Angel Acosta still remains a knockout every time out.
The hard-hitting little big man made the third successful defense of his junior flyweight title, picking apart Mexico’s Ganigan Lopez en route to an 8th round knockout Saturday evening at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif.
The bout streamed live on DAZN as the chief support to Ryan Garcia’s 10-round lightweight bout versus Puerto Rico’s Jose Lopez.
Given the one-sided nature of the evening’s co-feature, clearly the most struggling part of Acosta’s weekend was making weight on Friday. The 28-year old from Puerto Rico initially came in 0.4 pounds over the 108-pound limit before disrobing to hit the mark immediately on his second try.
It was all smooth sailing from there for the only titlist today to boast a perfect knockout-to-win percentage. That streak continued despite the step up in class versus Lopez, who was attempting to become a two-time junior flyweight titlist.
The chances of that occurring greatly decreased with each passing round, as Acosta boxed masterfully while continuing to expand his overall game under the tutelage of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
Whereas he always sought knockouts on the way up, the reigning titlist has learned the value of patience in his attack, as shown in his jabbing and subtly moving forward versus. It helped lull Lopez into a false sense of security, the deliberate pacing leaving him unsuspecting of a right hand and double left hook which left him wobbled late in round two.
Lopez’s night never got any easier, getting clipped with jabs and straight rights any time he tried to work his way inside. Acosta continued to gain confidence with each passing round, bouncing on his toes while punching straight down the middle against a former titlist who just couldn’t turn the tide at any point.
Acosta appeared to ease up just enough in the middle rounds to prompt a rise out of his corner. Roach demanded that his charge pick up the pace, as he saw that Lopez was ripe for the picking.
The advice showed why the famed cornerman is a Hall of Famer.
Well ahead on the scorecards, Acosta went full throttle in maintaining his 100% knockout to win rate. Lopez attempted to punch with the defending titlist, leaving him wide open for a left hook upstairs which left him bloodied and permanently worse for the wear.
An ensuing combination forced Lopez to his hands and knees, remaining on the canvas for the entirety of referee Raul Caiz Jr’s ten-count.
The official time was 1:55 of round ten.
Acosta cruises to 20-1 (20KOs) with the win, his fourth straight since a decision loss to the excellent Kosei Tanaka in 2017. Tanaka‚—already a two-division titlist by that point—has since added a flyweight belt to his arsenal, with his moving up in weight leaving behind the 108 pound title which Acosta acquired in Dec. ’17.
“I want to unify but also want to get properly compensated. I have 20 wins, all by knockout. I’ve proven I’m worth the big money fights.”
The biggest among them would be a showdown with Ken Shiro, the excellent slugger from Japan whom dethroned Lopez (35-9, 19KOs) in May ’17. Efforts to avenge the defeat ended in disaster, with Lopez suffering a 2nd round knockout in their rematch last May.
Shiro now finds himself in Acosta’s crosshairs.
“I would love a fight with Ken Shiro,” insisted Acosta. “There’s also (Hiroti Kyoguchi) as well as Felix Alvarado. I’m ready for all of them. I want the big money fights and all the belts.”
Line ‘em up and Acosta plans to continue to keep knocking ‘em out.