Unbeaten Cuban bantamweight Alexei “The Hurricane” Acosta, now fighting out of Ireland, will cross the Atlantic Ocean later this month to prepare for his United States pro debut in 2010.
The 21-year-old Acosta defected from Cuba in 2008 and signed a managerial contract with Cork, Ireland-based Gary Hyde, president of Nowhere To Hyde Promotions.
The thrilling, power-punching Acosta made his pro debut September 13, 2008, knocking out Krastan Krastanov in the second round of their fight in Cork. Fighting exclusively as a pro in Ireland and Great Britain, Acosta has stopped all nine of his opponents, the last this past November, via a second-round stoppage of Sean Hughes (15-9-1) on Belfast.
“I’ve always dreamed of becoming world champion as a professional,” 2006 Junior World champion Acosta explained in fluent English, “but that that was never going to be possible if I stayed in my native Cuba. The hardest thing for me was leaving my family behind in Cuba, especially my son, Michel. My dream is going to become a reality soon, when I go the United States and win the world title in six or seven more fights.”
Hyde has been involved in talks with some leading boxing promoters interested in signing his top fighter, 2-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (4-0, 3 KOs), the multi-talented bantamweight who had an incredible 243-4 amateur record.
“They have all also expressed interest in signing Acosta,” Hyde noted. “I hope to have Alexei fighting alongside Guillermo because this will give him the best possible platform to shine. Alexei is very excited about fighting on the important U.S. circuit. Belfast’s Tony Dunlop coaches Alexei, who has punching power in both hands and hasn’t been extended more than three rounds in any of his nine pro fights.”
Hyde also manages two other Cuban boxers, heavyweight Mike “The Rebel” Perez (8-0, 6 KOs), winner of the World Junior Championships; and super middleweight Luis “El Leon” Garcia (5-0, 4 KOs), 2006 World Junior Championships winner, in addition to Irish super middleweight brothers J.J. “Slick” (2-0, 2 KOs) and Paddy McDonagh (2-0).
“My original plan was to bring my Cuban fighters to Ireland and, after they built-up respectable records, send them to the U.S. to win major titles. I picked three of the brightest young stars on the Cuban National Team, but I also needed one of the most decorated amateurs ever to go pro, ‘Rigo,’ as my key for fighting them all in the U.S.
"My plan was sidetracked for a while due to the Rigondeaux situation (Hyde recently won a legal judgment in Miami that validated his managerial contract with Rigondeaux). I am now putting it all back together with Acosta joining Rigondeaux (living in Los Angeles) in the U.S. I will be spending a lot more time in the United States, developing my team in 2010, and they should all be ready for global dominance by the end of this year.”
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