George Acosta feeling ‘unstoppable’ ahead of his fight against Cesar Villarraga on Friday
Junior lightweight prospect George Acosta wants to remain active and keep the momentum going from his last fight.
Acosta will face Cesar Villarraga Friday night at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California. The eight-round bout will headline a New Blood card that will stream live at ThompsonBoxing.com, as well as their Facebook and YouTube pages (11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT).
The 26-year-old Acosta (14-1, 2 knockouts), who resides in nearby Whittier, last fought on February 10, stopping Marlin Sims in the third round of a bout between once-beaten fighters. The Acosta-Sims fight was scheduled to take place this past fall, but the fight was postponed due to an injury suffered by Sims in training camp.
In his previous fight on July 22, Acosta won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Isaac Avelar.
Acosta will face a decent test in Villarraga Friday night. The 37-year-old Villarraga (10-6-1, 5 KOs), a 2012 Olympian who represented Colombia, has struggled in recent fights, having lost three of his last four bouts. Despite the setbacks, Acosta is expecting the best version of Villarraga.
“I’m having another great training camp,” said Acosta. “I just came off a great win and I took that momentum back to the gym. All my sacrifices are paying off. All my sparring partners are saying I’m getting better with each fight. I feel great.
“This is another tough fight. Although Villarraga doesn’t have the best record on paper, he’s a dangerous fighter. He has knockout power and has defeated some good fighters. I’m definitely not looking past him. I know he’s coming to fight, and I’ll be ready.”
Acosta has made significant progress since suffering the only loss of his career at the hands of prospect Ruben Torres in May 2019. Since then, he has won his last seven bouts. One of those victories took place on a Boxeo Telemundo telecast in May 2021. Acosta defeated Gadwin Rosa by unanimous decision.
It has not come easy, but Acosta attributes his current winning streak to correcting mistakes and having more confidence in himself.
“I’ve learned a lot since my lone defeat,” said Acosta, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and managed by Oscar A. Sanchez. “I had to make some adjustments and now I feel I’m on the right track. I’m riding this winning streak with a lot of confidence. I’m feeling like I’m unstoppable.”
Acosta hopes to continue to ascend the junior lightweight division. A statement win at the expense of Villarraga would continue to move him up the rankings, but it would also demonstrate he can hurt his opponents, including Sims in his last bout.
After fighting twice in 2021 and having only once last year, Acosta hopes to remain active and fight again later this year.
“Fighting at junior lightweight was crucial to me becoming a better fighter,” said Acosta. “At this weight, I feel stronger. This will be my second fight of the year, and it’s making a difference in my mindset. I want to thank Thompson Boxing for keeping me busy. As fighters, we never want to get rusty, so fighting constantly is important, and I’m grateful.”
In the co-feature, Rigoberto Hermosillo (12-4-1, 9 KOs), who is originally from the boxing hotbed of Guadalajara, Mexico and now resides in Los Angeles, will square off against Argentina’s Blas Ezequiel Caro (9-5, 4 KOs) in an eight-round junior lightweight bout.
Three more fights will round out the card.
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]