GBP on ESPN Mauricio Herrera vs Jesus Soto Karass, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy vs Todd Unthank-May & Niko Valdes vs Jaime Solorio
BY KID HERSH
GBP on ESPN from Indio, California, featured a night of contenders that are looking to bounce back into the win column to get on the road to title shots. Bernard Hopkins and Bernard Osuna were announcing.
First up was Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (18-1, 15KO's) vs Todd Unthank-May (10-0-1, 4KO's). The referee was Eddie Hernandez. In the first round the action got started extremely quick, with May landing right hands and waiting to counter Shabranskyy when he came inside. It was working well but Slava was taking his punches and by the end of the round he was landing his own power punches - including a right hand near the end of the round that hurt May, putting him on unsteady legs. Slava controlled the second round very well as May was pressing him and trying to change the course of the but instead of the countering that was working for him in the first round he was out of his element while trying to run down Slava who was simply landing large bombs on him. Both men had marked up faces but Slava was in complete control by the end of the second round it looked like the writing was on the wall for May. May just does not seem very athletic in the ring - not a "natural" fighter but instead one that has spent countless hours trying to memorize what to do. Don't get me wrong, he is solid, but the difference in this fight seems to be exactly what I just mentioned. May was bleeding from every orifice of his head by the end of the fourth round and was taking so much punishment that it surely looked like the end was near. Todd was a proud man, as BHop said in the seventh round, but it was getting cringe worthy as he was bleeding heavily and looking very slow and lethargic with protecting himself and mounting a real offense to turn the tide of the fight. The fight was stopped before the eighth round could start and Shabranskyy had himself a comeback win where he showed more than just the solid punch we know him for; he showed some great boxing skills tonight by being patient and picking his man apart round by round. He still took some punches he shouldn't have, showing vulnerability in the early rounds, but he adjusted very well.
Next up was Niko Valdes (5-0, 5KO's) vs Jaime Solorio (7-3-2, 5KO's). The referee was Thomas Taylor. Niko was extremely cautious in the first round to the point where I was wondering why he was not firing off something against his "opponent". Niko was still very tentative in the second round and it looked to me like he was banking on landing a big left hand but it was obvious and so he could not get it off, let alone land it. Valdes was really looking extremely green with lots of holes on offense and defense to work on. The crowd was getting restless, just like I was, and the fight turned into a six round stinker that hopefully Valdes takes and turns into a learning experience.
Main event time featuring Mauricio Herrera (23-7, 7KO's) vs Jesus Soto Karass (28-11-4, 18KO's). The referee was Eddie Hernandez. In the first round Karass came out pressing as he always does. He was landing good jabs as Herrera was giving ground and trying to land counters but mostly getting caught with punches instead. In the second round Herrera got more busy with his punches and was landing jabs and counters on Karass. Karass did not look like a shot fighter tonight and was still wading forward, pressing through Herrera's shots and taking two to give one. The back and forth battle continued into the third round with Karass having his moments such as the big overhand right he landed midway through the round but Herrera was starting to time out Karass's punches and this really showed in the fourth round when he became the ring general. Herrera was bobbing and weaving and ducking low, slipping most of Karass's punches and was timing him out for his own offensive onslaught in return. In the coming rounds we had ourselves a back and forth war with both men landing solid blows. Herrera seemed to be on top but Karass worked his way back into the fight in the eighth and ninth rounds. In the ninth round Karass had Herrera hurt and backing up to end it with the fans all on their feet screaming and shouting. The tenth and final round was really one to remember as both men stood toe to toe and slugged it out for a contender of round of the year. It really was an amazing round that every boxing fan needs to see. Cards came in 96-94 X2 and 95-95 for MD for Mauricio Herrera.