Keith “One Time” Thurman (22-0-1, 20KO) put his hands in harm’s way by banging them off the head and body of the always game Jesus Soto-Karass (28-9-3, 1ND, 18KO). He dropped his foe hard in the fifth and knocked him out on his feet at 2:21 of Round 9.
Soto-Karass had been written off several times, but he entered the ring off of a career best win against former titlist Andre Berto. He started out well and he caught Thurman with an overhand right. Thurman regained his composure and gained control of the fight behind a double and triple jab.
Thurman began to slow down the always charging Soto-Karass by sitting down on his body shots. The hooks and uppercuts began to follow, as Soto-Karass continued to follow Thurman around the ring. In round five Thurman landed a right hand and left hook that would have knocked out a high percentage of welterweights. Soto-Karass beat the count, and continued to come forward looking for more.
At the midway point of the fight, Thurman’s trainer Dan Birmingham told his charge, “Let’s not give any (rounds) away”.
Thurman, perhaps sensing a knockout may not come, began to use very effective lateral movement. Soto-Karass was unable to cut off the ring, and he continued to eat leather as he tried to force Thurman to the ropes.
The action continued in the competitive one-sided fight until Soto-Karass ran into a right hand and left uppercut. Soto-Karass was out on his feet. Thurman charged in and closed the show by landing three more shots to Soto-Karass who fell into the referee’s arms.
Thurman continues to impress. He has shown that he is more than a Al Haymon creation. In his last two fights he has displayed improving boxing skills to go along with power in both hands. He has also shown a solid chin, which will make him a tough out for whomever Golden Boy matches him with next.