In a return battle between two hardened gatekeepers on the brink of retirement, there was only one who looked like an impressive young prospect, ignorant of his own wear and tear.
While Yoshihiro Kamegai and Jesus Soto Karass’ first fight consisted of two guys on even planes, going shot for shot with one another, the rematch was a fun, one-sided affair in which the more accurate puncher came out on top.
From the start, it seemed as though we would be treated to another split-draw battle, where neither man took the reins entirely.
But it was clear that Kamegai went to school in the first bout, taking his lessons seriously.
By the end of the first round Kamegai was able to outbox Soto Karass, rolling with the bombs that the warrior threw back at him, and landing clean straights almost at will.
By the end of the third round, it was obvious that Kamegai had total control of the bout, even if he wasn’t hurting his opponent to the degree he might have liked.
Kamegai set traps, landed clean shots and made sure to continue digging to Soto Karass’ body.
The body work caught up to Soto Karass in the eighth round as his responses to Kamegai’s punches became mere arm punches.
Kamegai, seeing nothing to fear, jumped on his man, eventually knocking down a Soto Karass that was holding on for dear life.
Referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout between the eighth and ninth round, saving the iron-chinned journeyman from himself.
Soto Karass, it’s assumed, has been considering retirement in the near future.
Photo by Ed Mulholland/HBO
Christopher Nicastro is a hopeless boxing devotee and freelancer. You can follow him on Twitter @chris_nicastro.