Machismo is part of professional boxing, especially among prizefighters of Mexican heritage.
Every so often, a prizefighter has to fight the urge to bang it out.
When Josesito Lopez (30-5, 18 Kos) meets Marcos Maidana (pictured, in Showtime photo; 33-3, 30 Kos) in a welterweight clash and Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (22-2, 18 Kos) meets Erislandy Lara (17-1-2, 11 Kos) in a junior middleweight fight on Saturday June 8, at the Home Depot Center, on Showtime, it’s a perfect time to calm the blood rush of machismo. Otherwise two fighters might be wondering what happened.
Riverside’s Lopez, a Mexican-American, has never been called a pure boxer and has never tried to be a nimble-footed boxing dandy. The best way to describe the lanky welterweight is a prizefighter with a lot of heart. He has some pop, he has a good chin and he will not ever quit.
“He has a lot of heart,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions who consented to match Lopez with Victor Ortiz and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last year. “Even when he was knocked down by Canelo he didn’t quit.”
Argentina’s Maidana is almost cartoonish in appearance. The hard-punching South American visibly looks like a human-shaped anvil ready to squash anyone that dares match him punch for punch. When opponents try to slug it out, a sly devilish smile appears on his face. That alone should scare foes from trying that tact.
“I'm going to do whatever it takes to win,” said Maidana and hopefully that doesn’t include head butts from that squarish-looking head. He doesn’t need anything but those large balloon fists that look inflated with helium.
Lopez has to fight the machismo and utilize his long reach and height advantage much like Erik Morales did a couple of years ago when he fought Maidana. Can he do it? Will he do it?
“I think really the grounds are even and really the best fighter, the smarter fighter is going to win,” Lopez conceded.
But once he gets hit can Lopez refrain from slugging it out?
Machismo plays a big part in his boxing style.
Cuban stylist vs. Mexican stalker
Cuba’s fighting system will literally be at center court when southpaw Erislandy Lara confronts Mexico’s Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo for the interim WBA junior middleweight title.
The swift moving Lara meets the irresistible force of Angulo on Saturday June 8, at the Home Depot tennis stadium.
Since the 1960s the Cuban boxing system has churned out fighting machines on a yearly basis in the amateurs. An endless list of eye-popping talent like the late Teofilo Stevenson emanated from the island nation with their technical precision punching honed to a shiny glow.
Lara has that smooth buttery style of movement and efficiency like a man trained to handle potentially deadly bottles of explosive nitroglycerine. He moves with grace and confidence around the ring despite facing foes with mind sapping power. He credits the Cuban boxing program for his technical prowess.
“I was part of the best system in the world,” said Lara, who won multiple gold medals in boxing as an amateur before defecting to the U.S. “I’ve seen Angulo and I know how he fights. I know what to do.”
Machismo is a major part of Angulo’s Mexican stalker style. When he enters the ring he looks to destroy whoever is in front of him.
Raised in the hard streets of Mexicali, a border town known for violence and mayhem, Angulo was reared from an early age to be able to defend himself with his fists. His straight-forward, full steam-ahead style has brought him thousands of fans who love his penchant for knockouts.
“Erislandy is a good fighter and I am good fighter too. I think this would be a good fight for the belt,” said Angulo, who is now being trained by Virgil Hunter, who also trains Andre Ward. “I’m working on my plan for Lara.”
Training with Hunter in Northern California has its benefits for Angulo, especially if it includes working with speedsters and proficient boxers like Ward and Amir Khan. Though Angulo loves to stalk Mexican style he can box as seen in some of his fights.
Machismo is part of Angulo’s game but will it help or hurt?
Lara expects machismo from the Mexican power slugger.
“I'm a technical fighter and he's a brawler, and we'll see who has the longer career,” said Lara. “The Cuban fighters are the best technical fighters in the world.”
Angulo doesn’t fight with words.
“I’ll see you in the ring,” said Angulo during a recent telephone press conference.
Can machismo beat technique on Saturday?
Other bouts of interest
Undefeated Ronny Rios (20-0, 9 Kos) of Southern California fights Leonilo Miranda (32-5, 30 Kos) in a featherweight clash. Earlier this year Rios defeated former world champion Rico Ramos.
Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (22-0-1, 19 Kos) appears on American shores and faces Johan Perez (16-1-1, 12 Kos) in a battle of welterweight knockout artists.
Prized prospect Jermell Charlo (20-0, 10 Kos) tests Demetrius Hopkins (33-2-1, 13 Kos) in a junior middleweight fight.
Former U.S. Olympian Joseph Diaz (4-0, 2 Kos) of South El Monte, Ca. fights Rigoberto Casillas (8-11-1) in a junior featherweight six round match.
Ireland’s Jamie Kavanagh (13-0-1, 5 Kos), who is trained by Freddie Roach, fights Sergio Perez (28-14, 19 Kos) in a lightweight bout.
Former USC football star Gerald Washington (7-0, 5 Kos) fights rugged Sherman “The Tank” Williams (35-12-2) in a heavyweight collision set for eight rounds.
The first bout starts at 2:15 p.m. Pacific Coast time. Doors open at 2 p.m.