Welterweights Mauricio Herrera and Jesus Soto Karass, ultimate warriors on the backside of their careers, will meet Aug. 4 at the Fantasy Spring Resort Casino in Indio, California, in a 10-round bout.
The fight will headline a “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” card (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET), Golden Boy Promotions announced Friday.
Although Herrera (23-7, 7 KOs), 37, of Riverside, California, is just 3-4 in his last seven fights, he has been in memorable battles and has been matched with quality opposition for years. Many thought Herrera, a former interim junior welterweight titlist, was the clear winner when he challenged then-undefeated junior welterweight world champion Danny Garcia in 2014, but Herrera came away with a heavily disputed majority-decision loss.
“This is life or death for me, because both Soto Karass and I potentially have our careers on the line in this make-or-break fight,” Herrera said. “In order to catapult myself back to title contention, I know the most important step will be preparing harder than ever to ensure the victory come fight night.”
Soto Karass (28-11-4, 18 KOs), 34, of Mexico, is 0-3-1 in his last four fights, against quality opponents Keith Thurman (currently a unified welterweight titlist), Devon Alexander (a former two-division world titleholder) and Yoshihiro Kamegai, who will fight Miguel Cotto for a vacant junior middleweight world title on Aug. 26.
Soto Karass also owns a 12th-round upset knockout win against former two-time welterweight titlist Andre Berto in 2013. Soto Karass’ last two fights were both against Kamegai in 2016, a split draw and an eighth-round knockout loss. Both were action-packed brawls.
“Mark my words: On Aug. 4 the fans will witness a comeback as they’ve never seen before in the ring,” Soto Karass said. “This could be one of my last chances to go all-out in the ring, and I want to be sure it happens in this fight. I know Herrera has accomplished a lot in his career, but this win means more to me and my legacy.”
The 10-round co-feature will pit Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (18-1, 15 KOs), 30, a Ukraine native fighting out of Los Angeles, against Todd Unthank-May (10-0-1, 4 KOs), 28, of Philadelphia.