Referee Jay Nady had his hands full tonight, deducting three points from Humberto Soto and John Molina in a foul-filled brawl to open the Mayweather-Maidana card on Showtime ahead of the pay-per-view broadcast. In the end, Soto won by unanimous decision on scores of 96-91, 95-92, and 95-92. BLH had it 97-90 for Soto.
Soto (65-8-2, 35 KO) was knocked down three times on low blows and pushed over in the third round after the two traded shots well after the bell, but was able to outbox Molina (27-5, 22 KO) throughout the fight.
Molina lost points in the sixth and seventh rounds, while Soto lost a point in the 10th and final round after his own breaking point low blow, which followed a big uppercut to the groin area in round eight, and two borderline shots in the ninth, the latter pair all but ignored by Nady, who deemed them not low -- and, on replay, he appeared to be right.
It's certainly a big win for Soto, 34, who now may be in line for a title shot at 140 pounds. He's won world titles at 130 and 135 in the past, and this is one of the biggest wins of his career.
And despite all the fouls, this was also an entertaining fight aside from that stuff. Both men landed clean, heavy shots, and it said a lot that Soto was able to stand up to big blows from a naturally stronger man, often taking the fight right to Molina, who tried to box early and never found any real rhythm, too frequently pressed to the ropes and outlanded.