By Francisco Salazar
No one would argue with the statement that interim Super Welterweight titleholder Alfredo Angulo is one of the top fighters in his weight class. Although he is never one to boast about his improved boxing skills to compliment his devastating power, the soft-spoken Angulo can turn it up a notch and seize the opportunity. Just ask his last opponent, Joel Julio. Angulo will face another strong challenger on Saturday night, as he faces former world title holder Joachim Alcine in a world title eliminator fight at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA.
The bout will precede the 12 round Welterweight clash between 140-pound champion Timothy Bradley and unbeaten Luis Carlos Abregu.
Both bouts will air on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark.”
Angulo is coming off an 11th round knockout victory over the hard-hitting Super Welterweight contender Julio in April in Ontario , over an hour away from where he is fighting on Saturday night. It was an awesome display of power from the native of Mexicali , Baja California , Mexico , as he landed a picture-perfect right hand to the chin that dropped Julio to the canvas.
Although Julio had his moments in the fight, Angulo was surprised that Julio was counted out by referee Raul Caiz, Sr.
“I honestly thought that the fight was going the distance,” said Angulo, who now resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey .
Angulo (18-1, 15 KO’s) will now focus his attention on Alcine, who like Angulo, only has one loss on his record and has held a world title belt at 154 pounds. Alcine defeated Travis Simms to win a world title belt three years ago in Simms’ hometown. After one successful title defense later that year, he lost the title in July of 2008 when he was knocked out by former world title holder Daniel Santos.
Although Angulo will have the advantage of fighting in front of a partisan crowd, he knows that Alcine (32-1, 19 KO’s) is not coming to the Southern California desert to lie down for him.
“This will be a good fight,” said Angulo, who has been victorious in his last three bouts, all by knockout. “I know that he is a strong fighter and likes to come forward. He has deceptively fast hands so we had a strong preparation for him.”
It is not uncommon for fighters to only fight once or even twice a year. However, Angulo wanted to fight again immediately after the Julio fight. He was in the gym within a week after the fight.
Originally, Gary Shaw, Angulo’s promoter, told Fightnews.com in May that he was looking at Angulo fighting in November. However, Angulo preferred to fight earlier than that and told Shaw that he would be ready to fight in July.
“After the Julio fight, I wanted to fight again. I told Gary that I would be ready around this time. Gary felt that this was the right fight for me, an elimination bout. I’m very grateful to Gary that he was able to secure this fight for me.”
With a crowd-pleasing style, Angulo’s name has often been mentioned for possible fights against some of the top fighters in his weight class.
Although he has mentioned in the past that he could fight at 147 or 160 pounds, Angulo knows that some of the more attractive fights are at 154 pounds.
“I know that I can fight at 154 pounds for a long time as I have no problem making weight. I know that there is a lot of talent in this weight class and I am humbled to be mentioned amongst the best in the division.”
“That said, I want to fight the best out there. Whether it’s a champion or a top contender, whoever is available to fight, I would like to fight the best. I know I’m in the right division.”
Angulo’s popularity has increased since his bouts have now been televised. Viewers on HBO, Showtime, and ESPN2 have been wowed by the one-punch, aggressive style of the fighter known as “perro” (meaning dog in Spanish).
However, there are those who feel that Angulo’s popularity has increased because of his easy-going personality outside of the ring. He is never one to say no to an autograph seeker and actually smiles when he takes pictures with fans.
“I’m very humble like my fans are,” said Angulo, who spent an hour and a half signing autographs and taking pictures with fans after the Floyd Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez fight last year. “If people take the time to watch me fight, then I feel as though I should give them my time to talk with them.”
“I honestly feel that is an important that people like the way I fight. When people speak with me in person, I always make sure that I smile and they receive an autograph or take a photo with me.”
Angulo has stayed grounded despite a difficult upbringing on the tough streets of Mexicali . Although he was a standout amateur who boxed for the 2004 Mexican Olympic team, he would ends meet by delivering pizza or by working in a meat market.
Although he has an aggressive style in the ring, Angulo makes sure that he remains a good father to his young daughter Rebeca.
Although Alcine is on the forefront of his mind, Angulo has been discussed in fighting Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. or a rematch against Kermit Cintron, whom he lost to in May of last year. He has since backed away from that bout, stating that he was not impressed with Cintron’s performance prior to Cintron injuring himself falling to the cement after going through the ropes against Paul Williams in May.
Even a bout against regular world title holder Sergei Dzinziruk has been discussed and no surprise at all, a fight Angulo is okay in accepting.
Angulo continuously works hard at his craft under trainer Clemente Medina. Angulo is willing to learn and states that it is important to learn something new.
“We’re always learning in the gym. Everyday, we make progress and I can say that I learn something new. With all the work I put in, I know that great things will happen.”
That said, the future looks very good for Angulo. For the 154 pound division, it could spell trouble to all titleholders and contenders.