Ochoa Goes To 18-1 With W on Cotto U’card; Ronny Rios Now 29-2; Angel Acosta Gets KO10 W



Ochoa Goes To 18-1 With W on Cotto U’card; Ronny Rios Now 29-2; Angel Acosta Gets KO10 W
David Spagnolo pic

Zachary Ochoa of Brooklyn met Erick Martinez of Mexico in a welterweight tango, to kick off the evening of fights at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan  on Saturday evening.

Ochoa, working off rust,  maintained control and got judge love after six; by scores of 60-54, across the board, he triumphed.

“This puts me in a great spot in my career,” said Ochoa post-fight. “I was shaking off a lot of dust since I haven’t been able to fight consistently, but this proves to me that I’m still worthy of the sport. I still have work to do, but when I was able to land my shots I was able to connect them crisp and effectively. I hope that I’ll be able to fight a lot more this year.”

In the first, Ochoa (now 18-1) was in control, with faster hands.

In the second, he went low then high, did Ochoa, and pumped a jab that bothered Martinez.

In the third, Ochoa, who lost his first tango to Yves Ulysse in March and came back with a W over Ariel Vasquez in July, was in firm command here. He moved smoothly, knowing there was a skill gap at play.

In the fourth, Ochoa stayed in control.

In the fifth, the same. Martinez (14-10-1) was getting whacked, not throwing much, and then bang, a counter right, a long one, stung the Brooklyner.

In the sixth, Ochoa got stalked some by Martinez. A quick lead right landed smartly for Ochoa, who tossed one-twos, stayed nimble afoot, making sure not to get tagged stupid and lose the lead. He landed a sharp combo at the bell, for emphatic oomph. We went to the cards.


Ronny Rios of California took on Deivis Julio from Colombia in a featherweight clash Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden’s big room, on a show put together by Golden Boy Promotions. Rios, who apologized this week for his last outing, a loss to Rey Vargas in August, promised he’d do better, and delivered. He took the lead on all three cards and got the W, 99-91 (Larry Hazzard Jr.), 97-93 (Ron McNair), 100-90 (Tom Carusone).

“It was an ugly win, but we got to accomplish it on the undercard of Miguel Cotto,” said Rios after. “He was a southpaw, with an awkward style. He was also a veteran, so he had his little tricks. Overall, this was a huge motivation, and I’m just glad to get back in my groove.”

Rios had been in control, though he did get tagged some, to the midway point. In the seventh, a low blow got Julio, and he took 4:59 seconds of recovery time. The crowd hooted at him after every minute passed.

In round eight, Rios advanced on the lefty, who backe dup, countered, led some, and poked to the body. Rios wasn’t letting his hands go enough. But he did so enough to take the UD.


Angel Acosta of Puerto Rico took on Juan Alejo of Mexico in a junior flyweight waltz on Saturday night, at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The end came at 1:33, of round ten, a KO, via a very filthy left hook to the chin.

And the newwwwwww junior flyweight champion…after smart boxing, a patient showing, and some later inning power.

“It’s taken me 5 years to get here, and I’m cherishing this moment for me and for Puerto Rico,” said Acosta after. “I’ve learned a lot since my last fight for a world title against Kosei Tanaka, and this fight proves that I learned and fixed all I needed to win a world championship. My next steps will be up to my promoters, but I know I am in good hands.”

In the first, Acosta stood tall, looked to bang to the body, absorbed a left hook to the side, countered smart late.

In the second, Acosta, coming in off his first loss, to Kosei Tanaka,  backed up Alejo. They were getting nasty with each other, and the ref seperated them hard at the end of the round.

In the third, Alejo, coming in off a draw, to Luis Javier Cerrito, feinted, half jabbed, waited, and no one was taking over this fight.

In the fourth, Acosta started peppier. They both knew this fight was for the taking.

In the fifth, Acosta edged forward, initiated more. A cut appeared on Alejo, on the right eye, from a butt, late in the round.

In the sixth, a lefty Alejo tried to work a counter right hook. Acosta wanted to get busier, start pulling away. Now righty again, Acosta was more feints than fury. Just then he threw a sharp right cross, and yes, later in the round worked harder.

In the seventh, Alejo was showing good hand speed, he was slowing as rounds progressed in that department. We saw Acosta backing up now more. Was he getting tired?

In round eight, Alejo started lefty again. He ate an Acosta shot and turned back. A quick snake of a right landed clean on Acosta, who then fought back, and had the crowd jazzed. Compact rips from the Puerto Rican had them enthused shortly after, too. Alejo was stalking late in the round, though, he wasn’t folding one stitch.

In the ninth, Acosta wanted to time Alejo coming in; he slid, left, right, just enough to stay clear of launches, but wasn’t that busy offensively. The crowd didn’t love the round.

In the tenth, Acosta was again in moving mode. A sharp hook to the bosy worked for the Mexican, who then hit the deck. A left hook to the chin shot…a delayed reaction, to his knees, on his butt, dazed. Stoppage.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.