Jones clear winner over Soto Karass
LAS VEGAS -- Whatever controversy there was when Mike Jones eked out a majority decision against Jesus Soto Karass four months ago, there was none Saturday night.
Jones pounded his way to a unanimous decision against a bloodied Soto Karass at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the undercard of the Fernando Montiel-Nonito Donaire bantamweight championship fight.
When they met for the first time Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito fight, Jones nearly knocked Soto Karass out in the second round.
But Philadelphia's Jones had exerted so much energy, he was gassed for the rest of the fight but hung on to barely win despite protests from Soto Karass.
The second fight was different. Jones was the clear winner in the entertaining bout with the judges scoring in his favor, 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113. ESPN.com also had it for Jones, 118-110.
"I stuck to the game plan. The game plan was lateral movement, try to hit him with the jab," Jones said. "He was no different than the first fight and we put together a better game plan."
Jones (24-0, 18 KOs) spent most of the first round staying away and running from Soto Karass, 28, of Mexico. But if he used the first round just to feel him out, Jones soon left that strategy behind.
He was much more aggressive in the second round and, in the third round, he really turned it up. He opened cuts over both of Soto Karass' eyes and, by the end of the round, there was blood streaming down his face.
Both cuts were ruled as the result of punches. However, replays showed the first cut, over the left eye, was from an accidental head butt. The second cut, over the right eye, was from a clean shot.
The cuts seemed to light a fire under Soto Karass, who was on the attack in the fourth, resulting in some exciting toe-to-toe exchanges. But Jones, 27, was in control thanks to a stiff jab, which Soto Karass (24-6-3, 16 KOs) continued to walk into throughout the fight.
Jones, who earned the same $75,000 as Soto Karass, used a crunching body attack to slow Soto Karass in the ninth round. He landed so many brutal body punches that Soto Karass' flanks were bright red from the impact of the blows.
Soto Karass' cuts were streaming bright red blood in the 10th, forcing referee Kenny Bayless to call to have them inspected by the ringside doctor. Jones showed no mercy though, landing some tremendous right hands as Soto Karass showed a durable chin by absorbing everything he had to throw.
Jones connected on 408 of 846 punches (48 percent), according to CompuBox statistics, while Soto Karass was credited with landing 226 of 993 (23 percent).
"It was a tough fight. He attacked less," Soto Karass said. "He had more movement. It was a good fight. The fans enjoyed it. Let's do three."
Alvarado cruises to TKO win
Denver junior welterweight Mike Alvarado (29-0, 21 KOs) landed some powerful right hands as he took it to England's Dean Harrison (16-5, 5 KOs), pounding him into submission as he retired on his stool after the fourth round.
Alvarado, 30, who has had two prison stints in the past couple of years, looked a little rusty in his second fight since mid-2009, but still was way too much for Harrison.
The fight was a tune-up for Alvarado, who is scheduled move on to a Showtime-televised co-feature on the April 16 card in Puerto Rico headlined by featherweight titlist Juan Manuel Lopez against former titlist Orlando Salido.
• Welterweight Mark Melligen (21-2, 14 KOs), of the Philippines, won an all-action 10-round unanimous decision against Mexico's Gabriel Martinez (27-2-1, 14 KOs). Although the scores were one-sided in Melligen's favor -- 99-91 (twice) and 98-92 -- they rumbled all the way through the fight. Melligen, 24, who won his fifth fight in a row, did some damage in the ninth round when he opened a cut over Martinez's left eye. Martinez, 23, was undeterred, but too far behind to catch up.
• Cleveland lightweight Mickey Bey (16-0-1, 8 KOs) was lucky to escape with a majority eight-round draw against hard-charging Jose Hernandez (10-4-1, 4 KOs) of Dallas. Hernandez, 24, was on the attack throughout the fight, bulling an ineffective Bey, 27, backward. He rocked Bey several times, raised swelling around his right eye and repeatedly nailed him with right hands. However, one judge had it 78-74 in Bey's favor and the two other judges had it 76-76 as Hernandez at least ended a three-fight losing streak.
• Welterweight Yordenis Ugas (6-0, 3 KOs), a 2008 Cuban Olympian who defected in 2010, rolled to a shutout six-round decision against Carlos Martinez (3-4-3, 3 KOs) of Sacramento, Calif. Ugas, who was briefly wobbled in the opening minute of the fight, was never again in trouble, winning 60-54 on all three scorecards.
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