Wolak vs Rodriguez Rematch Could Be Scuppered for Soto Karass

Jesus Soto Karass is an exciting fighter, but isn't going to be a fan favorite choice to fight Pawel Wolak if the rumors prove true. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Despite the fact that Pawel Wolak and Delvin Rodriguez both said they'd love to do a rematch on the Cotto vs Margarito undercard on December 3, that may not be likely. The RING reports that Top Rank might instead look to match Wolak with Jesus Soto Karass on that card.

Wolak (29-1-1, 19 KO) and Rodriguez (25-5-3, 14 KO) put on an instant classic, Fight of the Year contender war on ESPN Friday Night Fights on July 15, with 10 rounds of non-stop, blistering action that left Wolak with a massive hematoma. The judges declared the fight a fair draw, and immediately, boxing fans wanted to see a second chapter. The Cotto vs Margarito card seems a perfect fit for the rematch, too. It adds another rematch of a great fight to the card, and the location of the event at Madison Square Garden is perfect, as the first fight was at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, and Wolak's Polish fanbase helps bring in more fans when he fights in the New York/New Jersey area.

But there's a trip-up here: Top Rank's matchmakers may simply feel that Rodriguez is too risky a matchup for their popular brawler, who can continue to capitalize on his newfound fame without Rodriguez. It's harsh to say, but Soto Karass (24-6-3, 16 KO) is a Top Rank fighter who doesn't have Rodriguez's overall skills package, which gave Wolak a ton of trouble. Soto Karass, like Wolak, is a come forward brawler who lives and dies on his guts, but he's probably not quite as good at it as Wolak, and thus is a better, and in many ways safer matchup for Wolak, who could become a bit of a regional cash cow for Top Rank if they promote him "right."

I'm not saying any of this to give the feeling that Wolak would "duck" a rematch with Rodriguez. I'm quite confident that Pawel Wolak will fight anyone put in front of him, and then once the bell rings, actually fight them. But if Top Rank sees potential dollar signs here, the business side of boxing is going to overtake something raw and beautiful like a Wolak vs Rodriguez rematch, and replace it with something like Wolak vs Soto Karass, where Top Rank controls both fighters and doesn't risk having one of their guys lose to an outsider.

And I'm also not saying that Wolak vs Soto Karass is a bad fight. In all likelihood, it would be a bloody war, and a fight that fans will enjoy. But it all would really suck for Delvin Rodriguez, too, who is basically at the mercy of a promotional giant that doesn't promote him in this situation.

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