While most of the attention for tonight's main event on Showtime will be focused on the restructuring of Andre Berto's psyche following his decision loss to Robert Guerrero last fall, his opponent is a hungry lion who knows it may be one of his final opportunities to break through. Jesus Soto-Karass is a 30 year-old veteran who never disappoints fans and always makes his opponent have to work all night if they want to achieve victory against the sometimes wild-swinging welterweight.
In a phone interview with Boxing Scene, Soto-Karass acknowledges that he desires to leave the fans begging for more, but also admits that he may need to fight more intelligently in order to pull out a "W" against an opponent of the caliber of Berto. The underdog for tonight's main event, he also claims that he is motivated by those who pick against him.
Here is what Soto-Karass had to say, via Boxing Scene:
""Truthfully, I'm motivated by those who pick against me. I respect those who pick against me. I do. I mean positive because I know what I'm capable of. I'm actually not against those who pick against me.
"I know that this a very difficult fight, but it is a dangerous fight. I train to win. We both know we have to win. This is a good fight, but a dangerous fight. As far as I'm concerned the fans are the winners.
"I'm very motivated. I'm no longer a bum or a clown. Boxing is my life and what I do so I could provide for my family. I learn from all of my fights, including those from which I have lost. I feel that I have become a better fighter.
"That is why I will box an intelligent fight. One with aggression. We can box or if he wants to brawl, we could brawl. If he wants to pressure then we'll pressure. But we will do everything intelligently. I can box. You will see Saturday.
"I will demonstrate what I am capable of. I will strive for the victory."
Soto-Karass is wise to recognze he will need to be intelligent in order to be successful when facing top contenders. But, naturally, the question becomes 'Is that his natural style?' Some guys are just born to be sluggers, whether it is the smart thing to do or not.
And let's not forget that in Berto's three toughest fights (Luis Collazo, Victor Ortiz, and Robert Guerrero) he got off to a slow start and was hurt in each fight, especially against Ortix and Guerrero. It could be in Soto-Karass' best interest to be aggressive, at least in the early going. Especially if we see the Berto Shoulder Roll of Hell.
What do you think of Soto-Karass' chances tonight? And should he try to stay back and be a bit more cautious?