Photos: Sumio Yamada
In a very entertaining and controversial fight, 8:1 underdog Elwin “Pulga” Soto (15-1, 11 KOs) scored a twelfth round TKO to dethrone WBO light flyweight world champion Angel “Tito” Acosta (20-2, 20 KOs) on Friday night at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Soto floored Acosta in round three and had him in trouble. The champion rebounded and regained the upper hand on all three scorecards entering the final round. But when Soto rocked Acosta, the bout was very quickly waved off by referee Thomas Taylor crowning a new champion. Time was :23.
“The truth is I feel nice,” said Soto. “It feels great to accomplish this. I worked very hard and put a lot of effort into this. To be honest I thought I was going to lose and thank God I landed that punch and won the fight. When I first dropped him, I felt I could have stopped him, but I knew it was going 12 rounds. This is victory means a lot and dedicate this belt to my family.”
Acosta stated, “I’m a little disappointed. Sure, he hurt me but not enough for the stoppage. If I had the chance to do it again, I would have used my jab more and used my distance more just like I did in the gym. I told the referee he shouldn’t have stopped the fight. I was coming back to get him, but he shouldn’t have stopped the fight. Look it was the last round, there was not much more in the round. I would like to fight the same opponent or the other champions in the division.”