SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The final conference for Andre Berto vs. Jesus Soto Karass wrapped up yesterday with both fighters promising “exciting” performances and pursuit of a knockout (what else should be happening on a card titled Knockout Kings II?). The term “crossroads fight” is somewhat cliched at this point, but it’s the word that most applies to the careers of Andre Berto and Jesus Soto Karass. For Berto, a defeat here evaporates any further claim that he’s a major player in the welterweight division. For Karass, he has a chance to build on his majority win over Selcuk Aydin and shed the tag of a tough but limited trial-horse to a legitimate contender.
There’s really not much to say, these guys had said it all.
I’m in tremendous shape, I’m focused. I’m going to put on a hell of a performance.
I’m just going to go in there and be me. I’m not worried about the title of the show, I’m not worried about his record. I’m just going to go in there and get the win.
I am in great shape and I have everything to bring to the table. I have the speed, I have the power. I have the explosiveness and I’m going out there and do what I know how to do.
I’ve known Virgil (Hunter) since I was 13 so it’s not like he’s a stranger to me. Everything’s been flowing pretty well and it’s been a great situation for me.
The show is called Knockout Kings but no matter how it goes, I know it’s going to be exciting. You’re definitely going to see a lot of speed, a lot of power and a lot of explosiveness, it’s going to be an exciting show.
It’s going to be a hell of a fight; I’m in shape. I’m in good spirits. I’m focused and I know Soto Karass is ready too.
My preparation has been great. My team knows what Berto brings. He’s an ex-champion. We know that he’s a quality fighter and he’s tough. But that’s why we train for this.
The losses you see on my record, I wasn’t taking it serious. But, believe me, we’re taking Andre Berto very serious. Not only have I matured personally but I’ve matured in the ring. The preparation has been very good. We know we have a tough opponent, but we’re here and we’re prepared to win.
Every fight I come with a different plan. We have a plan for Andre Berto. We have a Plan A, a Plan B, it doesn’t matter; we’ll be ready for him.
My only prediction is it’s going to be a war. I’m going to leave my heart in there. If I have to die in the ring I will.
Out of the ring we’re friends, but inside the ring it’s another thing. I don’t have anything against Andre Berto but once we get in the ring I’m looking to knock him out.
I want everyone to help, help me with breast cancer awareness. We have a raffle going on – it’s $10 to buy a ticket and you can win the gloves and the trunks that I wear in the ring. Let’s go knockout cancer as well.
The reason I support Susan G. Komen is because of Oscar De La Hoya. It really touched my heart that Oscar lost his mother, Cecilia, to cancer. So being a boxer I felt like I would join that fight to knock out breast cancer.
I’m ready; I’m only a pound-and-a-half away. I can’t wait until tomorrow so I can get on the scale and go eat.
PREDICTION: If Soto Karass had a stronger chin, I’d be more inclined to give him a better chance at an upset. Even with all his defensive limitations and suspect boxing IQ, Berto can punch and has fast hands. In Soto Karass, he has an opponent who’s not that quick nor defensive-minded, and will be coming right at him. Berto knows his career is on the line and I expect him to come out guns blazing in route to an early KO between rounds 3-5.
This is it, this is seventeen years of work. This is why every boxers starts, what every boxer dreams of. This is it. The goal is the green belt, that’s the one, that’s the best one. That’s the one we all want.
This is a great opportunity, this is what we have been working so hard for.
I want to thank my opponent’s team for having agreed to this fight, he’s ranked number one and that’s what we wanted.
We don’t take anybody lightly. We are ready, we know that a fight can take many directions with every step you take in the ring, so we are ready.
I’m excited to be on this card. It’s really an honor to fight in the KNOCKOUT KINGS because is one thing to be considered a fighter and another one to be considered a knockout artist.
I’m fighting with great knockout artist such as Keith Thurman, Berto, Chaves and Arakawa and all these are great fighters
We are the backbone [of boxing] because we fight to knock someone out, we try to provide the fans with the most excitement we can and we go in there ready for war.
I’m happy to have this chance at my first world title. That gives me extra motivation to win this fight.
I don’t think I can win by points. I have to knock him out – I think that’s my only chance to walk out of here with a world title.
My nickname is “Baby Faced Sniper,” but when I saw Omar Figueroa it looks like he’s a little bit more baby faced than I am. So I want to give him my nickname “Baby Faced Sniper.”
