Activity has paid off for George Acosta.
The rising junior lightweight prospect hit the road for his most significant victory to date, a 10-round unanimous decision over Gadwin Rosa. Scores of 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92 all landed in favor of Acosta in their Boxeo Telemundo spring season premiere in front of a sellout crowd Friday evening at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
Acosta was clearly the fresher of the two at the start and for good reason. The 24-year-old prospect from Whittier, California—whose family hails from Sinaloa, Mexico—fought less than three weeks ago, scoring a six-round decision on April 18 as part of a Thompson Boxing Promotions show—his local promoter—in Corona, California. His jab proved to be a difficult weapon for Rosa, who hadn’t fought since Oct. 2019 and was slow out the gate.
Rosa found his stride midway through round two and into the third frame. The heavy-handed Boricua from Vieques, Puerto Rico—now based in Ocala, Florida—enjoyed success with his straight right hands, though Acosta almost always countered and was often able to box his way out of trouble when it came to that point.
The middle rounds saw plenty of momentum shifts. Acosta worked his combinations while also offering lead right hands which disrupted Rosa’s rhythm. Rosa’s best moments came when able to work his way inside, getting just enough leverage on a right uppercut to snap back the head of Acosta in round six.
Acosta continued to adjust on the fly, showing infighting skills of his own as Rosa stood shoulder to shoulder with his Mexican-American foe. Acosta often landed the cleaner punches, including a right hand as Rosa was briefly cornered and unable to respond late in round eight.
Sensing the fight was on the table, both boxers went to work in the 10th and final round. Acosta let loose with a combination to the body immediately after the two touched gloves at center ring. Rosa responded, though neither boxer managed to land much of substance. Both landed simultaneous right hands, with Acosta riding it out to drive Rosa to the ropes and continuing to land the more eye-catching punches. Rosa brought the action to center ring, connecting with a left hook and letting his hands go in the closing seconds.
It wasn’t enough, as Acosta’s work rate resonated more with the judges. The California native improves to 12-1 (1KO), collecting a regional junior lightweight title in the process. Rosa falls to 11-2 (9KOs), having now lost two of his last three starts.
The main event was preceded by a ceremonial ten-count dedicated to All Star Boxing Inc. founder Felix ‘Tuto’ Zabala Sr., who passed away Thursday evening at age 83. Zabala Sr. helped form Boxeo Telemundo in 1989, remaining the longest-running active boxing series that—along with All Star Boxing—is in the capable hands of Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala Jr. who took over the family business in 2001.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox