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Angulo faces biggest challenge!

Photo: Javiel Centeno

Photo: Javiel Centeno

By Francisco Salazar

Super welterweight contender Alfredo Angulo can pride himself on one thing besides being a professional prizefighter: being a jack of all trades. Although Angulo faces numerous challenges in the ring, he faced challenges and obstacles that he himself would not want anyone to go through. However, it is these challenges that he overcame that have allowed him to be the person and fighter that he is today. Angulo will face former welterweight champion Kermit Cintron in a 12 round bout at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL. The bout will precede the 12 round welterweight clash between Andre Bert and Juan Urango. Both bouts will be televised on HBO’s popular “Boxing After Dark” series.

The 26 year old native of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, has seen his popularity rise in the last couple of years. His aggressive style and quiet demeanor have attracted fans and made believers in the media.

Known as “Perro” or dog, Angulo is angling his place amongst fighters in the 154 pound division. So far, he has had no trouble making weight for this fight or for any fight.

Angulo is coming off a fifth round stoppage over former title challenger Cosme Rivera in February. Rivera replaced former world champion Ricardo Mayorga when Mayorga decided to pull out of the fight about a week before the bout.

While Mayorga’s antics leading up to a fight are famous in the boxing industry, they did not make Angulo’s promoter, Gary Shaw, very happy. Rumors of Mayorga dropping out of the fight against Angulo range from being overweight to being out of shape.

Angulo (15-0, 12 KO’s) was not disappointed in Mayorga that he did not want to fight him. However, Angulo pointed out that the actions of Mayorga are what hurt the sport.

“If he did not want to fight me, than that is his deal,” said Angulo, who has stopped his last 11 opponents. “I just think that it is a lack of respect to the fans and the media who cover the fight. To me, it did not affect me. I still went on about my business to fight that evening.”

Now, Angulo will step in against a fighter in Cintron who is known for his power and improved boxing ability. In his last bout, Cintron went up in weight and challenged Sergio Martinez where Cintron fought to a 12 round majority decision.

Angulo pointed out Cintron’s strengths and knows that he has a challenge in front of him.

“He has a lot of experience,” acknowledged Angulo, who lives in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey and is the father to three year old Rebeca. “He has double the fights than what I have as a professional. His only two defeats are to (Antonio) Margarito. This is a good fight for me and for my career.”

Asked about any surprises or anything that Cintron might bring, Angulo stated, “I will try to box more. We’ll have to see how hard he really hits, right? I know that Cintron might have more fans for this fight, but the fight will be won in the ring.”

With a bigger payday and a possible title opportunity down the road, people may wonder why Angulo would risk it all against a hard puncher in Cintron. If one could only look back at his life, no disrespect to Cintron, Angulo has faced bigger obstacles.

Angulo lost his father at a young age and had to almost immediately work to provide for himself and his family. Angulo did numerous odd jobs from delivering pizza to being a butcher. But the sport of boxing was where he would gain fame in Mexico, leading him to a stellar amateur career that culminated in him fighting in the Olympics for Mexico in 2004.

Whether in or out of the ring, having to assume a responsibility role has enabled Angulo to be the person that he is.

“All of those jobs have taught me to take life seriously,” said Angulo, who is managed by Mike Criscio. “For boxing, it has led me to be disciplined and to do my work well.”

“Looking back on my life, I have had this drive to work hard. My past has taught me a lot and it has changed me into not only a better fighter, but a better person.”

Angulo’s fights have been shown on Showtime and HBO in the last year and a half. Angulo has exposed to boxing fans worldwide, but a majority of his fans are in Southern California. There were rumors of his bout with Cintron taking place in Southern California, but those were scrapped when the bout was finalized to take place in Central Florida.

“I would like to fight more in California because I know my fans would be able to see me in person. It would be a pleasure for me to fight again in Florida. At least, maybe the fans in Florida who missed seeing me fight in February can see me fight on Saturday.”

And why not see him? Angulo is one of the young fighters in boxing today who has given the sport a shot in the arm that is needs. Angulo may not have yet mastered the English language, but there is no need to translate the hard punches and strong combinations that land against his opponents.

Fighters from Ricardo Cortes to Andrey Tsurkan have respectfully tried, but did not have the firepower to withstand Angulo’s punches.

With improved boxing ability under the watchful eye of Clemente Medina, Angulo is on his way to being a complete fighter.

So far, he has passed every challenge and obstacle thus far in his professional career. Angulo knows that each stop along the way will be more difficult than the last.

However, because of his upbringing and past, Angulo is prepared for anything that is thrown to him. And that is fine by him.

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