Andre Berto’s once promising career took another hit Saturday night as Jesus Soto Karass stopped the former champion in the 12th round at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Showtime Championship Boxing televised the fight.
The taller Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs) immediately went to the body in the opening stanza. Berto jabbed and fired right crosses. Soto Karass rattled Berto with an overhand right near the end of the round.
The much busier Soto Karass kept up the pressure in rounds two and three. A counter right uppercut by Berto (28-3, 22 KOs) caused Soto Karass to stumble. Berto was sharper, but Soto Karass more diligent. His consistent bodywork was unwavering. A stream of short uppercuts also found Berto.
The fight changed in round four. Soto Karass landed a four-punch combination that shook Berto. A left hook rocked him back - as did a short right. Languishing on the ropes, Berto absorbed one combination after another.
At the end of the round it was apparent that Berto had injured his right shoulder.
In rounds five and six, Soto Karass hammered Berto to the head and body. Berto, 29, showed tremendous heart by fighting back, using only his left hand for much of the rest of the bout. Soto Karass, 30, from Mexico, labored on - throwing punch after punch to the head and body of Berto.
Berto did well in round seven by employing left hooks to the midsection. He moved the shots up to the head as well. Soto Karass bounced back in round eight. Two right hands landed flush on the chin of Berto.
Rounds nine and ten were fought in close quarters. Both fighters traded heavy shots. Soto Karass couldn’t miss with his right. Berto worked inside with hooks. Soto Karass clipped Berto with a perfect uppercut.
Soto Karass came out in round 11 gunning for a knockout. He rattled home some head shots. Berto leaned inside and dug a left hook downstairs. Soto Karass went down with a shocked look on his face. Up at four, he glanced at his corner. The punch landed right on the beltline. Soto Karass battled back the rest of the round, rocking Berto with uppercuts.
The fight ended dramatically in round 12. Soto Karass landed a short left hook that dropped Berto on his side. The weary warrior hauled himself up, but his legs looked unsteady. Referee Jon Schorle stopped the fight after a slight wobble from Berto.
The fight was razor close at the time of the stoppage.
Soto Karass was ahead on one card and Berto on the other.
The third judge had the fight even.
"I thought I was winning the fight," Soto Karass said. "But my corner told me to go with
everything. I had to go with the knockout to avoid any problems with the judges."
The loss was the third in the last four outings for Berto.
John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at: firstname.lastname@example.org