Vladimir Hernandez didn’t fight Saturday night like an opponent who accepted a shot at a favored veteran on extremely short notice.
Hernandez gave Alfredo Angulo more than he could handle and upset him in a thoroughly entertaining, 10-round super middleweight match at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Hernandez, a late replacement for Caleb Truax, and Angulo ignored defense and absorbed countless power punches in a brutal battle between Mexican brawlers that Hernandez won by unanimous decision.
All three judges – Edward Hernandez Sr., Steve Morrow and Pat Russell – scored their fight exactly the same, 98-92, for Hernandez. They each though Hernandez, who got off to a strong start, won eight of the 10 rounds in a fight FOX aired as part of the Erislandy Lara-Greg Vendetti undercard.
Nevertheless, Angulo out-landed Hernandez by 62 punches, according to CompuBox’s unofficial count (301-of-837 to 239-of-586). CompuBox counted a career-high number of punches thrown for Angulo as well.
Denver’s Hernandez (12-4, 5 KOs) took this difficult fight on barely 24 hours’ notice once Truax determined he wasn’t well enough to square off against Angulo (26-8, 21 KOs). The 36-year-old Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs, 1 NC), of St. Michael Minnesota, felt ill as he tried to cut the final two pounds prior to their weigh-in Friday and withdrew from what was supposed to be an IBF super middleweight elimination match.
The 38-year-old Angulo got off to his typically slow start and had difficulty dealing with Hernandez in part because Hernandez, unlike Truax, is a southpaw.
Angulo drilled Hernandez with two right hands that backed him up in the final minute of the 10th round. An ever-aggressive Angulo kept the pressure on his retreating opponent over those last three minutes and landed the more
Angulo and Hernandez continued hammering away at each other in a closely contested ninth round. Hernandez landed a right uppercut early in the round that got Angulo’s attention.
Angulo snapped back Hernandez’s head with a hard right when there were about 20 seconds to go in the eighth round. The relentless Angulo pressured a tiring Hernandez throughout those three minutes.
Both boxers landed numerous power punches in a very competitive seventh round.
Hernandez landed an array of power punches in the sixth round, including an eye-catching combination with just under a minute remaining in it. Nothing he threw could keep Angulo from moving forward, though, and Angulo landed plenty of short shots of his own.
Angulo began landing the harder shots with more frequency during the fifth round. He backed up Hernandez for most of those three minutes and caught Hernandez with a variety of rights and lefts.
Hernandez and Angulo went at it in the middle minute of the fourth round, when Hernandez was backed against the ropes.
Angulo and Hernandez traded throughout the third round from close distances. A right hand by Angulo slowed down Hernandez with about 30 seconds to go in the third round.
Hernandez backed up Angulo with a right-left combination 35 seconds into the second round. Angulo drilled Hernandez with a right hand that turned Hernandez’s head around with 1:12 to go in that second round.
Hernandez attacked Angulo from the opening bell and confounded the orthodox boxer from his left-handed stance. Angulo even switched to a southpaw stance to try to land on Hernandez in that opening round.
Hernandez out-landed Angulo, 33-12, in the first round, according to CompuBox’s unofficial punch stats.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.