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Angelino Cordova upsets ex-champ Angel Acosta, wins by unanimous decision

Photo from Golden Boy
Fighters Network

INDIO, Calif. – Angelino Cordova overcame a point deduction, won by unanimous decision over flyweight contender Angel Acosta Thursday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

Scores were 95-94, 95-94, and 96-93 for Cordova, who remains undefeated and improves his record to 18-0-1, 12 knockouts. 

After a slow start, Acosta, who is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and now trains in Indio, began connecting with two-punch combinations. Acosta would throw three-punch combinations, finishing with left hooks or right crosses that found their mark on Cordova’s face.

Cordova was game, landing a series of right hands to the head of Acosta during the third round. Not to be outdone, Acosta landed his own share of straight rights and counters to the head. One right hand opened a cut above Cordova’s left eye.

Late in the fourth round, Cordova was deducted a point for hitting Acosta deliberately behind the head. 

Cordova did his best work in the middle rounds, particularly during the sixth round, twice connecting with counter left hooks to the head that caught Acosta’s attention. The pace of the fight slowed during the second half of the fight, which favored Cordova as he began to show signs of fatigue. 

Acosta battered Cordova during the ninth round, stunning him on a handful of occasions. Cordova received a few moments of rest as his mouthpiece kept flying out, prompting referee Ray Corona to retrieve the mouthpiece and rinse it before putting it back in Cordova’s mouth. 

Cordova looked like he was going to go down during the 10th round, but was able to remain on his feet, even though Acosta pressed the action and looked for the knockout. 

The 27-year-old Cordova had not fought since June 24, defeating Axel Aragon by split-decision in a fight many thought Aragon did enough to win. Tonight marked Cordova’s second fight in the United States. 

Besides his fight against Cordova, the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has been the site of Acosta’s recent fights with mixed results. Acosta had not fought since May 12 of last year, knocking out countryman Janiel Rivera in the opening round. He was the WBO world 108-pound titleholder, losing the title to Elwin Soto of Mexico in June 2019. Both fights also took place at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. 

Prior to the win over Rivera, the 32-year-old Acosta challenged then-WBO world flyweight titleholder Junto Nakatani in September 2021, losing by knockout in the fourth round. 

The 32-year-old Acosta falls to 23-4, 22 KOs. 

In the co-feature, hard-hitting featherweight Jorge Chavez of San Diego improved to 6-0, 5 KOs, dropping Alberto Nieves twice en route to a knockout win in round 5.

Nieves was game, but Chavez was the more-accurate puncher. Chavez’s punches began to take their toll as Nieves’ punch output began to drop with each passing round.

About a minute into the fifth round, a right hand dropped Nieves face-first to the canvas. Nieves was able to beat the count, but was dropped again to the canvas from a right cross to the body. Referee Eddie Hernandez immediately stopped the fight at 1:34. 

Nieves, who resides in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, falls to 4-3-1, 2 KOs.

Junior middleweight Grant Flores (2-0, 2 KOs) of nearby Coachella knocked out Atlanta’s Terrance Jarmon in the opening round. A left hook to the head hurt Jarmon, where moments later, a right uppercut dropped him to the canvas. Jarmon (3-4, 1 KO) thought he beat the count, but referee Ray Corona counted him out at 51 seconds. 

Highly-touted amateur and junior lightweight prospect Daniel Garcia of Westminster, Colorado knocked out Brazil’s Aldimar Silva (22-23, 14 KOs) at 2:14 of the second round. Left hook to the body dropped Silva, where he was counted out by referee Eddie Hernandez. 

Garcia, who recently signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions, is managed by Joel De La Hoya and trained by Danny Garcia. 

In the opening bout of the Golden Boy card, junior lightweight Leonardo Sanchez of nearby Cathedral City stopped San Diego’s Mychaquell Shields (0-2) at 2:33 of the second round. Sanchez (4-0, 3 KOs) is trained by Joel Diaz.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]