Boxing fans who have tuned in to the Showtime broadcast for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez have been treated to some stellar action on the undercard. The second fight of the broadcast saw Marcos Maidana take on Jesus Soto Karass in a fight that gave as much action as it promised on paper. But things also got a little nasty.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the bout early on was Maidana showing a dedication to the jab, repeatedly snapping Karass' head back with jab after jab. Maidana also showed some interesting improvements in the counter punching department and defensive maneuvering.
Maidana's improvements didn't really take away from the fighter he is known to be, but rather improved that same fighter as he still focused on a whirlwind of power punches, he just had a little bit of flair.
Soto Karass was able to take the power punches of Maidana well for the majority of the fight and continued walking forward, looking to score with his own big shots.
Karass' dedication to coming forward (he threw almost 750 punches in the fight) kept Maidana working.
After the third round, Maidana threw a few punches as referee Kenny Bayless was separating them, leading to a stern warning in the corner. Round four saw the men attack again as they were being broken by the ref, so both men had a point taken in a surprising move. The two men were jawing for much of the fight and things were very chippy, leading to Maidana losing another point when he tried to sneak in a low blow in the seventh round.
But also in the seventh, Maidana scored a big knockdown to win the round.
Finally, Maidana blitzed early in the eighth round, trapping Karass against the ropes and firing away until the referee jumped in.
The stoppage may have been a little premature, but Karass was in trouble and did not protest the stoppage too much.
It wasn't the prettiest performance from Maidana once he started to fade in the sixth round, looking to hold until he started finding a second wind post-getting the knockdown. But he gritted out a win at 147 pounds and that has to count for something.