Angel Acosta, a protégé of four-division world champion Miguel Cotto, will have the opportunity to fight for a title on his undercard.
Acosta will take on Juan "Pinky" Alejo for a vacant interim junior flyweight title on Dec. 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Golden Boy Promotions announced Thursday.
The fight, though not part of HBO's telecast of the card, will be streamed live as part of the Ringtv.com coverage of the preliminary bouts beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Puerto Rican legend Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) will defend his junior middleweight world title for the first time in the main event against Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) in what Cotto has said will be the final bout of his Hall of Fame-level career.
Acosta (16-1, 16 KOs), 27, of Puerto Rico, suffered his only loss in his last fight, a unanimous decision to junior flyweight titleholder Kosei Tanaka on May 20 in Japan. In the fight following his victory against Acosta, a ninth-round knockout of Thailand's Rangsan Chayanram on Sept. 13 in Japan, Tanaka suffered a fractured jaw. Because Acosta (10-0, 6 KOs) will be idle for several months, the interim title fight was sanctioned with Tanaka obligated to defend against the Acosta-Alejo winner upon his return.
Alejo (24-4-1, 14 KOs), 33, of Mexico, lost the first three fights of his career in 2009 but has gone 24-1-1 since. Alejo's only other defeat came by decision challenging Donnie Nietes for a junior flyweight world title in October 2015. Alejo is coming off a 12-round split draw with Luis Javier Cerrito on Sept. 12.
Golden Boy also announced other undercard bouts:
Santa Ana, California, featherweight contender Ronny Rios (28-2, 13 KOs), 27, will return from a decision loss challenging junior featherweight world titleholder Rey Vargas on Aug. 26. Rios will face Deivis Julio (19-3, 11 KOs), 36, of Colombia in a 10-round fight.
Junior welterweight Zachary Ochoa (17-1, 7 KOs), 25, of Brooklyn, New York, will face an opponent to be named in a scheduled six-round bout.
Welterweight Aaron McKenna, 18, a top amateur from Ireland who recently signed with Golden Boy Promotions, will make his professional debut in a four-round fight against an opponent to be named. According to Golden Boy, McKenna was 152-9 as an amateur and won eight Irish national titles. He opted to go pro rather than pursue a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Vargas (30-0, 22 KOs), 26, of Mexico, will defend his junior featherweight world title for the second time when he squares off with Oscar Negrete (17-0, 7 KOs), 30, a Colombia native fighting out of Rosemead, California, in the previously announced co-feature that will open the HBO broadcast beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT.