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Boricua Battle: Angel Acosta Takes Down Rivera In Short Order Thursday

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Boricua Battle: Angel Acosta Takes Down Rivera In Short Order Thursday

Call it Indio Fight Club, The second card In the new Golden Boy Boxing series is proving a worthy successor to the long pre-pandemic run of club fights at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. Relocated to its new 2022 home at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, aspiring young fighters and veterans took a shot at impressing fans and the matchmakers and promoters who can advance their careers.

Angel Acosta Working Back Toward Title Shot

Flyweight Angel Acosta of San Juan, Puerto Rico (23-3, 21 KOs) did just this, scoring a statement victory in just 79 seconds over his countryman Janiel Rivera of Catano (18-9-3, 11 KOs) in the evening’s main event.

Both men were coming off losses and badly needed wins to move forward. Acosta prevailed, hurting Rivera early with a stiff right hand. He wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass and poured it on, causing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to step in at 1:19 of the round.

“I just wanted to make it clear at 112, I’m here to stay. I’m ready for anyone,” said Acosta. “I was waiting for the chance. I opened up, I put my hands in, and you see what happened. It’s clear at 112 I’m ready for anyone. I want my title shot. I’m here to stay.”

Acosta landed 27 of 45 punches, a 60% connect percentage. Rivera landed no punches of just six thrown. Acosta will stay solidly in the top ten among flyweights. He could work toward a rematch with WBO world champion Junto Nakatani or seek a fight with WBC titleholder Julio Cesar Martinez – and who doesn’t love a Mexico vs. Puerto Rico showdown?

Trainer Joel Diaz celebrates with Angel Acosta Thursday in Indio. It's been a good week for Diaz. Photo: Lizette Dos Santos / Golden Boy Angel Acosta Takes Down

Trainer Joel Diaz celebrates with Angel Acosta Thursday in Indio. It's been a good week for Diaz. Photo: Lizette Dos Santos / Golden Boy

Props to Acosta’s trainer, Joel Diaz. Just five days after a signature victory as part of the training team of light heavyweight Dmitry Bivol last weekend, Diaz was right back to work in his hometown venue, guiding another fighter to a solid win.

Victor Morales Makes Improvements

Victor Morales (left) couldn't get the knockout win, settling for a shutout on the scorecards. Photo: Lizette Dos Santos / Golden Boy Boxing Angel Acosta Takes down

Victor Morales (left) couldn't get the knockout win, settling for a shutout on the scorecards. Photo: Lizette Dos Santos / Golden Boy Boxing

In the co-main event, Victor Morales of Portland, Oregon (16-0-1, 8 KOs) threw a shutout, including two knockdowns, for a solid victory over Alberto Torres of Sacramento (11-5-3, 4 KOs). Scores were 100-88 X 3. Morales kept up a solid work rate, never letting Torres gain any momentum. After suffering a nasty cut via a headbutt in the ninth round, Morales let his hands fly, scoring a knockdown in the closing round with three right hands.

Morales said he wanted to show “a different Victor Morales” in this outing, saying his speed, timing, and defense improved. “I promised a knockout. It was almost there. I gave the performance I felt was good. I’m sure the fans appreciated it too,” said Morales. He thanked his brother, who worked the corner as his cutman. “I didn’t even know I was actually cut until they told me. Thanks to my brother, he did a good job,” said Morales. “ I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been cut; it’s nothing new to me. That’s what we sign up for. It’s part of the game.”

Undercard Fights: The Shark and The Wolf Take Bites

Rudy “El Tiburon” Garcia of Los Angeles ground out the win over durable Diuhl Olguin of Guadalajara. Photo: Lizette Dos Santos / Golden Boy Boxing

Rudy “El Tiburon” Garcia of Los Angeles (13-0, 2 KOs) and Diuhl Olguin of Guadalajara (15-23, 10 KOs) dueled for eight rounds, with Garcia prevailing on the scorecards 80-72 and 79-73 X 2. Despite the cards, Olguin is a sturdy opponent who made Garcia work for the win, precisely what Garcia needs at this stage of his boxing career.

Garcia wanted to bring the fight in too close and grind out a win, making it a little more challenging than it needed to be for him. “I knew the fighter was going to be tough,” said Garcia. “He has a lot of experience and I had to adjust because he kept coming in with his head. Obviously, I got a head butt that stung me, so we had to adjust mid-fight and got the decision.” Garcia landed 124 of 465 punches against 75 of 304 for Olguin – who already has his next fight lined up in Philadelphia next month, the definition of a journeyman boxer.

Nicaraguan prospect Jimmy ”Lone Wolf” Brenes shows lots of promise in his second pro bout. Photo: Lizette Dos Santos / Golden Boy Boxing

Nicaraguan prospect Jimmy ”Lone Wolf” Brenes shows promise in his second pro bout. Photo: Lizette Dos Santos / Golden Boy Boxing

Jimmy ”Lone Wolf” Brenes of Nicaragua (2-0) battled a tough Hector Perez of Inglewood (0-1-1) in their four-round bout. Brenes, now training in Florida, won by majority decision. Scores were 40-36 X 2 and 38-38. Brenes snaps a hard left hook upstairs and down and doesn’t back up. Neither did Perez, making for a fun fight. “The opponent was a tough guy, but I did the job I was prepared for. It’s a good fight at the beginning of my career.” Brenes shows early promise for a great career, and his English is developing, too. Brenes landed 90 of 271 punches (62 power punches), against 50 of 233 for Perez (34 power punches).

In the opening bout, 20-year-old super welterweight prospect Eric Tudor of Fort Lauderdale (4-0, 3 KOs) made easy work of Donte Stubbs of Riverside (6-5, 2 KOs). Scores were 60-54 on all three cards. Stubbs fought like the longtime Southern California sparring partner he is, a benefit to Tudor who’s still developing his skills. “We knew he was going to be a tough fighter. My job was to just maintain my composure. He did get me with some shots that I wasn’t supposed to get hit with. I am glad we were able to go the distance, that's what we train for.” Tudor landed 90 of 282 punches thrown, against 51 of 243 for Stubbs.