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Herrera edges Soto-Karass in exciting 10-rounder


By John J. Raspanti

As he gazed out at the crowd, blood still dripping from a cut over his left eye, Mauricio Herrera was likely thinking, “Will a decision in a close fight finally go my way”?


Maybe his fight with world champion Danny Garcia in Puerto Rico a few years ago popped into his mind. Herrera fought intelligently that night, jabbed to the body consistently, and landed more punches. Garcia connected with the heavier shots, but Herrera controlled most of the fight, so it seemed.


Two judges had Garcia winning the bout by four points, while the third scored the fight a draw. This writer had Herrera the victor by two points. 

Or the night most everyone thought he defeated Jose Benavidez. Benavidez was being groomed by Top Rank for stardom. Herrera appeared to outwork his taller opponent.


To most watching from home, and at ringside, Herrera did more than enough to win the fight. All three judges had Benavidez the clear-cut winner. The decision was loudly criticized in the press.



Herrera and Jesus Soto-Karass (28-12-4, 18 KOs) battled tooth and nail for ten exciting rounds Friday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Ca. Herrera had the edge in the earlier frames, using his educated jab. 


Soto-Karass stepped on the gas in the last third of the fight, applying pressure - and strafing Herrera with blows. Herrera battled back, countering with lead right hands.


One judge scored the fight even, while the other two tabbed Herrera the winner by a 96-94 score. Herrera, now 24-7, with 7 KOs, let out a sigh of relief.


Both fighters are warriors and from another time. There better days are behind them, but none of that mattered Friday night.


They laid it on the line one more time for the boxing masses.




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