By Miguel Rivera
Puerto Rico's Angel "Tito" Acosta retained his junior flyweight crown (108 pounds) of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) by defeating Nicaraguan mandatory challenger Carlos Buitrago by technical knockout in the main event bout of the "La Batalla" card, which was staged at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Now, the Puerto Rican puncher increases his record to 18-1 and 18 KO's. Meanwhile, Buitrago drops to 30-4-1 and 17 KO's.
At the end of the fight, Acosta said he was happy to have prevailed and acknowledged that Chocorroncito was a strong rival.
This was the first defense of Acosta, who won the title in December of last year when he knocked out Mexican Juan Alejo in New York.
"We were working. The corner told me to walk to the right side, and he took the right. He is a super experienced boxer. He knew how to move and fight well," said Acosta, who dedicated his victory to the parents.
The final came at 1:43 of the last round with a combination of punches that Acosta landed on Buitrago, and that caused referee Luis Pabon to stop the fight.
Acosta managed to corner and shake the Nicaraguan challenger in most of the rounds. However, Buitrago managed to exhaust the Puerto Rican slugger, who from the sixth round forward had a much lower rate of attacks.
In fact, in rounds seven, eight, nine and 10, Buitrago seemed to revive himself and sought to box in the center of the round. In the eleventh round, Acosta began to rally hard and press with his harder punches.
In the co-feature, Jean Carlos Torres won by way of a split decision over Kevin Nieves. The judges' scores were 76-75, 79-72 and 76-75.
In a fight that did not go the distance, Bryan Chevalier (10-1-1, 9 KO's) beat Ricardo Rodríguez (10-3-1, 6 KO's) at 2:59 of the second round with a technical knockout.
Edwin Valentín, who improved his mark to 5-0, 5 KO's, knocked out Pedro Vicente (5-2, 2KO's) with a left hook in the first round.