College graduate Luis Acosta is ready to continue his higher education in a boxing ring.
The unbeaten lightweight from Houston, Texas steps up in class for his televised debut, which comes against Edwin De Los Santos. The bout serves as the co-feature of a Showtime-televised tripleheader as part of the network’s long-running ShoBox series airing live Friday evening from Deadwood Mountain Grand in Deadwood, South Dakota.
It is an opportunity that has been long sought for Acosta (12-0, 11KOs), who earned a college degree in Exercise Science and Kinesiology from University of Houston. Education overlapped Acosta’s boxing career, a decision that he has found to have positively impacted his chosen profession.
“So, I put my grades together, submitted for admission and was accepted. It worked out perfectly. I got my degree in kinesiology which is cool. I’m already in boxing, it’s a nice transition for my next career.”
The plan has worked in that it led to Acosta appearing on national television for the first time as a pro. Fittingly, the moment comes against by far his most established opponent, even with Dominican Republic’s De Los Santos (13-1, 12KOs) coming off a split decision defeat in his most recent ring appearance in his own ShoBox debut in January.
De Los Santos carried a seven-fight knockout streak heading into his eventual loss to fellow unbeaten prospect William Foster III, though found himself in a similar situation as Acosta—stepping up in class versus a more established opponent.
Acosta has scored all 11 career knockouts in three rounds or less, with his one fight to go to the scorecards having resulted in a six-round shutout. All 12 fights have come versus club-level competition, though Acosta admits that a desire to further his career motivated a conversation with manager David McWater leading to what awaits this weekend.
“I’m not too worried about facing a puncher,” insists Acosta, who was 57-8 as an amateur before turning pro in March 2017. “I’m working hard, I don’t need to stress about what he’s going to do because I know the work I put in. He hits hard but I punch really hard as well.
“It’s a good fight, I’m pumped that it was moved up to the co-main event. Hopefully, it’s a very good fight and everybody loves it. When a good fight is on TV, it only makes people want to watch you more.”
While entering the fight as an underdog, Acosta turns to his in-ring and book smarts for his perceived edge.
The textbook definition of kinesiology is the study of mechanics of human movement and how they impact health and wellbeing. Acosta has applied these studies to daily occurrences such as training camp and focusing what—and more importantly, what not—to consume. That mindset stays with him, whether maintaining health or preparing for the biggest fight of his career such as what lies ahead this Friday.
“I get to learn about diets, what foods burn faster. How your body handles different foods, what liquids are good for your body,” notes Acosta. “I got a little edge when it comes to conditioning.”
Acosta-De Los Santos serves in supporting capacity to a junior middleweight fight between Ardreal Holmes (11-0, 5KOs) and Vernon Brown (13-1-1, 9KOs). The show will also feature the pro debut of Giovanni Marquez, son of former junior middleweight titlist and current ShoBox expert analyst Raul Marquez.