By Francisco Salazar
With all that Alfredo Angulo has gone through in his 30 years of living, it would be understandable that he would have an abrasive attitude towards life.
Growing up poor on the streets of Mexicali, Mexico, having fought only eight rounds in the span of two and a half years, and most notably being unjustly detained at an immigration center could make anyone frustrated and angry.
When one looks at Angulo, his facial expression could compound that theory. However, Angulo is one of the more respected and likable persons in boxing.
Even with his most recent past receiving a lot of press and when one thinks that professional athletes are consumed with materialistic things, Angulo’s actions state otherwise.
Mostly known for having his hair short or cropped, Angulo will step inside the ring at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday night with longer hair that could rival that of a male model or pop singer.
No, he is not making a fashion statement. Well, he is making a statement of sorts: He is growing his hair long to eventually donate it to “Locks of Love.” According to its website, “Locks of Love” is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada who suffer from long-term medical hair loss.
How his hair will affect him in his scheduled 12 round bout against Raul Cazares remains to be seen. Although Angulo is favored to defeat Cazares, one wonders if the months spent at the detention center near El Centro, CA will have any impact as well.
However, Angulo hopes to make two statements on Saturday night: to prove that he is still a force to be reckoned with at 154 pounds and to donate to a worthy cause.
“I’m just grateful to get this opportunity after everything I've been through,” said Angulo recently.
And who can blame Angulo for becoming emotional at a luncheon in late August, just days after being released from that detention center.
Although Angulo has long-term plans in boxing that could include a rematch against Kirkland or a shot at world title belt holder, Angulo’s short-term plans are a victory over Cazares and donating his locks to “Locks of Love.”
While it is understandable that Angulo may feel selfish for what has happened to him, the popular Mexican puncher thinks that something positive could come out of something negative. Especially from his background growing up to his time detained.
"I've always believed that for every bad thing that happens in life, something good would come out of it. My hair was getting long anyway and one day I got on the internet and did some research and found out about “Locks Of Love.”
"I never planned to do anything for charity until I read about it. You need to donate at least 10 inches of your hair. I haven't had a real haircut in a while and I still have a little ways to go, but once it is long enough, that's where my hair is going.''
Angulo has always provided exciting and thrilling moments to fight fans. His first round knockout of Archak Termeliksetian after being hurt himself back in November of 2007 to his sixth round knockout loss to Kirkland last November make Angulo fun to watch.
However, he is now known for his improving boxing ability to compliment his hard-hitting power. As much as fight fans missed watching Angulo dissect or overpower his opponents, Angulo missed being in the ring.
On Saturday night, Angulo will be in a familiar place: inside a ring in front of thousands of fight fans in attendance and millions watching across the world.
Not bad for a person who had so little growing up, but has lots of heart giving to charity.
"No words can describe how excited I am to be able to fight again and to be able to do it in my (adopted) hometown is even better.”
"I always knew that one day I would be free to fight again, the question was always when."