Alfredo Angulo (right) was in lockup since January for a transgression that hasn't been made clear--a visa issue has been mentioned--but is looking to get back in the mix, and promoter De La Hoya is working to make that happen. (Al Applerose)
EAST LOS ANGELES-Alfredo “Perro” Angulo stood slightly hunched with longer locks of black hair than a year ago and waited quietly for a press conference to begin on Tuesday.
After eight months detained in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center, the junior middleweight contender was finally free and waiting for Oscar De La Hoya to arrive at La Seranata de Garibaldi restaurant in East Los Angeles.
De La Hoya quietly arrived and the dozens of media representatives crunched toward the president of Golden Boy Promotions and Angulo to hear about the future plans for the Mexicali, Mexico native who was finally free after months in the detention center.
“I'm very happy to be here,” said Angulo, 30, who looked fit but slightly surprised by the entire situation and his state of freedom. “I can't believe it.”
The last time we saw Angulo he was in a boxing ring fighting a losing battle against James Kirkland and eventually lost by technical knockout last November. After that loss, he surrendered to U.S. federal authorities and was incarcerated. Months and months passed by and his situation was a mystery to the boxing world.
Why was Angulo being held in a detention center and when would he be released?
Those were the big questions that journalists, Angulo's friends and family and his promoter Golden Boy tried to uncover. De La Hoya attempted in person to discover the reasons for Angulo's detention, but nothing seemed to work.
Finally, after eight months of imprisonment, the boxer was released and quickly a press conference was arranged for reporters to hear about Angulo's long-awaited release.
“I'm not against the rules and laws I understand them and have no problems abiding by them,” said Angulo. “The problem for me is that one person has so much power...No one person should have that kind of power.”
Angulo was allegedly unable to speak or see any visitors because of a ban given by the director of the detention center, he said.
“Today, we are celebrating Angulo's freedom,” said De La Hoya, adding that while incarcerated Angulo refused to sign a document that would remove him from the regular prison population. “He's ready to resume his career.”
De La Hoya said that Angulo will be choosing a trainer and will need about two months to get prepared to enter the prize ring once again. After that the promoter says he seeks to have Angulo fight up to four fights before the end of the year.
“We're going for the big fights,” De La Hoya announced. “We're going to get him a tune up, then eventually he will fight the top contenders.”
After dozens of interviews a large cake was brought out to celebrate Angulo's birthday that passed 10 days ago. His freedom was probably the best present he ever received as he smiled a rather disbelieving smile. Freedom to walk around and hold his little girl was a gift he couldn't enjoy for eight months and here he was side by side with De La Hoya who couldn't help patting Angulo on the back.
“We believe in him,” said De La Hoya. “We want him to fight for that title. He's hungry.”