Former world junior flyweight titleholder Angel Acosta of San Juan defeated Carlos Buitrago by unanimous decision. Scores were 99-91, 99-91, and 98-92 for Acosta, who improved to 24-4, 23 KOs.
Saturday’s clash between Acosta and Buitrago was a rematch from their June 2018 bout, which Acosta won by knockout in the 12th round. The win over Buitrago was Acosta’s first defense of the WBO world junior flyweight title, which Acosta defended a total of three times before losing it to Elwin Soto in June 2019.
Both fighters stood in the pocket for most of the first part of the fight. The taller Acosta attempted to work from distance, but Buitrago closed the distance in an attempt to work on the inside.
Buitrago did find success, landing to the body with hooks or connecting to the head with uppercuts. Undaunted, Acosta landed the more-telling punches throughout, working behind a consistent jab.
Acosta would eventually do his best work after walking Buitrago back up against the ropes, especially towards the end of the fifth round, as Acosta also dug left hooks to the body of Buitrago.
The pace of the fight slowed during the second half of the fight. Buitrago did momentarily stun Acosta towards the end of the sixth round, with a sweeping right cross-left hook combination to the head. Buitrago attempted to follow up, but the bell sounded to end the round.
The rally was short-lived as Acosta swung momentum back his way, continuing to connect and, at times, stun Buitrago with left hooks to the head and body. Acosta stunned Buitrago towards the end of the eighth round, but was not able to follow up as the bell sounded to end the round.
Both had their moments during the last two rounds of the fight, but Acosta landed the more-effective punches.
Punch stat numbers reflected the action in the ring. Acosta landed 152 of 414 total punches (37 percent), while Buitrago connected on 80 of 431 total punches (19 percent).
Acosta last fought on April 6, losing to unbeaten Angelino Cordova of Venezuela in a close fight that some thought Acosta did enough to win. The 32-year-old Acosta challenged then-WBO world flyweight titleholder Junto Nakatani in September 2021, losing by knockout in the fourth round.
Buitrago, who resides in Managua, Nicaragua, falls to 37-10-1, 21 KOs. Buitrago was coming off a knockout win over Nelson Luna in his previous fight on June 6.
The 31-year-old has now lost three of his last four bouts.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 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 by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing