It is often said that in a rematch, the fighter with the better skills will emerge victorious.
In November of last year, rising welterweight prospect Mike Jones put his undefeated record on the line against hard-nosed fringe contender Jesus Soto-Karass. After hurting Soto-Karass early in the fight, Jones unloaded a flurry of punches on his stunned opponent. For almost one full minute, Jones rained power shot after power shot looking for a shocking early knockout, unfortunately for Jones, he didn't get it. What he did get however, was the toughest fight of his career from the game Soto-Karass.
After exhausting himself looking for the knockout, Jones held on, albeit just barely, to score a hard-fought majority decision in an extremely close contest. That fight ended up setting the stage for this past Saturday's rematch.
Mike Jones made one serious mistake that night by wildly looking for the knockout. Mike Jones will never make that mistake again. It's amazing what lessons can be learned from failure.
Which brings me back to my opening sentence, the fighter with the better skills will emerge victorious. Mike Jones is a gifted, talented welterweight; he is also a vastly more experienced and a smarter fighter than he was some three short months ago. Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Jones put those skills on display as he pounded out a smart, yet tough and disciplined 12 round decision over a game, but badly outclassed Jesus Soto-Karass.
Cut and bleeding for most of the fight, Soto-Karass proved, as he did in the first go around, just how tough he is. Unfortunately, this time, his toughness wouldn't be enough. Using his fancy footwork and working behind a textbook left jab, Jones rightfully earned the unanimous decision.
The Jones versus Soto-Karass fight was a perfect precursor to the main event which featured two outstanding warriors in Fernando Montiel and Nonito Donaire. In a short but brutal battle, Donaire scored a crushing one punch knockout courtesy of a beautiful left hook. I'm not sure what referee Russell Mora was thinking, but after watching Montiel convulsing on the floor, there was certainly no need to allow the fight to continue. It was clearly evident to all that Montiel was in no condition to defend himself.
One question though, how the heck did Montiel even make it to his feet?
With the courage displayed by both Montiel and Soto-Karass, there is definitely something to be said about the heart of a Mexican warrior.