Angel “Tito” Acosta wasted no time in tonight’s Golden Boy Fight Night main event, finishing off opponent Janiel Rivera in 79 seconds to bounce back from last year’s flyweight title fight loss to Junto Nakatani.
Acosta (23-3, 22 KO) simply put the pressure on from the opening bell, defying the general habit of fighters who are friends outside the ring putting on stinker fights that wind up looking like sparring. Rivera (18-9-3, 11 KO) was a big underdog and has now lost six straight, but Acosta just showed him no respect, blasting away from the get-go and ending things in short order when referee Raul Caiz Jr stepped in for the TKO (technically a KO by California commission rules, but I don’t work for the California commission and am not forced to do things wrong).
The 31-year-old Acosta, a former titleholder at junior flyweight, remains a contender in the flyweight division, one with the power to beat just about anyone. In reality, Nakatani was really just a miserable style matchup for him, he’s no worse a fighter now than he was before that one.
This quick win should also enable him to fight again in the summer if he’d like, so that’s good news for Acosta and for fans who like seeing him in action.
Undercard highlights and results
- Victor Morales UD-10 Alberto Torres: A shutout win for Morales (16-0-1, 8 KO), and he was credited with two knockdowns, so the scores were 100-88 across the board, which is also what I had. One of the knockdowns (the one in the fifth) was questionable, the one in the 10th was not. But even with those very wide scores, this was a solid fight to watch, because Torres was always trying, landed some shots here and there, and Morales just has a very watchable style. The 24-year-old featherweight prospect also was really going for a finish in round 10 despite the fact he was very obviously winning clearly, and Torres (11-5-3, 4 KO) did his best to land a game-changer in return, too, so they never cruised or stunk it out. The only real concern for Morales tonight was a hard clash of heads in round nine — totally accidental — that left him with a pretty nasty cut outside the right eye.
- Rudy Garcia UD-8 Diuhl Olguin: Garcia goes to 13-0-1 (2 KO) with a win on scores of 79-73, 79-73, and 80-72. My unofficial card was 80-72. Olguin (15-23-5, 10 KO) is a familiar face if you watch shows like this, a 33-year-old from Guadalajara who always goes rounds, and has scored a fair few upsets in his day. If you have nothing on the night, Olguin can beat you. But Garcia was pretty sharp here, and Olguin didn’t get much done himself other than not getting any cuts or anything, which means he can fight again in a month if he wants. Garcia, who is a prospect at 122/126 and is 25 years old, would be a significantly higher ceiling prospect on paper with more pop on his shots, but he has some skills, and if he keeps advancing has the sort of skill set that can kind of “sneak” into contention sometimes.
- Jimmy Brenes MD-4 Hector Perez: Good action in this one, and solid rounds for Brenes (2-0, 1 KO), a 23-year-old Nicaraguan welterweight. He’s big for the weight, standing a listed six feet tall, and he got some good shots in. But Perez (0-1-1, 0 KO) didn’t go away here; I thought he won the third round, and one judge gave him two. The other two had Brenes winning a 40-36 sweep, which I think you could have reasonably scored it, but it was competitive and spirited. Perez gave this a great go and will absolutely get some more calls to test guys.
- Eric Tudor UD-6 Donte Stubbs: All three judges had it 60-54 and so did I, but don’t let that hide that this was a good six rounds for 20-year-old junior middleweight Tudor (4-0, 3 KO), as Stubbs (6-5, 2 KO) did his usual thing — or what has become his usual thing now — and made it a little awkward, took shots well, and gave some experience to a prospect. Stubbs has been in a few GGG training camps and was in Jaime Munguia’s last camp, so he has a good reputation in boxing circles; but for fans who don’t see camps or even really care who’s in them, his reputation is now “good sparring partner and prospect gatekeeper.” Which is still a job, and one that’s important to the structure of boxing. Tudor represented Romania as an amateur in trying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, as his father is Romanian, but he’s a Florida native himself. He’s got some skills, but definitely still putting things together. But again, this was a very useful six rounds for a young fighter. Stubbs isn’t a guy you can just shred through at this level.