undefeated Neeco “Rooster” Macias by majority 10-round decision. The bout featured a record-breaking 3,353 punches thrown, as the boxers battled furiously toe-to-toe in every round.
The junior middleweight match highlighted a Golden Boy on ESPN card on Thursday at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
Almost the entire fight was fought on the ropes with both men throwing a seemingly endless barrage of punches.
At the opening bell, Macias, 27, of Palm Desert, California, rushed across the ring, pinned Soto Karass in a neutral corner and unleashed a nonstop volley of blows. Soto Karass, 37, of Los Angeles, punched back the best he could but looked in danger of being overwhelmed.
Macias (17-1, 10 KOs) kept up his furious attack and swept the first four rounds, but Soto Karass (29-13-4, 18 KOs) gradually worked his way back into the fight, landing counterpunches with his back to the ropes.
Many rounds were close, but as the fight continued at a frantic pace, Soto Karass’ harder blows began to slow down Macias.
The last three rounds were the most definitive, as Soto Karass connected with multiple blows to the head and body. Macias fired back but could not regain control of the fight.
Despite so many punches landed, neither fighter was knocked down. However, an accidental head butt cut Macias over his left eye in the second round. And the right side of Soto Karass’ face was badly swollen by the end of the fight.
The scores were 97-93 and 96-94 for Soto Karass, with the third judge calling it even at 95-95.
If Karass keeps his word and retires, he went out in glorious style, fending off an energetic and much younger adversary. It was his first win since April 2013, when he scored the biggest win of his career, stopping Andre Berto.
In the co-feature, Manny “Chato” Robles III was lucky to hold on to his undefeated status with a split decision over Jose “El Torito” Gonzalez in a 10-round featherweight bout.
Robles, 24, of Lake Elsinore, California, was bothered throughout the bout by Gonzalez’s movement and ability to switch from an orthodox to a left-handed stance. Gonzalez, 28, of Guadalajara, didn’t have much power behind his punches, but he peppered the favorite with punches in every round.
Robles (17-0, 7 KOs) had a big round in the sixth when he hurt Gonzalez with a hard right to the head. He followed up with a flurry of scoring blows and almost put his opponent on the floor, but Gonzalez (23-7, 13 KOs) managed to remain on his feet.
Gonzalez stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the fight and, thinking he had won, celebrated after the final bell. One judge agreed, scoring the fight 96-94 in Gonzalez’s favor. The other two judges scored the bout for Robles by tallies of 96-94 and 97-93.