Golden Boy’s Thursday Night Fights series this year, streaming live and free on Facebook and other platforms, has been arguably the most consistently entertaining boxing series of 2019, and now we’ve got a world title fight coming to the program.
Elwin Soto will defend his WBO 108-pound title against Edward Heno in the Oct. 24 main event from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, with former titleholder Angel “Tito” Acosta in the co-feature, plus more.
Soto (15-1, 11 KO) came pretty much out of nowhere on June 21 at the same venue, upsetting Acosta to win the WBO junior flyweight title in the Cancio-Machado II co-feature on DAZN. It was a controversial fight, with Acosta leading on all three scorecards after a valiant effort from Soto, when referee Thomas Taylor made the call to stop the fight 23 seconds into the 12th and final round.
Acosta was furious, and Soto elated, and it seemed a rematch would make sense, but we’re not headed straight to that.
Instead, Heno (14-0-5, 5 KO) will be Soto’s first challenger. The 26-year-old Filipino southpaw has won four straight and is the current OPBF champion at 108 pounds. The first three fights of his career were all draws, and his most recent of five draws came in May 2017, against Seita Ogido for that OPBF belt. Heno stopped Ogido in a rematch four months later, and has defended the belt three times, against Merlito Sabillo, Jesse Espinas, and Koji Itagaki, that last fight coming on Feb. 11.
The 22-year-old Soto will be aiming to prove his title win was no fluke, but this isn’t an easy matchup, either. If you’d made this fight a few months ago, Heno probably would’ve been the favorite — he’d been in with the better competition and proven himself at a higher level.
Acosta (20-2, 20 KO) will be moving up to flyweight for his co-feature bout. No opponent has been named. The 28-year-old Puerto Rican has been a big puncher at 108, and we’ll see if that translates in a move up.
Other names set for the show:
- Genaro Gamez (9-1, 6 KO) will move down to 135 and look to bounce back from his first career loss on Aug. 22 against Luis Feliciano, and he’s not doing it the easy way. He’ll take on veteran Diego Magdaleno (31-3, 13 KO) in a 10-round bout. Magdaleno last fought on Feb. 2, where he was knocked out by Teofimo Lopez.
- Ricardo Sandoval (16-1, 11 KO) will face Alonso Melendez (15-3, 13 KO) in a 10-round flyweight fight.
- Raul Curiel (7-0, 5 KO) faces Jeremy Ramos (11-7, 4 KO) in an eight-round junior middleweight fight.
- Jonathan Navarro (16-0, 8 KO) takes on Levis Morales (17-5-1, 8 KO) in an eight-round junior welterweight bout.
- Junior middleweight Aaron McKenna (8-0, 5 KO) and lightweight Nick Sullivan (1-0, 0 KO) will return in six- and four-round fights, respectively.