I’ve prepared for this world title chance for my entire life and I know Omar has prepared for this as well. We’re both going to fight as hard as we can to get that first world title. I know I want it and I know he wants it, so it’s going to be an exciting fight.
PREDICTION: We’re all waiting for Figueroa to be tested by I doubt Arakawa is the one to do it at this stage. Figueroa gives him the buzzsaw treatment (especially to the body) in route to a second round KO.
We know we have a tough opponent, we have very similar records, neither of us can lose concentration during the fight because it can end with only one punch that’s why we are very well prepared and we know we can take the win.
I know Keith is a good fighter, but I hope he’s ready because I’m going to show him and the world why I’m a world champion and why this belt is coming back with me to Argentina.
He may be undefeated, but he’s never faced anyone like me.
I’ve been training hard, very hard. We are looking forward to a great fight, and we are confident the we’ll come out victorious.
It’s going to be a war. I’m not going to leave my belt in the judges’ hands- I plan on taking care of Thurman on my own.
It’s a tremendous fight. I’m 20-0 with 18 knockouts; Chaves is 22-0 with 18 knockouts. You don’t see this very often with young fighters.
But I’m the kind of fighter that’s knocking on everybody’s door. Everybody in the welterweight division will soon know about Keith “One Time” Thurman. We’re moving up one step at a time and we’re going to step over Diego on Saturday night, guaranteed.
The KO bonus has nothing to do with the way I fight. My motto is already KOs for life and the nickname “One Time.” I do my best to get the fighter out of there because if we don’t have to do the distance then that, to me, is a job well done.
We’re always looking for that knockout; we’re always looking for that one punch that can change the fight around. That’s just me, that’s just “One Time.” That knockout bonus is just another check waiting.
I definitely don’t think he’s faced anyone like me. That’s why I’m confident. I believe he’s been spoon-fed his entire career. A lot of people say the fighters I’ve fought knew I was favored, but they were still world-class fighters and I dominated them each and every round. And I plan on dominating Diego Chaves every round Saturday night.
Knockout Kings II – this event has that title for a reason. I guarantee you’ll get your moneys’ worth.
PREDICTION: This just might be the show-stealer. Both guys have had monstrous knockouts and have also benefited from going the distance. For Thurman, his recent decision win over Jan Zaveck was a good education on not blowing your load early and being able to stay cool under pressure. That fight also showed me that Thurman can fight off the backfoot and still deliver heavy shots, and I see his versatility getting him a seventh round KO.
I battled cancer and it didn’t hold me down. I’m still here and I’m ready.
Coming up this Saturday, I’ll win with by knockout.
It doesn’t matter what happened when I fought his brother. The fact that I lost to Andre just gives me extra motivation. When I fought Andre, I wasn’t in shape at all. But I’m in some of the best shape of my career to fight Anthony. I had a great camp and I’m ready to give him the first loss of his career.
PREDICTION: This would have been a competitive scrap about five years ago, but these days Anthony Hanshaw is pretty shopworn, as evidenced by how he looked in June against Farah Ennis. Dirrell puts an end to this one by the fourth.
Surprise, surprise — a KO has been predicted for every fight. And don’t be shocked if we see one or two KO of the Year contenders on this card. And credit to Jesse James Leija and Mike Battah of Leija & Battah Promotions for also using this card to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
“Knockout Kings II,“ featuring former Two-Time Welterweight World Champion Andre Berto facing tough Mexican veteran contender Jesus Soto Karass in a 12-round main event for the vacant NABF Welterweight Championship, 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 Japan’s Nihito Arakawa for the vacant WBC Interim Lightweight World Championship in a fight promoted in association with Teiken Promotions and undefeated power-puncher Diego Chaves faces fellow unbeaten knockout artist Keith Thurman 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 9:00 p.m. ET/PT and will be available in Spanish via second audio programming (SAP). Preliminary fights will air on SHOWTIME EXTREME® at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Tickets priced at $200, $100, $50, $25 and $10, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, are on sale now and are available for purchase at the AT&T Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com at www.ticketmaster.com and ATTCenter.com all Ticketmaster locations, by calling (800) 745-3000 or through Leija & Battah Promotions by calling (210) 979-3302 or emailing email@example.com.