Super featherweight prospect George ‘El YuYu’ Acosta (13-1, 1 KO) will be headlining on Thompson Boxing promotions card “New Blood” this Friday (Feb. 10) at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario, California. The California native wants to elevate his rankings in 2023, but first, he must get past southpaw Marlin “So Icy” Sims (8-1, 4 Kos).
NYFights recently checked in with George ahead of his upcoming fight. Acosta sported a million-dollar smile and talked about his career, his preparation for his upcoming fight, and what we can expect from him for the remainder of the year. “Training camp has been great, so I’m just excited,” said the young pugilist to kick off our interview.
Growing up, Acosta played every sport he could, including soccer, baseball, and karate. But when he was nine years old, he visited a gym in his parents’ native home, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, in Mexico. A family member who was a professional boxer took the young Californian to the gym. “It was dirty and smelled. I had some old smelly gloves which probably had some mold in them,” recounted Acosta.“But for whatever reason, I fell in love with boxing. So, when I came back home, I told my parents I wanted to join a boxing gym. So, immediately I enrolled at the Sheriff’s Academy. They had a boxing program there, and that was the start of my boxing journey.”
Acosta trained for two years and had his first amateur fight at eleven. As an amateur, Acosta fought sixty bouts competing at local, regional, and national tournaments. When he was eighteen, Acosta decided to step away from boxing. The hiatus lasted two years. The break ended when he felt the urge to return to boxing. One day, the prodigal pugilist was about to call his old trainer when the phone rang. As fate would have it, it was his trainer at the end of that call.
“My coach happened to call me and said, ‘hey, I think it's time for you to come back.’ Which was good because I said, ‘man, I was about to call you.’ It was time to come back,” said Acosta nostalgically.
Upon his return, Acosta didn't immediately jump into a match. It took him a year to shed the forty pounds he gained while he was away from boxing. Finally, after working hard and knocking off the ring rust, Acosta made his professional debut on April 6, 2017. He would go on to win his first seven outings. In his eighth fight, Acosta suffered his first loss as a professional, which he says made him a better fighter.
“A lot of fighters are bummed or disappointed with their losses. But I look at that loss as a victory. Because I took that loss, I'm like, ‘Ok, this is what I have to work on -this is what I have to improve on- these are the mistakes that I need to correct and fix,” reflected George. Since that loss, the 26-year-old has gone on a six-fight win streak, and he's trying to make it seven this Friday night.
Standing in his way is southpaw Marlin Sims, a native of Chicago, Illinois. Sims has a solid amateur pedigree; his only career loss was to Dominique Crowder.“He's tall, and I think he's a good fighter. Sims is slick and likes to move. I think it will be an interesting match because I also like to box. So, there's got to be one dominant boxer or a change in the game plan. We're striving for change, a little bit, increase the pressure, make him uncomfortable, be violent, so he doesn't want to fight,” said George about his opponent.
Boxing has one of the most critical and subjective fanbases and often can be very cruel with their opinions. While most “hardcore” fans appreciate the art of boxing, it’s the knockouts that draw in casual fans and excite crowds. Although George Acosta is a talented boxer, he only has one knockout win on his record. I'm sure fans and his opponents have caught that fact. A point that Marlin Sims noted in an interview with Fight News. Sims told Fight News, “Let's be honest, he can't crack at all, with only one knockout.” So, what does Acosta feel about the lone KO victory on his record?
— Thompson Boxing (@thompsonboxing) February 6, 2023
“I love when people critique and talk. Yeah, they're not wrong in a sense. They're just making observations on the record. But it’s a different story when you're in the ring; it's a huge difference. I don't have a lot of knockouts, but I feel like I've hurt every one of my opponents. My issue with not having a lot of knockouts, I feel like, is because I don't finish my opponents. I can hurt my opponents and have dropped multiple opponents, but I don't finish them. It is something we've been practicing and have been working on. We identify that once I hurt an opponent, I must step on the gas,” said Acosta.
After Friday Night, Acosta hopes to fight at least three more times this year and fight the kinds of opponents that will elevate his ranking. George concluded the interview with this message for his fans and our readers. “For those that have not seen me fight, tune in on Friday, February 10. You guys will be able to watch the fight on YouTube and the Thompson Boxing Promotions website as well.”
George Acosta is a solid fighter who can make some noise in the super featherweight division. He possesses a long and pesky jab and effectively uses his reach advantage over his opponents. The California native knows how to throw various combinations to the head and body of his opponents. Additionally, Acosta is fearless in mixing it up on the inside. Unfortunately, in 2022, Acosta only fought once due to an injury. Some fights did not occur after the contracts were signed due to his opponents also suffering injuries. The 26-year-old fighter understands that may have set his career back and wants 2023 to be his breakout year. George wants to fight the kind of fights that will put him in contention for a world title in 2024. However, to do so, he must get past Marlin Sims, who vows to derail those plans this Friday night.