We got another big world title upset tonight on DAZN in Indio, California, but this one comes with plenty of controversy.
Elwin Soto, a previously-unknown Mexican fighter, stepped up to the big time and lifted the WBO junior flyweight title from Angel “Tito” Acosta, scoring a stunning 12th round TKO victory.
Soto (15-1, 11 KO) showed early that he wasn’t afraid of the dangerous Acosta (20-2, 20 KO), trading heavy leather with the Puerto Rican in the early rounds. He dropped Acosta pretty hard in the third frame, but in the middle rounds it seemed that Acosta had weathered the storm, and he took over in the fight.
Soto, though game, was looking a bit spent as the rounds went by, Acosta racking them up on both of our unofficial scorecards — at the time of the stoppage, I had the fight 106-102 for Acosta, and Wil had it 107-101 for Acosta. For all the world, it looked as though Soto needed a knockout.
And he got it, but again, not without controversy. Soto landed a brutal left hook that badly hurt Acosta early in the 12th, and though none of his follow-up shots appeared to land, referee Thomas Taylor jumped in to stop the fight, 23 seconds into the final round.
I’m generally not one to question stoppages, but there was plenty to question about this one, and Acosta, as you would imagine, was furious with Taylor.
“He hurt me, but it wasn’t enough to cause the stoppage,” Acosta said through an interpreter after the fight. Acosta said he’d either like a rematch or a fight with one of the other titleholders at 108.
What did you think of the stoppage? Should they run this back immediately and settle the controversy? It was a hell of a fight, period, and seeing it again wouldn’t bother me.