WBO: Elwin Soto Must Face Mandatory Challenger Within 120 Days; Rematch Against Angel Acosta Unlikely

Angel Acosta’s desire for an immediate rematch for the WBO light flyweight title might have to wait based on what WBO President Francisco Valcarcel said on social media.

Acosta lost his world title to Elwin Soto after a controversial 12th round referee stoppage that stemmed from Soto hurting Acosta in the opening seconds of the final round. The stoppage was largely criticized on social media, and by Acosta, but there are a few who agrees with referee Thomas Taylor’s decision to protect Acosta and stop the fight, including Valcarcel.

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It has been public knowledge for a while that Valcarcel had no problem with the way the ending of the fight transpired, saying it was a good stoppage on Twitter. The fight took place on June 21 at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California and was streamed on DAZN in the United States.

What was still a mystery was whether or not Acosta would get a rematch for the title. After all, Acosta was ahead on all three judges scorecards and even if Acosta was knocked down in the final round, he still would have retained his belt with a majority decision under those circumstances. Acosta said after the fight that he wanted a rematch or else he would try and go after any of the other world champions at 108 pounds. 

But Valcarcel would once again turn to Twitter and comment on a potential rematch. Instead of saying the governing body would look into it, Valcarcel said Soto must now face his mandatory challenger within the next 120 days, which would be around late October. 

The WBO has yet to formally order Soto to fight his mandatory challenger, mainly due to the fact that the newest rankings had yet to be unveiled at the time of the fight. Fast forward a couple of days later and the WBO has now updated its divisional rankings and there is a shift as to who is the No. 1 contender at light flyweight: Filipino fighter Edward Heno.

The May 2019 version of the WBO rankings had Tetsuya Hisada up at No. 1, but has now dropped to No. 3 with Acosta coming in at No. 2. Based on the rankings, Soto would more than likely be ordered to fight Heno next.

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