Sometimes fights are decided merely on the tactics of the two men. A perfect game plan can, at times, neutralise a slight disadvantage in terms of skills. Unfortunately sometimes a bout isn't decided by a game plan but merely the natural traits of one man over another. We saw just that as WBA Welterweight "interim" champion Keith Thurman (22-0-0-1, 20) used his significantly better speed and movement to dominate the much slower, but game, Jesus Soto Karass (28-9-3, 18)
The fight started pretty well for Soto Karass who tagged Thurman in the first 20 seconds and seemed to rock Thurman. From then on though Thurman took over the bout and Soto Karass genuinely struggled just to land. Unfortunately Soto Karass was made to look 3rd rate as Thurman boxed rings around him, literally. Thurman boxed on the move landing any shot he wanted, upstairs or downstairs.
From rounds 2 through 6 it was all Thurman with Soto Karass landing very little in return. So dominant was the work of Thurman that he was really messing up the face of Soto Karass whilst looking completely untouched himself. In all honesty it seemed for vast parts of the fight that Thurman was untouched.
Not only had Thurman been racking up the rounds but he had also scored a hard knockdown 5. It appeared that Soto Karass was going to inevitably be stopped, especially if Thurman was going to keep unloading as he had been early on in the fight.
It wasn't until round 7 that Soto Karass managed to get any real success. This came one of the few times Thurman held his feet and got trapped on the ropes. Unfortunately for Soto Karass it was too little to win the round but it was finally some success for the Mexican who seemed to know that this was a 12 round fight.
Unfortunately for Soto Karass the bout didn't get to go 12 rounds and in round 9 Thurman exploded hurting Soto Karass who was effectively caught by the referee as the Mexican was finally stopped almost out of nowhere. It took just 1 big combination from Thurman to finish it but it had been a combination that he had struggled to land despite a dominant performance.
For Thurman this was a perfect bout. He had his stamina tested, his heart tested and then showed the finishing instincts that could help make him a star. Sure Soto Karass was made to order due to his lack of speed but this still a show case performance against a deserving challenger.