By Keith Idec
Alfredo Angulo’s career as a legitimate contender hangs in the balance.
If the rugged Mexican loses Saturday night to James de la Rosa (22-2, 13 KOs), Angulo and his handlers realize he’ll basically become an opponent.
“Alfredo knows that this is a very important fight,” Golden Boy Promotions vice president Eric Gomez said, “because if he’s going to be considered for future world title fights, fighting the elite fighters in boxing, he’s got to get past James de la Rosa.”
The 32-year-old Angulo (22-4, 18 KOs) has lost back-to-back fights entering his 10-round middleweight debut on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana undercard at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (Showtime Pay-Per-View; 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT; $74.95 in HD).
In Angulo’s last fight, Canelo Alvarez dominated him en route to a 10th-round TKO win March 8 at MGM Grand. Angulo also lost his previous bout by TKO. He dropped Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara twice in that June 2013 fight in Carson, Calif., yet a resilient Lara won by 10th-round TKO when Angulo declined to continue once he suffered severe swelling over his left eye.
“As far as the Lara fight, I learned a lot,” Angulo said. “It was a great experience. I showed the people that gave me no chance that Perro is always going to be here and give great fights. Honestly, in the Canelo fight I can’t tell you I learned anything because I wasn’t there. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t the one you all know, and I didn’t feel the strength and I wasn’t able to put on the performance that I would’ve wanted.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.