Philadelphia welterweight prospect Mike Jones stayed undefeated (23-0, 18 KO) as he eked out a majority decision win over Jesus Soto Karass (24-5-3, 16 KO) in the final preliminary bout on the Pacquiao-Margarito card at Cowboys Stadium. Bad Left Hook and SB Nation had it a close 96-94 for the underdog, Jesus Soto Karass. HBO’s Harold Lederman scored it 95-95. Official scores were a reported 94-94 draw, plus 95-94 and a questionable 97-93, both for Mike Jones.
This was the first major card for Jones, who is promoted by Russell Peltz in association with Top Rank, and is a tall welterweight attempting to climb the ladder. There has been talk of the Philly fighter taking on WBC titlist Andre Berto or U.K. prospect Kell Brook in 2011, but we’ll see if that’s re-evaluated now after Jones met his first big test.
The top moment of the fight came in round two, when Jones unleashed a mass of punches, with Soto Karass stuck on the ropes but fighting back when he could see an opening. Jones clearly took the first two rounds, but struggled in the middle frames, before coming on strong again at the end.
The win is not unusual for a prospect like Jones. Most young fighters face tough competition along the way, and that’s what Mike Jones faced tonight. He came out showing grit and heart, and he’ll take the win, though it will be debatable to many.
We are now finished with the undercard, and only a scheduled performance by Nelly (!) stands between us and the main event, as Manny Pacquiao aims for an unprecedented major belt in an eighth weight class. Stay tuned at SBNation.com for round-by-round updates and analysis of the main event.