Photos: Tom Casino / Showtime
Welterweight veteran Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs) scored a dramatic twelfth round KO over former welterweight champion Andre Berto (28-3, 22 KOs) to claim the vacant NABF welterweight title on Saturday night before 8,811 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Soto Karass rocked Berto in round one. Berto came back in rounds two and three, but Soto Karass hurt Berto again in round four. Berto was having problems with his right shoulder and took more heavy shots in round five. The one-armed Berto persevered and dropped Soto Karass in round eleven, but Soto Karass knocked down Berto in the twelfth with a left hook and the bout was stopped! Time was :48. At the time of the stoppage, the cards were 105-103 Berto, 105-103 Soto Karass and 104-104.
In an all out war, unbeaten lightweight Omar Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Nihito Arakawa (24-3-1, 16 KOs) to win the WBC interim lightweight title. The fighters went right at it in round one with Figueroa having the power advantage. Figueroa scored a flash knockdown in round two. Rounds three-five were close as both fighters traded shots with reckless abandon. Figueroa scored another knockdown in round six. Arakawa fought back courageously and the war continued. Figueroa seemingly injured both hands and Arakawa closed the last two rounds strong, but it was too little, too late. Scores were 118-108, 118-108, 119-107.
In a tense, good action fight between unbeaten welterweights, Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs) scored a tenth round KO to dethrone WBA interim welterweight titlist Diego Chaves (22-1, 18 KOs). It was a very close fight through the first eight rounds. The turning point was in round nine when Thurman dropped Chaves with a body shot. Thurman swarmed all over Chaves at the beginning of round ten and floored Chaves again to get the KO. Time was :28. Thurman drew boos from the crowd during his post fight interview when he accidentally thanked San Diego instead of San Antonio. Thurman picked up an extra $10,000 for having the KO Kings II knockout of the night.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Anthony Dirrell (26-0, 22 KOs) scored an impressive third round TKO over Anthony Hanshaw (23-4-2, 14 KOs). Two big right hands dropped Hanshaw and the bout was stopped. Time was 2:36.
Super featherweight prospect Andrew Cancio (15-2-2, 11 KOs) hammered out a ten round unanimous decision over Jerry Belmontes (18-2, 5 KOs).
6-foot jr welterweight Armando Cardenas (2-0, 2 KO) blew away Stephan Salazar (0-1) in 81 seconds.
Local super featherweight Joseph Rodriguez (4-0, 2 KOs) outpointed Jesse Anguiano (1-3-1, 1 KO) over four by scores of 39-37. 40-36, 40-36.