Elwin Soto upsets Angel Acosta in the twelfth round!
An 8 to 1 underdog heading in, little known Elwin Soto (15-1, 11 KO’s) came from behind to score a dramatic twelfth round stoppage over hard-hitting Angel Acosta (20-2, 20 KO’s) to win the WBO light flyweight title.
This fight is not only an easy candidate for Fight of the Year, but also a candidate for Upset of the Year as well.
In spite of Acosta’s earned reputation as a power-puncher, the root of his attack is establishing the jab. This was how Acosta began the fight; behind the jab looking to land with power right hands and left hook.
Soto for his part was on the back foot trying to counter-punch.
The heavily favored Acosta was shook early in the second round with a right hand from Soto. That seemed to make the champion mad as he stepped to Soto with fury intent on getting his pound of flesh as he pounded the challenger with shots to the head and body.
The power of Soto struck again early in round three as he wobbled and put Acosta down by way of a left hook/right hook to the temple area.
Weathering The Storm
Instead of retreating, again Acosta reaction was to attack as he threw and landed mean combinations to the head and especially the body of Soto. However, Soto didn’t back down and was right there to respond with power shots of his own.
As was the case in rounds two and three, Acosta was again hurt early in a round, this time in the fourth as he was forced back as result of a Soto right hand to the head. The defending champion again had to collect himself and did enough to eventually end the round.
This fight was turning out to be much better than anyone anticipated; living up to the Mexican – Puerto Rican rivalry. In short, what was thought to be a mismatch was turning into an entertaining, back and forth war!
After a bit of slow fifth round, the fight fell into a pattern in favor of Acosta starting in round six.
While Soto was competitive and dangerous throughout, Acosta started to outwork the challenger with power-boxing and sheer volume punching making a concerted effort to work the head and body.
The pattern Acosta set from the sixth round to the eleventh suddenly ended in the dramatic last round with a trend that bothered Acosta for most of the fight.
Once and for the final time, Acosta was hurt early. This time in the final round and on this occasion he would not recover.
Seconds into round twelve while backed up on the ropes, Soto landed a bomb of a counter left hook on the jaw of Acosta. The shot wobbled the champion and the challenger moved in for the kill.
The referee Thomas Taylor stepped in to call a halt to the fight :23 seconds into the final round.
Acosta immediately protested!
Truth be told, this reporter feels the stoppage was quick. Given all that both fighters were able to give and take, the referee should have given Acosta time to recover.
Afterwards, Soto said he knew he was behind and needed something big. For his part, Acosta said he would like a rematch and stated his ultimate goal is to still fight the other world champions in the division.
Given how terrific this fight was and what many may deem the finish as controversial, a rematch between these two warriors needs to happen.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.