IBA Champions Night

Bryan Acosta from Mexico becomes IBA American Champion at Champions’ Night in Aguascalientes

April 7th, 2024 / IBA Champions Night

Mexican boxer Bryan Acosta received a heroic response in the main event of IBA Champions’ Night Aguascalientes at Gimnasio Olimpico, after defeating Argentina’s Alberto Melian for the IBA American Champion title at 57kg.
It was a good start for Acosta, and he continued to work hard into the second round when he brought Melian to the ropes. Yet, the bout would turn as the Mexican was left with a bloody nose after the third round. The Argentine would be the aggressor throughout the fight, planting his foot forward as Acosta soaked up damage and ultimately started to concede points throughout.
Knowing he had two more rounds to change his fate, Acosta came out of the corner in the seventh with one goal – to knock Melian out. He was able to knock his foe down with a flurry of punches for a count of eight. Melian managed to survive the onslaught and even had a brief glimpse of greatness in the final minutes.
However, with a point deducted and that sickening blow in the seventh, it was now Melian who needed his opponent to drop to the mat. As the pair came close, a clash of heads led to a match-ending eye injury for the Argentinian boxer in the last minute of the match. Although not the way this match deserved to end, it was inevitable that Acosta would have his arm raised regardless.
Mexico’s Marco Verde became the IBA American Champion at 71kg with a memorable win over two-time Olympic champion Roniel Iglesias. The first round was no time for feeling each other out, as Iglesias stunned the home favorite in the first round, making Verde desperate to hear that first bell. After the break, the Mexican looked more composed, catching the Cuban with a left counter.
This chess match would occasionally turn into a brawl before returning to its methodical rhythm. With the bout looking even, Verde came alive in the fifth round, catching Iglesias on several occasions accurately much to the delight of the crowd. He nodded to his corner at the end of the fifth, seeing the momentum swing in his favor, but the match would not continue as Iglesias was forced to retire with a hand injury.
Jose Miguel Borrego was given a hero’s return to Aguascalientes and returned a victory to the fans as he defeated Dante Ettore from the USA. Borrego, who previously defeated Kazakhstan’s Aslan Shymbergenov at IBA Champions’ Night in Astana, was returning to his hometown seeking a second victory in the series. His confidence was clear from the off, actively pursuing the American, causing nose and eye damage to his opponent. Ettore was effective in his counter attacks, but the infliction from the Mexican was too much, giving hometown hero Borrego the victory after four rounds when the injuries sustained were deemed excessive.
Rogelio Romero gave Mexico its first win of the night, beating Evgeny Shvedenko from Russia in an 86kg contest. Shvedenko was confrontational on the front foot, but Romero was able to counter effectively, having his best round in the third, beating his opponent by unanimous decision.
Shamar Canal from the United States emerged with a split decision victory against Miguel Ramirez Martinez from Mexico in the second bout of the night at 67kg. The noise rose in the second round when Martinez came forward and caught Canal with a left hook that turned the American’s head 180 degrees. Canal’s best came with a right uppercut in the last moments of the third round and from there, continued to pile pressure on the counter attack, soaking up the pressure of Martinez’s power punches before cleaning coming back at his opponent effectively.
In the opening match of the night, Julio Castillo from Ecuador defeated Mexican Kevin Martinez at 92kg. In the heaviest bout on the card, Martinez found a breakthrough with a sickly combination in the final moments of the third round, coming in at short range and at that point, had the better of the fight. However, Castillo continuously caught the Mexican off-guard, flashing him with surprise hooks, racking up the points before claiming the victory unanimously.