By Tom Donalson
Fernando Montiel was the champion and the underdog against Nonito Donaire. Donaire became recognized as one of the best when he pounded Vic Darchinyan when the Darchinyan machine was at its nasty heights.
2 inches taller than the champ, Donaire started the fight from the outside as he jabbed to set up his right hand, the first right sent Montiel back. Montiel did manage to connect on a few shots but the more telling blow belonged to Donaire.
As the second round began, HBO Max Kellerman observed the first round was high level, high speed chess. Donaire landed a sharp right but Montiel hardly flinched and Montiel even garnered some rhythm but suddenly a Donaire left hook sent Montiel down. Montiel barely beat the count, but Donaire shot a right hand and left hook before referee stopped the fight.
Montiel have been one of the better fighters in lower weight class but Donaire simply stopped him in his track, showing that he is one of the elite pound for pound fighters.
In the opening fight, Mike Jones and Jesus Soto Karass continued their rivalry as just three months ago, both fighters engaged in a tough ten round brawl. Jones won a close majority decision in a fight that he nearly stopped Karass early in the fight but Karass came back to turn the fight into a big brawl. Jones failed to use his boxing skills to its utmost effect but he did manage to win.
In the first round, Mike Jones moved and kept his distance but neither fighter fail to hurt each other in a round that was a toss up but in the second round, Jones control the pace with his jab while using his movement to avoid many of Karass’ shots.
In the third round a head butt lead to a cut over Karass right eye, which the referee stated was due to a punch. This brought urgency to Karass as he intended to produce a brawl but as the round progressed, Jones cool demeanor allowed him to take advantage of Karass wild shots and countered effective.
From the second round almost to the end, Jones jab was the story as it allowed him to control range and set up series of combinations. Karass failed to cut off the ring effectively and this added to Jones’ efficacy as he escaped repeatedly out of danger.
Starting the second half of the fight, Jones started to expand his arsenal to included body shots. From this point, the boxer proved to be more effective body puncher than the slugger.
Karass seem one step behind but he had the heart to take Jones best. And Jones nailed him with shots including in the tenth round, Jones began with a serious body shots that nearly stopped Karass but Karass toughness allowed him to survive the round.
Jones continued to rip off combinations and Karass face continued to be a bloody mess but his corner allowed their fighter to go into the final round. Karass attacked and even forced a quick firefight over the first thirty seconds before Jones retreated with the fight in hand. Karass failed to deliver the knockout blow he needed but he did survive the fight.
As for Jones, he showed discipline as he fought his fight and not Karass. He connected on twice as many punches as Karass and nailed Karass with a variety of punches from effective body shots to quick one two combinations to head. He proved elusive in avoiding many punches. While Karass connected on some solid right hand, he often failed to trap Jones to force a brawl. In their first fight, the fight became a brawl but in this bout, it became a boxing match which allowed Jones to win an easy unanimous decision. What this fight showed, Jones is now ready to rumble with the elites of the division.