By Robert Coster
Among the young prospects to watch in 2010 is 22-year-old junior featherweight Alexei Acosta (10-0, 10 KOs). A former member of the Cuban amateur national team, Acosta is part of a trio of transplanted boxers from the Caribbean Islands who lives and fights out of Cork, Ireland which is admittedly an unusual arrangement. “I have no complaints about fighting in Ireland,” says Alexei in fluent Irish-tinged English. “The country is great and so are the boxing fans. The only problem is the weather, a far cry from Cuba.”
Alexei joined fellow Cubans Luis Garcia and Mike Perez when he defected in 2008.
As an amateur, Acosta won 275 out of 300 bouts and was junior featherweight world champion in 2006 in Morocco.
“Alexei is a terrific prospect,” says Irish promoter Brian Peters. “He brings that great Cuban amateur experience, has power, skills and great natural ability.”
In his last fight, Acosta took a step up in competition stopping former world champion Felix Machado in five rounds. In spite of having won all his fights by KO, the Havana-born boxer considers himself a technician. “I like to set up these knockouts with skill and by using my assets: my 5’9″ height and my reach. My best punch is the left hook to the body.”
Alexei’s handlers are hoping to have him fight for a regional title very soon and move him into title contention next year.
Some very good news for Acosta is the fact that he will soon be able to use both of his fists. “I haven’t really been able to use my right hand since I turned pro because I had a knuckle injury. I just had surgery and from now on I will be using the full power of my right hand. My adversaries are going to have worry about more than my left hook.”