Former welterweight titlist Andre Berto has been the brunt of many, many jokes since losing a unanimous decision to Robert Guerrero last year. If you’re a boxing fan, odds are you have at least one good shoulder roll punchline to clown Berto for his disastrous decision to try it against Guerrero’s southpaw offense (Berto hit the canvas twice early and got both eyes grotesquely swollen shut over the course of the fight).
More so than the jokes, the biggest hurt for Berto has to be the fact that the two men who last beat him, Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero, immediately got the biggest paydays of their careers in pay-per-view fights against Floyd Mayweather. Berto begins his climb back to the top of the division when he faces a classic Mexican bruiser in Jesus Soto Karass, who’s coming off a good win over Selchuk Aydin.
More of the same from Berto or will be finally see a fighter put his physical gifts to their optimal use? Read his words from this week’s press conference and see if you’re convinced.Me? I’ll believe it when I see it.
The co-featured bouts include Omar Figueroa vs. Nihito Arakawa and Keith Thurman vs. Diego Gabriel Chaves.
ANDRE BERTO, Former Two-Time Welterweight World Champion
I’m looking forward to this challenge on July 27. As you can see, it’s an exciting undercard with my man Keith Thurman and my man Omar Figueroa.
I’ve been through some ups and downs. I feel that I have made some of the right changes that I needed to get focused.
I have a new team and I’m dedicated to win another world title.
I let the big show get away from me twice, once against Victor Ortiz and once against Robert Guerrero. I’m coming to San Antonio focused.
It’s going to be a hell of a show. Make sure you buy your tickets or tune in on SHOWTIME because there’s nothing stopping me. I’m ready.
You can have all the power in the world, but if you don’t know technique or don’t have a strategy, then you’ve got nothing. I’ve made changes in my game plan and I’m going to fight smarter.
Soto Karass is a good fighter. I’ve seen his fights. There’s nothing too spectacular about him, but he does have that tough Mexican fighting style.
JESUS SOTO KARASS, Veteran Welterweight Contender
I have a great test ahead of me. I have followed Andre Berto’s career very closely. When he was a world champion, I was hoping I was going to get to fight him someday.
I wasn’t ready for him then, but now that I got offered the fight, I know I’m ready.
This is a very important fight for me and I know I’m ready. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got to prove all of the doubters wrong.
I decided that this year is the year I’m going to become a world champion.
San Antonio is one of the best places for boxing. With these ticket prices, I’m hoping the arena is going to be full of Mexicans and Mexican Americans.
The name of this fight is ‘Knockout Kings II’ for a reason and I’m going to try to make sure it lives up to its name.
OMAR FIGUEROA JR.
This fight is called ‘Knockout Kings II’ for a reason. I always go out there looking for the knockout. This is a great fight card for the fans. This is what boxing needs.
It especially means a lot for my home state of Texas. This is perfect for me. All of my friends, family and fans can come up and see me fight.
I’m at a loss for words when I think about fighting for my first world title here in Texas. I pictured myself being in this position because as a fighter, you have to see it in order to achieve it. This is what we’ve wanted and what we’ve been working so hard for.
July 27, you’ll see fireworks in the ring.
San Antonio is the perfect place for a card like this. I can’t describe what it was like being at the Canelo vs. Trout fight. Hearing 40,000 people cheer was incredible. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and proud to be a part of this fight card.
KEITH THURMAN, Undefeated Top Rated Welterweight Contender
The last time I was in Texas was when I was competing as an amateur in the 2008 Olympic Trials.
I don’t know if there is another fighter out there that’s hungrier than me. They’ve been feeding me, but I’m still starving I have a long time left in this game and I don’t know when I’m going to get enough of it.
I’m looking forward to this fight. My opponent is a young hungry fighter with a record of 22 and 0 with 18 knockouts and I am 20 and 0 with 18 knockouts. You know this is going to be a fight.
If you’re a boxing fan and you’re from around here, then you have to be here unless you’ve got a family emergency.
Come support the undercard that has a lot of local fighters and local talent.
I don’t expect this fight to go more than two rounds. If the fight goes more than two rounds, find me and I will give you a refund.
“KNOCKOUT KINGS II,” featuring Two-Time Welterweight World Champion Andre Berto facing tough Mexican veteran contender Jesus Soto Karass in a 12-round welterweight main event, takes place Saturday, July 27 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Leija & Battah Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. In the 12-round co-featured attractions, Weslaco, Texas’ undefeated rising star Omar Figueroa Jr. squares off against Tokyo’s Nihito Arakawa for the vacant WBC Interim Lightweight World Championship in a fight promoted in association with Teiken Promotions and unbeaten knockout artist Keith Thurman and fellow power-puncher Diego Gabriel Chaves battle for Chaves’ WBA Interim Welterweight World Championship in a fight promoted in association with KO International. The tripleheader will be broadcast live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will be available in Spanish via second audio programming (SAP).