NAGOYA, JAPAN - The fight lived up to the hype, as WBO light flyweight world champion Kosei Tanaka won a twelve round unanimous decision over mandatory challenger and power puncher Angel 'Tito' Acosta at the Ocean Arena in Nagoya, Japan. The scores were 117-110, 117-110, 116-111. Acosta was down in the fifth round.
Tanaka - already a two division world champion - raised his record to 9-0 with 5KO's. Acosta, who previously stopped all of his opponents, suffered his first career defeat and fell to 16-1 with 16KO's.
The fight started off with Acosta coming out with both barrels firing away. Tanaka was able to take everything coming his way and started digging to the body, which was his key to victory in this contest.
Tanaka seemed to have more firepower between the two and his power shots to the body were visibly affecting Acosta. In the fifth, Tanaka put Acosta down but was unable to follow-up on that occurrence to pursue a potential stoppage.
Something seemed to be missing on Acosta's punches, as he was never able to really hurt the champion. That didn't stop the Puerto Rican fighter from showing his tough nature in the second half as he tried to rally down the stretch, but the champion weathered off his offense and stuck to his game plan.
Acosta, in defeat, showed that he's as tough as they come because he never quit and hung in there for the full twelve, showing his guts and stamina. There were many who expected to Acosta to fade and fall apart if the fight entered the second half, but he never showed any signs of mentally or physically quitting in the fight.
And Tanaka continues to prove that he's one of the best rising talents in the lower weight divisions. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here.