By LOU PONSI / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
COSTA MESA – Jesus Soto Karass calls his wicked right hand “el feo.” Translation: “The ugly.” Karass can call it anything he wants, since the punch is the main reason the native of Los Mochis, Mexico, stopped Euri Gonzalez in the junior-middleweight main event Saturday at The Hangar at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Karass (26-7-3) might have been behind through the first four rounds before forcing the stoppage at 1:50 of Round 5 of the scheduled 10-round bout. Gonzalez was the faster fighter, connecting frequently with jabs to Karass’ head and body. “He’s fast and had a tremendous jab,” Karass said through a translator. “I have to give him credit.” But Karass saw an opening and sent Gonzalez (20-3-1) to the mat early in the fifth with a straight right. The native of the Dominican Republic got up quickly and tried to jab his way back into the fight. But after Karass staggered Gonzalez with another hard right, the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
In the co-main event, junior-lightweight Francisco Vargas, 27, showed why he is successfully making the transition from prospect to contender. Vargas, a 2008 Mexico Olympian, scored a knockout over Puerto Rico’s Irving Torres at 2:06 of the first round. Vargas (12-0-1, 10 KO’s), who lives in Los Angeles and is originally from Mexico City, landed a solid left hook that buckled Torres (9-3) down to one knee. Torres, who was noticeably dazed but conscious, did not get to his feet, prompting the referee to stop the bout.
La Habra’s Ricardo Garcia (3-3-1) took plenty of punishment and was knocked down twice in his four-round lightweight defeat against Santiago Guevarra (3-0) of Los Angeles.
In a battle of heavyweights, Javier Torres of Long Beach knocked out Francisco Diaz of Orange at 1:53 of the first round.
In a junior-lightweight fight, Uriel Torres of Los Angles evened his record at 1-1 with a four-round unanimous decision over Santa Ana’s Naphi Mohammad (0-3).
Joet Gonzalez of Los Angeles won his professional debut with a unanimous decision over Chula Vista’s Jesus Carmona (0-3) in a four-round featherweight bout.