Need A Fight? Call These Guys: 4 Fighters Who Always Get Fights

Whenever I hear the words “triple header” or “PPV” I can usually predict who I’m going to see filling the undercard. Is that a good thing? If you’re that guy it’s money in the bank. If you’re the network, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? If you’re the fan, at what point do you get bored seeing the same faces? Or do you?

Jesus Soto Karass – Jr. Middleweight

Record in last 5 fights: (2-3-0)

Opponents: Devon Alexander (L), Keith Thurman* (L), Andre Berto* (W), Selcuk Aydin (W), Marcos Maidana* (L) JesusSotoKarass

In five outings in less than two years, Jesus Soto Karass’ has faced a who’s who in the Jr. middleweight division. Best believe any time he’s involved, whether he wins or loses, the end result is an entertaining, fan friendly scrap. When you are a premium network you need that if you want people to keep watching.

This is a fortunate man that enters the ring with a record south of .500 in his last five fights. Soto Karass is a journeyman at this point in his career but can he really be called that based on the fights he continues to get? For a guy who’s the perennial “B” side, the scenario is usually favorable for him (well accept the savage battles he’s engaged in). He’s never far from home so there’s lots of fan support and he’s always fighting on TV. That premium TV money earns the battle tested brawler a far better payday than his journeyman peers that are being dragged from pillar to post and not being broadcast on ESPN or FOX Sports let alone Showtime. Soto Karass is a favorite of fans, but how much more abuse can the guy take? I’m always down to see a great show but at what point does the team take a step back and consider his physical well being? If they insist on giving him the key to hold, the bouts aren’t going to get any easier and he’s not getting any younger.

Alfredo Angulo – Middleweight (former Jr. Middleweight

Record in last 5 fights: (2-3-0)

Opponents: Raul Casarez (W), Jorge Silva (W), Erislandy Lara* (L), Canelo Alvarez (L), James De La Rosa (L)

Everyone loves El Perro… myself included.04 Hunter and Angulo IMG_1552

His moving backstory is accompanied by a humble, quiet persona that makes him endearing. He receives huge fan support wherever he lands and fights with the signature Mexican aggressive style. Angulo possesses the keys to success but can never get them in the lock. Following two consecutive victories, Angulo’s next two outings came against the “elite” of the division (Lara, Alvarez) and both times he’s comes out on the short. But it matters for naught since he continues to land on the big fights cards (two of which appeared on a PPV undercard and one he co-headlined). Like the above mentioned Soto Karass, he’s usually the B side that’s more popular than the A side and in defeat gains more fans that carry him around on their proverbial shoulders and declare him “warrior.” Moving up to middleweight in his PPV undercard bout against James de La Rosa this past September, “The Dog” looked more like a neutered animal and not the rabid, hard punching aggressor we’re used to seeing. But don’t feel too bad for him, he pocketed a cool $500,000 for the loss.

Marco Antonio Periban – Super Middleweight

Record in last 5 fights: (2-2-1)

Opponents: Francisco Sierra (W), Samuel Miller (W), Sakio Bika* (L), Badou Jack* (D), J’Leon Love* (L) Sakio Bika, Marco A. Periban

Marco Antonio is the super middleweight designee for all US pay-per-view fights.

He’s that guy in the right place at the right time. Reaping the benefits of being in a dysfunctional weight class where the cream of the crop is inactive (Andre Ward), the biggest name in the division fluctuates in weight depending on the weather pattern (Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.), and the next in charge are overseas and have no desire to travel to the U.S. for less money and risk home cooking decision making (Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham, Robert Stieglitz). Outside of those names, no one else has enough name notoriety to interest a network in putting them on a card. In the last year Andre Dirrell returned to action so that’s likely the next fight we see on “the” PPV show.

Juan Manuel “JuanMa” Lopez – Featherweight

Record in last 5 fights: (2-3-0)

Opponents: Eugenio Lopez (W), Mikey Garcia* (L), Daniel Ponce De Leon* (W), Francisco Vargas* (L), Jesus Cuellar* (L)

Where do we begin with JuanMa Lopez? JuanManuelLopez

In the last 90 days he’s had not one, but two title bouts that ended with him being brutalized. Add to the fact the latter two title defenses occurred within 60 days of each other, both under the watch of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Who gave this the green light? With all due respect, that was just irresponsible. If his bravery outweighs his commonsense (and his team’s apparent greed), the commission should have stepped in and saved him from himself.

The fight against Cuellar was all wrong but happened anyway. Why did it happen? It happened because Lopez brought name recognition to a lack luster headlined card happening on a PPV weekend. Set aside the irresponsibility of the fight itself but for a title too?

Reportedly Juan Ma has now accepted his fate and retired. Thank goodness. Boxing doesn’t need another tragedy in the ring.


Jeandra LeBeauf is the creator of the boxing and lifestyle site www.BadCulture.net, boxing correspondent for The Boxing Channel and content contributor toBeatsBoxingMayhem. She also hosts the boxing podcast “The Ruckus” every Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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