David Benavidez won’t make the same mistake he is convinced Anthony Sims Jr. and Gilberto Ramirez committed.
The heavily favored Benavidez hasn’t taken Alexis Angulo at all lightly in preparation for their 12-round fight for Benavidez’s WBC super middleweight title Saturday night in Uncasville, Connecticut. Benavidez believes Sims’ underestimation of the hard-hitting Colombian led to the prospect’s first professional defeat January 30 in Miami.
Angulo (26-1, 22 KOs) scored an upset when he overcame Sims (20-1, 18 KOs) by split decision in their 10-round, 168-pound bout six months ago. Miami’s Angulo won their fight on the scorecards of judges Gloria Martinez (96-93) and Rocky Young (96-93), but he lost according to judge Richard Green (95-94).
“What really surprised me more than anything was the performance of Anthony Sims,” Benavidez told BoxingScene.com. “He didn’t really seem to do much. I don’t know if it was because it was his first fight at 168. Because he usually fights at 175, so he probably drained himself a little bit more. But nevertheless, Angulo came out with the victory. So, I feel like everybody who has fought Angulo has probably underestimated him, because there hasn’t really been that much film on him.
“I think Ramirez underestimated him a little bit, and then also Anthony Sims. So, I’m being very cautious about him because I’ve seen both of those fights back-to-back. I’ve been taking notes from it, so I’m taking Angulo very serious. You know, he’s a hard hitter. He has hard punching power. I’m taking him very serious. I’m a world champion. At the end of the day, I’ve gotta work like one. And I’m working very hard, and I’m ready for anything that comes my way.”
Phoenix’s Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) thinks the Angulo-Sims fight could’ve gone “either way,” though he respects the decision because at least Angulo pressed the action.
Mexico’s Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs) is the only opponent who has defeated the 36-year-old Angulo. The unbeaten southpaw won by huge margins on all three scorecards (120-108, 119-109, 119-109), but Benavidez sensed in studying footage from that June 2018 bout that Angulo hurt Ramirez more than once.
Ramirez-Angulo lacked action, yet Benavidez recognizes why.
“I feel like both of them really didn’t go for it because they probably respected each other’s punching power,” Benavidez said. “Ramirez is a great fighter, too. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him in sparring, so I know he’s a pretty big hitter. So, I feel like that fight kind of showed me a lot, too. I feel like if Angulo feels that you have the power, he kind of won’t rush in there with you. You know what I mean? I have a lot of confidence in my power and with the type of stuff I can do. I know I do better stuff than Ramirez.
“You know, the good thing about me is I’m not underestimating him. I know what he does good, and I know what he does bad. So, I’m putting up a game plan. And like I said, I haven’t fought in almost about a year. You know, I’m very anxious to get back in the ring and give all my fans a great fight. I can’t wait to get in there.”
Showtime will broadcast Benavidez-Angulo as the main event of a tripleheader from Mohegan Sun Arena.
The show will open with heavyweights Otto Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC), of Sundsvall, Sweden, and Travis Kauffman (32-3, 23 KOs, 1 NC), of Reading, Pennsylvania, in a 10-rounder. Just before Benavidez and Angulo go at it, Las Vegas’ Rolando Romero (11-0, 10 KOs) and the Dominican Republic’s Jackson Marinez (19-0, 7 KOs) are set to meet in a 12-round fight for the WBA interim lightweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.