Hard-hitting junior middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo will return to action against southpaw Erislandy Lara in the June 8 co-feature to the Marcos Maidana–Josesito Lopez welterweight main event at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., which will be broadcast on Showtime.
On a two-bout winning streak since being knocked out by James Kirkland in November of 2011, Angulo (22-2, 18 knockouts) will be facing his most difficult test in Lara (17-1-2, 11 KOs), whose last fight ended in a technical draw with unbeaten Vanes Martirosyan.
Lara also battled to a draw with Carlos Molina in July of 2011, and lost a majority decision to ex-beltholder Paul Williams that most thought he won in June of 2012. Following those two fights he scored a first-round knockout of Ronald Hearns and then a unanimous decision over Freddy Hernandez.
Nicknamed, “Perro,” or, “Dog,” Angulo rode a streak of five straight knockout victories into his clash with Kirkland, his only loss at the time being a unanimous decision favoring Kermit Cintron in May of 2009.
Between the Kirkland and Casarez fights, Angulo was forced to take a long layoff due to an eight-month stay at the El Centro Detention Center, located just under 14 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, for having “overstayed his U.S. visa,” according to his manager and counsel, Michael Miller.
Angulo was released in August after winning his court case.
Angulo will face Lara in his third fight under reigning Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter, who is most known for guiding the career of RING, WBA, WBC and Showtime Super Six World Super Middleweight Boxing Classic Champion Andre Ward, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist who was named Fighter of The Year for 2011 by the Boxing Writers’ Association of America.
Angulo shared his thoughts with RingTV.com in this Q&A, translated by Lucy Haro:
RingTV.com: How is everything?
Alfredo Angulo: Everything is good, thank you. I’m working hard again. I am excited to get back into the ring again.
RingTV.com: How much of your ring absence affected your performances, particularly that against a boxer and a tough guy like Silva?
AA: I don’t think that my absence from the ring affected me that much. I went into the Silva fight knowing that I was going to probably have to work hard for 10 rounds.
That was the plan going into the fight. I needed the 10 rounds because it had been so long since I had been in the ring fighting.
Plus, I knew that Silva was a fighter, and I knew that Silva would be in there and that he was going to fight and to do everything possible to last the 10 rounds.
I went for the potential go for the knockout, and I did hit Silva pretty hard at times, and I was surprised that he was able to go the full 10 rounds.
RingTV.com: Was it good, in the end, to have gone the distance against Silva given the potential for a long fight against a boxer such as Lara?
AA: Yes, I believe that it was a great benefit to me to have gone the 10 rounds with Silva, especially since it had been about two years since I have had 10 rounds of work like that.
I had been used to that before hand, but now, I believe that was really beneficial since I expect that the Lara fight could go the full 10 or 12 rounds.
RingTV.com: What were your thoughts on Lara’s fight with Martirosyan, and how would you describe Lara’s style?
AA: I’m not sure that I learned much about Lara from that fight, because both of them should have been throwing a lot more punches.
But they kept on holding each other and grabbing each other and tying each other up, so I’m not sure that there is too much to learn or that I got too much of a gauge on Lara from that fight.
But the style of the Cuban fighters is that they are taught to box and to counterpunch a lot. So that’s what I know of Lara, and that’s what I expect. So in the end, that’s what I’m going to be looking out for when we fight.
RingTV.com: How much is body punching and cutting off the ring going to be a strategical factor against Lara?
AA: If Lara doesn’t want to fight, and he wants to resort to boxing, then the cutting off of the ring is going to be very important.
I mean, I don’t want to be just chasing him around the entire time. The fans are going to want a fight, and I’m going to try to make it a fight because that’s what I want as well.
RingTV.com: How is your new relationship with Hunter and what are you learning?
AA: I’m having a very good relationship with Virgil. Virgil is making me think about the fundamental things that I remember and I knew from a long time ago.
So, I’m focusing on different tactics that I once knew, and that I hadn’t been focused on. So in that way, he is tweaking my style.
But Virgil loves strategies and mental games and he brings that. I see all of that as a benefit, and everything that Virgil is teaching me is all about the fight plan.
That’s my focus every day. Virgil is always thinking of strategy, strategies, strategies, and I think that the fans will see that when I fight Lara.
RingTV.com: Do you have a prediction?
AA: As always, when I’m asked, I don’t like to give predictions about any fights. But the one thing that I always know is that the fans are going to get a great show. The fans are going to get to see some great fighting that night.
Photo by Harry How, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]