James De La Rosa is a 154 pounder but he stepped up for a helluva opportunity, a clash with fading vet Alfredo Angulo in the TV opener, which unfolded at the MGM Grand on Saturday night. DLR made the right call, as he was the more active and accurate boxer, as he snagged a UD10, by scores of 98-90, 96, 99-89, shaking off some solid body shots, and a couple low blows, in a career best victory, in the middleweight division.
Might this be a career capper for Gulo? I doubt it; he’s a warrior at heart and came sort of close to stopping DLR in round ten.
Angulo went 174-686 to 248-816 for the winner.
De La Rosa (22-2; from Texas; age 26; 161.5 and 169 tonight) fought and won just six weeks ago, while Angulo (22-4; age 32; from Mexico, living in LA; 162 to 180 tonight) lost in his last fight, to Canelo, for which he came to camp 35 pounds overweight.
In the first, DLR moved, switched stances, popped a good jab, and Gulo was not warmed up. Gulo looked slow as molasses, but perked up some by the end of the round.
In the second, DLR started lefty. Righty, he cracked left hooks. Gulo was warmed up, and the distance closed, to his liking. DLR scored a knockdown, as he smacked Gulo, who fell back into the ropes. The telling blow was a left hook, followed by another.
In the third, DLR cracked one-twos. Gulo looked slow of foot and hand, but still landed some clean blows in close. Body work from Gulo looked to be ramping up. But DLR started to get sloppier. In the fourth, both landed clean. Gulo wasn’t slipping well, but his hooks to the body still clanged. They worked in tight, less movement now from DLR. He was huffing more, but his right hands scored obviously.
In the fifth, DLR used his movement, his range, to better effect. Arm punches landed for DLR, clean, but Gulo kept on plugging. It was a busy and entertaining round. In the sixth, DLR landed five clean power shots early. At a distance to his liking, he cracked Gulo, whose right eye started to bleed. He threw uppercuts, and likely lost another round. “Knock him out,” trainer Virgil Hunter told the Mexican.
In the seventh, the lefty DLR started once again moving, keeping at a distance. Ref Russell Mora took a point from Angulo, for going low, after several warnings. In the eighth, DLR still had a storage of energy. He was backing up Gulo more now.
“You let him stop this fight, your career is over. You don’t knock him out, your career is over,” said Hunter. In the ninth, DLR was showboating some. Left hooks landed on DLR, who held. In the tenth, Gulo scored with overhand rights, while DLR moved a bunch, and answered with a short right. Gulo came close to finishing him, just maybe…but we went to the cards.