Broner-Maidana Undercard – Thurman vs. Soto-Karass and Santa Cruz vs. Seda:
- Date: December 14, 2013
- Site: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Keith Thurman, 21-0 (19 KOs) vs. Jesus Soto Karass, 28-8-3 (18 KOs)
In a welterweight battle that almost guarantees to please, rising welterweight contender Thurman takes on resurgent upset specialist Soto-Karass. Thurman, 25, has been getting moved to a big fight, compiling recent triumphs over unbeaten Diego Chaves, Jan Zaveck, and ex-champ Carlos Quintana. But Soto-Karass, 31, has enjoyed a banner 2013, scoring a pair of big upsets over Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto.
Soto-Karass entered 2013 winning only 2 of his previous 8 fights, so beating two top ten guys is quite remarkable. At his best, which he has been this year, he is an ultra-gutty battler who can take a punch and fight both at long-range and in the trenches. When he gets on a roll, he’s hard to deter and he can crack a little bit. Thurman is in against his most dangerous foe to date, a hard-bitten pro who is hungry in light of his newfound success.
Thurman, known as “One Time,” is a strong puncher as his record indicates. He is not a fighter who will blow you away with his skills and he’s not the quickest guy at 147. What he brings to the table is a lot of determination and insistence, confidence, ruggedness, and power. He also knows how to fight. When he zeroes in with shots, they land with an indisputable and resounding thud. At ringside, his punches just sound a little different than most fighters’ shots.
When looking at the records of each fighter, it seems like a no-brainer for Thurman. Soto-Karass has lost to fighters who were far down the pecking order from where Thurman sits. The last two Soto-Karass fights have shown that underestimating him can come at a steep price. This is still a fight that Thurman should win.
Soto-Karass can punch and even employ good boxing skills on occasion, but he’s not a good enough technician to consistently win rounds against Thurman, nor a good enough puncher to stop the durable Thurman. Not that Thurman is the foremost practitioner of the Sweet Science, but he’s adept at pacing himself and has the power to earn any welterweight’s respect. I like Thurman by decision.
Prediction: Keith Thurman wins by unanimous 12-round decision.
Leo Santa Cruz, 25-0-1 (15 KOs) vs. Cesar Seda, 25-1 (17 KOs)
Also on the Broner-Maidana card, rising lower-weight star Leo Santa Cruz defends his WBC 122-pound title against once-beaten Cesar Seda. The 25-year-old Santa Cruz has been making a name for himself over the past 18 months with his aggressive body-punching style. In his last bout, he crushed 37-2-1 titlist Victor Terrazas in 3 rounds.
Seda, 27, is a Puerto Rican who fought most of his career at a lower weight. His last meaningful fight was a failed 2011 title try against WBO 115-pound champion Omar Narvaez. He has since beaten 5 journeymen-types and his title-shot-worthiness at this weight and at this point in time is dubious at best. Nothing against Seda as a fighter, as he is a crafty and talented boxer. What he’s doing in a 122-pound title fight, however, is a question where the answers are difficult to find.
Frankly, it’s getting a little old watching Santa Cruz being eased into the deep end of the pool. The kid obviously has all kinds of talent and it’s high time we see him in a big fight. Terrazas was a reasonable enough entrance test to 122 pounds, but this matchup stinks. Maybe 2014 will be when he gets matched against guys who can bring the best out of him.
Seda can box, but it’s doubtful he will be able to resist the Santa Cruz tide for too long. Seda has stood up to everyone he has fought so far, but one can’t help but suspect he’s a little out of his element in this one. Look for Santa Cruz body shots to expedite the inevitable, which is an emphatic stoppage win.
Prediction: Leo Santa Cruz by 5th-round knockout.