By Francisco Salazar
With all that Alfredo Angulo has gone through in his life, it is understandable for him to want to hurt people in the ring. Or to have that scowl on his face right before he enters the ring before a fight.
Growing up on the streets of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, Angulo did what he had to do survive. Delivering pizza. Working at a carniceria (meat market) as a butcher.
Life was not very grand Angulo, who wondered where life would take him.
However, no one, not even Angulo, expected for him to be detained for over seven months, where his life and boxing career were temporarily in limbo.
Angulo found his freedom, thanks to the tireless efforts of lawyers, managers, promoter, and media. This new lease on his boxing career has made Angulo stronger physically and mentally, which could spell trouble for the super welterweight division.
Angulo will fight Jorge Silva in a scheduled 10 round bout on Saturday night at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, CA. The bout will precede the 12 round junior welterweight bout between Amir Khan and Carlos Molina.
The bout will headline a Golden Boy Promotions card and will be televised live on Showtime.
Angulo returned to the ring after a year layoff, coupled with the seven months he was in a detention center near El Centro, CA, on November 10th to knock out Raul Cazarez in the first round.
It was his first time in the ring since November 5th of last year, when he was stopped in the sixth round at the hands of James Kirkland. It was the bout that featured one of the best rounds of the year, if not the best, as Kirkland and Angulo each dropped one another in a scintillating first round that had the thousands in attendance and those around the world on their feet.
Now Angulo faces Silva (19-2-2, 15 KOs), a hard-hitting welterweight who is unbeaten in his last three bouts. In his last bout on October 6th, Silva fought to a hard-fought 10 round majority decision draw to unbeaten Yoshihiro Kamegai.
When Angulo makes that walk from the locker room to the ring on Saturday, he will attempt to suppress the same butterflies when he made the walk to the ring at Staples Center on November 10th. Chants of his nickname “Perro” will resonate from inside the arena, something that touched Angulo deep down.
“When I walked to the ring in my last fight and to hear the crowd chanting my name, it almost made me cry,” Angulo told Boxingscene.com in a phone interview this week. “To have the people support me and for the love that I felt, it made me feel very happy.”
Although Angulo scored a resounding first round knockout over Cazarez last month, the boxing world still does not know if he could compete with upper echelon of the 154-pound division.
Angulo now has the services of trainer Virgil Hunter, who is the longtime trainer of Andre Ward. Some wonder if the relationship between Angulo and Hunter will be effective, considering Hunter has trains a boxer, while Angulo’s reputation has been as an aggressive puncher.
To Angulo, who was trained by Clemente Medina, the move to Hunter has been beneficial.
“I have heard of people doubting my move to my current trainer (Hunter),” said Angulo (21-2, 18 KOs). “People haven’t realized the work we’ve put in. However, Virgil is a good trainer. I’ve shortened my punches a great deal. Training camp has gone well.”
The boxing world will see in the next couple of bouts if Angulo could still compete and be a major player in the super welterweight division. There are a number of lucrative fights that could be made for Angulo, including countryman and WBC super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
However, Angulo does not want to get ahead of himself. He has to take care of matters against Silva. In the sport of boxing, particularly in 2012, no one should be taken lightly.
“I have my obligation with Silva on Saturday. But after the 15th (of December) I am more than willing to fight any of the champions. I will be more than ready to fight against them any day, any month, any time. I’ll be happy to fight against them.”
As if Angulo did not have the hunger to become a world champion before he was detained, he is starving to fight for championship gold.
The time he spent inside the detention center humbled him more than his humbled self, opening his eyes to some of the personal tragedies he saw from other immigrants. While the debate rages on in this country about illegal immigration, Angulo asserts it is more about a human rights deal.
Seeing first-hand what people are capable of just to have a better life, whether it is right or wrong, has motivated Angulo that much more.
“I’m a true believer that something good comes out of something bad. There is always a silver lining to what happens in life. From what I’ve seen, I’m motivated to do train hard and do well. Not just in the ring but outside of it.
Aside from creating a foundation to assist people who have been in his situation, Angulo has decided to grow out his hair to donate it to Locks of Love. The non-profit organization provides hairpieces to children who are suffering from cancer.
Angulo has a likeable personality in the ring, which is why people are endeared to him and his intentions. He may or may not win a world title belt, but Angulo has been allowed to write another chapter in his life. Tags: Alfredo Angulo
Even if fighting is his game, fighting the challenges he has faced or will face in his life is his name. No matter what those challenges are, Angulo will go down fighting. Besides, does he know any other way?