by Scott Hale
Mexicali, Mexico – Later tonight, junior middleweight Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo makes his anticipated return. His return is so anticipated that he sold more than 21,000 tickets for his first fight over a year. It will be televised on live on ESPNdeportes as well as ESPN3.com.
Here are some of the quotes from Angulo on ending his long layoff, fighting in front of his hometown fans, and his parting of ways from promoter Gary Shaw:
Alfredo do you feel any pressure fighting here in Mexicali?
I am really happy to fight again after such a long layoff especially in my hometown. I don’t feel any pressure because I always try to put on a good show for the fans. If the fans are happy I am happy.
Do you think the long layoff will have a negative affect on you once you get back in the ring?
Not at all, the time off has actually let my body recuperate.
How have you changed as a fighter?
I am hungrier than ever.
What effect has training here at home had on you?
Really happy to have my family and friends around, because I never had that.
More specifically what effect has Darrell Hudson had on your training?
D Hud, Flaco, Poncho all came down for his entire camp. It means the world to me to have all three of them here. As for Darrell didn’t you see my last fight? That is the affect Darrell had. He has improved my stamina. Working with Darrel is the turning point in my career. I feel like I will reach heights I previously never would have.
Tell me how it feels to have Nacho in your corner?
It is an honor. He is such a legendary figure in the sport. His support means a lot to me. My team that has been with me all this time down here, is really what matters the most. But having someone like Nacho around truly is an honor.
How does feel incredible in regards to ticket sales? You have sold over 21,000!
I am so happy that my hometown is supporting me like this. My goal was to break the record of 13,000 sold for the stadium, but to be over 20,000 is incredible and humbling.
How excited are you to be signed with Golden Boy Promotions?
I am super excited to start a new chapter in my boxing career. I hope what happened with Gary Shaw never happens again. I have known Oscar and his family for years and I think this will be a much better partnership.
What’s next now that you are with Golden Boy?
First things first is the fight Saturday night. Gomez is coming to win. But after that, who knows hopefully a fight down the line with Vanes (Martirosyan), I believe he may be the mandatory…
What prompted you to promote your own fight?
Waiting. I was just so tired of waiting, and hearing about Gary interfering with me possibly getting fights, so I decided to just do it myself.”
What are you most looking forward to on Saturday night?
Fighting in front him hometown fans.
Later in the day I caught up with Alfredo’s challenger Jose Gomez. The Aztec New Mexico native was kind enough along with his uncle and his grandfather to sit down and talk to me even after a long travel day that saw him take two flights and 3 hour drive en route to Mexico. Jesse gave up basketball to box in high school continuing a family tradition that dates back a couple of generations. He turned pro at the age of 19, making him a 7 year veteran in the professional ranks. He has record of 17-4-1 (8 KO’s). He is self proclaimed gym rat that trains up to 3 times a day while also raising his daughter.
When was your last fight? And at what weight?
February 12 of this year. It was a bad loss for me because I fought at a higher weight and I couldn’t move as well. So neither of us should have an advantage in terms of the layoff.
What is your best punch?
All 8 of my knockouts were from left hooks. (we both laugh) I like to double up on the left, up high and then to the body.
What have you been doing specifically to prepare for Angulo?
I train for me to get better and not worry about the opponent. I plan on moving a lot and boxing behind my jab.
Jesse what’s your approach for the fight? Especially being the “road” fighter?
None of that matters. All the hype, all the cameras they are here for Angulo, not for me. Thursday and Friday were for him, but Saturday night is for me. I’m here to win, I’m not here to take to the check…Lottery ticket, cash it in”
How would you beat yourself, do the opposite of what Angulo would do?
Be patient, wait for me to make a mistake.
Do you have a pre-fight ritual or any lucky object or pattern as you prepare to fight?
No I don’t have any good luck pre-fight rituals or anything like that. I just go in and do my job. God is all I need, he is what brought me this far that is all I nee to be victorious.
Don’t look for any over the top entrance on Saturday night from Gomez, as he didn’t even bring any ring walk music.
“It doesn’t matter what they play when I walk in, I’m going to fight hard either way.”