By Ryan Burton
Las Vegas NV- In the evening's main event at the Palms Casino, Brandon Rios (27-0-1) completed his ascension to superstar status by wrestling the WBA lightweight title from Miguel Acosta (28-4-2) with a tenth round knockout in an early contender for Fight of the Year.
In typical fashion, Rios started slow but was able to overcome the most adversity of his young career. Acosta had Rios outboxed, confused and hurt through most of the first four
rounds as Rios survived on heart, determination and balls.
The action started fast as Rios pressed the action. Acosta countered effectively and landed some heavy shots that Rios was able to shake off.
Acosta continued to land left and right hooks in the second round and also started to incorporate a right uppercut to his repertoire as he continued to pick off his Mexican American opponent.
Rios appeared to gain some traction in the third round as he landed a few power shots of his own but Acosta was landing more and stepped on the gas as the round ended and really punished Rios.
The fourth round was complete domination by Acosta in a round that probably should have been scored 10-8 as Rios didn't land any punches of significance.
Rios was somehow able to regroup in the fifth and landed some of his own power shots but again Acosta landed more shots and battered his opponent.
The fight changed in the sixth when a straight left hand from Rios sent the Venezuelan to the canvas in by far the best round of the evening up to that point for Rios. Acosta was able to survive the round but he was on very rubbery legs.
Acosta recovered in the seventh and was able to go back to moving and counter punching but his legs still appeared to be rubbery.
Rios kept the pressure up in the eighth round as Acosta appeared to regain his legs. Late in the round, Rios caught Acosta with a right hand while Acosta was off balance and hit the canvas again.
The Oxnard, CA based fighter completely changed the fight in his favor in the ninth round as both men appeared to be out of gas and stood their ground and exchanged punches. Acosta had almost completed abandoned his boxing and moving style.
Rios backed Acosta into a corner one last time in the 10th round and landed a barrage of punches on the completely gassed Venezuelan. A right hook dropped Acosta for a third and final time. Referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight at the 1:14 mark.
Moments after the loss, Acosta was strapped on a stretcher and taken to a hospital for head scans.