If you ever get a chance to watch Alfredo Angulo fight then you’re in for a real treat. Angulo’s style is busy, precise and brutally efficient. He stalks and mauls his victims like a trained attack dog. Hence the nickname, “El Perro”, the dog. A nickname that sounds far more menacing in Spanish.
It was given to him while he was still an amateur and training for the 2004 Olympics under Mexico’s banner. While his brawling style is exciting, it’s not made for amateur competition. He lost in the early qualifying rounds. He turned pro one year later. Since then, he’s been mesmerizing audiences with one dynamic and dramatic performance after another.
“All my fights are exciting,” the 26-year-old Angulo said from his training base in the Los Angeles section of Maywood. “I try to make sure my fights end decisively and that’s done best with a knockout.”
Angulo (13-0, 10 KO’s) is coming off four impressive, nationally televised stoppages which have created a buzz around the junior middleweight who was raised in Mexicali, Mexico until the age of 17. He’ll be back on HBO’s airwaves on October 4th against Andre Tsurkan (26-3, 17 KO’s) as part of their “Boxing After Dark” installments.
His last fight against Colombian power puncher Miguel Gutierrez was a back and forth war with both men getting off some powerful combinations. The fight answered some questions for critics who recognized Angulo’s explosive firepower but questioned his chin. Gutierrez landed hard shots but Angulo held his composure under the fierce attacks until he landed a series of unanswered combinations that prompted the referee to stop the fight in the fifth round. “That’s been the hardest fight for me so far. I proved that I can take a punch. I also proved that I’m not only a puncher but that I have the heart to fight through rough circumstances,” Angulo said. “I’ve fought some hard hitters throughout my career and they’ve all thrown their best at me.”
His last four opponents, Gutierrez, Ricardo Cortez, Archak TerMeliksetian and Emmanuel Gonzalez had a combined record of 71 wins and 7 losses with 46 knockouts. The Cortez, TerMeliksetian and Gonzalez fights were all broadcast on Showtime.
Angulo first got a taste of boxing in his Mexicali neighborhood where relatives of former professional boxer, Lenny “Pichon” Valdez resided. Valdez’s biggest claim to fame is having knocked out hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach, who was a 26-2 fighter at the time they fought. Valdez had a record of 9-1. He also defeated former W.B.C. featherweight world champion Marcos Villasana. “Valdez’s relatives would take out a pair of boxing gloves and we’d end up fighting on the street,” Angulo said. “The problem is that when the gloves came off, some people still wanted to keep fighting.”
But it was after watching Oscar de La Hoya take on Julio Cesar Chavez in 1998 that Angulo’s appetite for the sport was really stoked. “Until that point, I really didn’t care much for boxing,” recalls Angulo. “I remember that fight fondly and I saw the admiration that these guys were getting and that sparked my interest. I saw it as a way to succeed and a way to help my mother.”
The dream of every young man of modest means who adores his mother is to one day buy her a home. Some of Angulo’s motivation behind the brutal haymakers he throws at his opponents is in securing Rebeca Lopez’s future. His mother’s name, “Rebeca”, is emblazoned on his trunks as a tribute to the woman that raised him and five other kids by herself after his father passed away when he was only five years old. “I promised my mom that someday I’d buy her a house,” Angulo said. “She had to work hard in raising us as a mother and father and I want her to know how much I appreciate her. As far as I’m concerned, I owe her a house.”
Assuring the audience a good time also motivates him. “To me the biggest satisfaction that I can have is that the people who came to watch me or the people watching at home are left satisfied,” Angulo said. “You will never see me in a boring fight. Whatever card that you see me on, I guarantee you’ll leave happy. That’s the kind of fighter I am.”
Even though there are many “Perro” Angulo fans, there are also some detractors. Some feel that his career is still too young to start calling Angulo a bona fide contender. “I know there are still doubts about me but my job is to turn those doubts around,” Angulo said. “It’s all in the performance you offer to the public. What are we willing to give in the ring? I’m going to give you everything I’ve got. I’m going to do my best to try and make a fan out of you.”
So what does the future hold for Angulo? “Although I prefer to make short term plans, I want a world title and I want some signature fights. Memorable fights, fights like Chavez vs. de La Hoya,” Angulo said. “I just have to keep believing and doing the work. My time will come and when it does I’m going to take full advantage of it.”
*photo courtesy Team Angulo
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