Brandon Rios' 10th-Round KO Dethrones WBA's Miguel Acosta
Unbeaten lightweight (135 pounds) Brandon Rios, of Oxnard, Calif., scored his ninth straight win and his eighth stoppage during that run with Saturday night's Showtime televised, 10th-round knockout that dethroned WBA champ Miguel Acosta of Caracas, Venezuela, at the Palms Casino, Resort, in Las Vegas.
Nicknamed, "Bam Bam," the 24-year-old Rios dropped the 32-year-old Acosta once each during the sixth, eighth and last round of the fight, finally cornering his rival and unloading a barrage of blows -- the most telling of which was a vicious right hand that crumpled Acosta at 1:14 of the round.
At that point, Acosta's corner reached through the ropes to support their beaten fighter, signaling the end and prompting referee, Joe Cortez, to call a halt to the bout and to rescue the defenseless ex-titlist.
Rios was ahead, 86-83, on the cards of the three judges -- Adalaide Byrd, Richard Houck and C.J. Ross -- at the time of the stoppage.
According to Ryan Burton of BoxingScene.com, Rios suffered a broken right hand during the fight, after which Acosta was removed from the arena and transported to a local hospital for head scans.
Trained by Robert Garcia, Rios improved to 27-0-1, with his 20th knockout.
In defeat, Acosta slipped to 28-4, with 22 knockouts, having entered the bout riding a 19-fight winning streak that had included 12 stoppages and knockouts in his previous three bouts.
Acosta appeared to dominate the early rounds, out-boxing, and, even hurting the younger man until being floored for the first time in by a left hand in the sixth round.
But in the fourth and fifth rounds, Rios, at times, appeared to be overmatched by the skillful Acosta, who hammered his rival with hard rights, lefts and upper cuts.
"I was hurt early. He hit me with some good shots," said Rios, who also landed Acosta on the canvas with an eighth-round left hook . "He is a powerful fighter, but I never quit and stuck in there. I'm a real warrior."
Stopped for only the third time in his career, Acosta had last suffered defeat in October of 2003, when he lost a 10-round decision to William Morelo.
"I'm very sad and disappointed because I truly thought I would win," Acosta said. "Rios is very strong and I prepared for that but his power surprised me."
The lone blemish on the record of Rios is a 10-round draw against Manuel Perez in October of 2008.
After that, Rios reeled off six consecutive knockouts before scoring September's seventh-round disqualification victory over previously unbeaten Anthony Peterson (32-1, 20 KOs) of Washington, D.C., in a WBA eliminator bout.
Rios entered the Acosta fight coming off of an HBO pay per view televised, Top Rank Promotions November fourth-round knockout of Omri Lowther (14-3, 10 KOs) that took place at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
Lowther was coming off of August's 10-round, unanimous decision loss to Henry Lundy (19-1-1, 10 KOs), this, even as he entered that match up with a five-bout winning streak.
Rios-Lowther took place on the HBO-televised, Top Rank Promotions under card whose main event featured WBO welterweight (147 pounds) king and seven-division champion Manny Pacquiao scoring a unanimous decision over former titlist Antonio Margarito for the WBC junior middleweight (154 pounds) belt.
A week prior to working with Rios, Garcia was in the corner of former WBA interim super flyweight (115 pounds) champion Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) of the Philippines for his second-round knockout that dethroned WBO and WBC bantamweight (118 pounds) king Fernando Montiel (44-3-2, 34 KOs), of Mexico.