Rios stops Acosta to win WBA belt
Unbeaten American Brandon Rios staked his claim to the lightweight boxing throne on Saturday with a 10th-round knockout of Venezuela’s Miguel Acosta.
Rios claimed the World Boxing Association lightweight belt held by Acosta, although the WBA’s top-regarded “super champion” in the division is Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez.
Rios, facing his toughest opponent to date, improved to 27-0 with one drawn and 19 knockouts, absorbing plenty of punishment but turning the tide in the middle rounds of a bout scheduled to go 12.
“I never give up, I’m a warrior,” Rios said. “He hit me with some good shots, body shots. I kept going.”
After landing some solid punches in the fifth round, Rios knocked down Acosta with a left hook followed by a jab in the sixth.
“I’ve got a pretty good jab when I use it,” said Rios, who added he heeded his corner’s advice to stay in close so Acosta had less chance to unleash his power shots.
“I just kept putting pressure and pressure and I got him out of there,” Rios said.
Rios knocked down Acosta again in the eighth, and his barrage in the 10th — punctuated by a right cross — again had Acosta sinking to the canvas in the corner.
The Venezuelan’s corner man was already reaching for his fighter as referee Joe Cortez counted him out at 1:14 in the 10th.
Acosta, 33, fell to 28-4 with 22 knockouts.