Two proud fighters meet this Saturday night
By John J. Raspanti
Alfredo Angulo is one tough hombre. He’s a throwback fighter. Sixty years ago, he would have been fighting every month. Defense has never been a priority. He takes four blows to land one. His chin remains his greatest strength.
His all-out brutality with James Kirkland in 2011 was talked about for months. Angulo lost, but his dignity remained. Angulo dropped heavily-favored Erislandy Lara twice two years later, only to be stopped himself.
In 2013, Canelo Alvarez used Angulo as a punching bag. I was there to witness the slaughter. In the opening stanza, Alvarez dipped and ripped a left hook. When the punch landed, it sounded like a hammer hitting a melon. Angulo took the blow and many more. Boxing fans love his guts and heart. But that’s the problem. After 14 hard years in the ring, his reflexes, never very sharp to begin with, have dulled. He’s a plodder now.
His punches are slow and easy to avoid. He lost another fight in 2014 and took some time off. Many hoped he would announce his retirement, but he’s fought on to win a couple of comeback fights against lessor competition. He’s also lost a couple before knocking out one Evert Bravo last April.
Angulo, now 37, is fighting former WBO middleweight champion, Peter Quillin, September 21, from Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, CA. Quillin is a year younger than Angulo. He’s coming off a disappointing no-decision against former super middleweight champ, Caleb Truax.
Quillin looked sharp in the opening rounds, winning them on all three of the judge’s scorecards. An accidental headbutt stopped the action in round three. Truax’s eye was dripping crimson. The fight was stopped. A rematch was cancelled when Truax tore his Achilles heel.
Though disappointed, Quillin is realistic.
"It looks like the Caleb Truax fight wasn’t meant to be, but this fight against Angulo is an important fight for me to establish myself in this division," Quillin said during a recent press conference.
"I’m ready to go 12 rounds right now. I just have to stay ready and stay in shape because we’ve had a great camp where we were able to build on certain things. This is what was meant to be and I’m going to make the most of it with a great performance on September 21."
Quillin’s lone loss in 35 fights occurred in 2015 when he fought good friend, Daniel Jacobs. A series of quick punches put Quillin on queer street. He staggered across the ring until referee Harvey Dock rescued him.
Stunned by his defeat, Quillin stepped away from the ring for a few years. He returned against Dashon Johnson, winning the bout by decision.
Taunted by J’Leon Love before their match, Quillin administered a 10 round licking. Love was bruised and quiet after the beatdown.
Angulo (25-7, 21 KOs) feels he has enough left in the tank to defeat Quillin.
"I am looking forward to showing my fans the best Alfredo Angulo on September 21," said Angulo. "I have been working hard towards this opportunity. This is a chance to move closer to a world title and with hard work and the support of my team, I’m going to win that title."
Spoken like the true warrior that he is. Victory seems very unlikely.
Quillin is much sharper and more accurate. Angulo does have a puncher’s chance, if little else.