Caleb Truax felt as though he had little choice but to withdraw from his fight against Alfredo Angulo on the day that they were supposed to make weight.
Truax felt “like sh-t.” The former IBF super middleweight champion knew, too, that if he lost to Angulo, no one would’ve wanted to hear any excuses about him being sick entering what was supposed to be a 12-round IBF super middleweight elimination match.
“I wanted to fight,” Truax told BoxingScene.com, “but the next morning when I woke up, I still felt like crap and made the tough choice to not go through with it. But it is what it is, man. If I would’ve went out there and looked like crap and got beat by a guy who never should’ve beaten me, nobody would wanna hear the fact that I was sick.
“It’s an unforgiving sport and fans don’t wanna hear what happened before or during training, or anything like that. They just want results on fight nights. Unfortunately, they can’t see what goes on behind the scenes some of the time.”
Mexico’s Angulo lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Truax’s late replacement, Vladimir Hernandez. Denver’s Hernandez (12-4, 6 KOs) beat Angulo (26-8, 21 KOs) by the same margin on all three scorecards, 98-92, in a fight FOX aired August 29 from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Though Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs, 1 NC) never won an eliminator, the IBF eventually ruled that he is its mandatory challenger for super middleweight champion Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs). The 28-year-old Plant, of Ashland City, Tennessee, and the 37-year-old Truax, of St. Michael, Minnesota, will meet in a 12-round, 168-pound championship match that’ll headline FOX’s tripleheader Saturday night from Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles (8 p.m. EST; 5 p.m. PST).
Truax was told heat exhaustion was the primary reason for felt unfit to fight five months ago. That illness lasted until three days after he pulled out of the Angulo bout, but Truax felt fine thereafter.
“It was frustrating and disappointing,” Truax said. “Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. I mean, that was a fight I was gonna win. I thought that it was gonna be a setback and cost me a chance to fight for a title right away, so I’m grateful that my guy, Tony Del Greco, and PBC and Al Haymon believe in me and put me back in a big fight right away. I expected to have to win a fight or two to get back in this position. So, I’m fortunate and grateful to be in this spot to fight for a title again so soon.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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