Exclusive Alfredo Angulo Interview - "I am a Terrier in the ring!"
by James Slater - 26-year-old Alfredo Angulo is an unbeaten and very exciting Mexican warrior who comes to fight each and every time out. Some fans may well have seen/read about his most recent fight, the 10th-round TKO of Andrey Tsurkan. Much was made of the amount of punches Tsurkan was to take from Angulo before the ref finally stopped the one-sided beating. Speaking to me through his wife/translator, Jessica, from his home in Los Angeles, Alfredo began by speaking about the Tsurkan bout. Was it stopped too late, I asked him.
Article posted on 08.11.2008
"Everybody has said that about that fight," the 5'10" light-middleweight said." A lot of people got on the ref's case also, but he [Tsurkan] never once stopped throwing punches, so it was hard to stop the fight."
Angulo was very aggressive in the fight, is this how he fights all the time?
"Yes, I am always very aggressive and I throw lots of punches. But I must add, I do so with my ring intelligence. I fight like my nickname of El Perro, which means dog. I am a terrier in the ring. I'd say my best punch is my right hand."
And how exactly did "El Perro" first get into boxing, and how old was he when he did so?
"I was 17 when I first started boxing. It was after I watched the big Chavez-De La Hoya (rematch) fight in 1998 that I knew I wanted to be a fighter. Without any doubt, Julio Cesar Chavez is my number-one boxing hero."
This comes as no surprise, considering Alfredo is a Mexican. He also has a fondness for another Mexican great though, this one now operating at his very peak.
"I look up to Antonio Margarito, we are pretty good friends today. I have sparred with him a lot. He calls me when he needs good work. I've worked with him for all his recent fights except the Paul Williams fight - which is why he lost (laughs). He's never hurt me apart from the first time we sparred, when he cut my lip. He has great experience, which is the most important thing needed to be a great champ. For instance, I picked Hopkins over Pavlik recently. My wife picked Pavlik (laughs). But he never knew how to work, I said he's no better than me. I am getting my experience so I'll be ready for anyone!"
Alfredo, who moved to L.A in 2005, already has quite a lot of experience. Not only has he sparred with the fearsome Margarito, he also worked with Ricky Hatton ahead of Ricky's Vegas fight with Jose Luis Catillo, and he has sparred with Roy Jones, Carlos Baldomir and Fernando Vargas among others. Angulo also represented his country of Mexico at the 1994 Olympics, unfortunately losing his first bout, to Andy Lee. Alfredo still enjoyed his time at the games.
"It was a very big experience for me, of course. Every athlete's dream is to go to the Olympics. It is the best versus the best. I lost to Andy Lee, but I don't think my fighting style, or the style of any Mexican or Colombian, is suited to the amateurs. I think European boxers are much better suited to the amateur game. I'm better off as a pro, with my style."
Since his January 2005 debut, Alfredo has compiled a record of 14-0(11). Angulo has looked excellent and he has been in no way softly matched, either. Who has given him his toughest fight so far?
"The hardest hitter was Richard Gutierrez. But I beat him in 5 rounds. To me, nothing is tough about fighting. It's my work. If you don't like your work, whether you be a mechanic or whatever, then what are you doing it for? I train and every day I train I smile. Then, when the fight is a week away, I like to play jokes on people. I'm very happy being a boxer."
Alfredo may be happy in his work, but his wife, though she forces herself to ringside whenever her husband fights, suffers from the expected nerves one would expect from a wife or a mother of a pro boxer.
"I go to all of Alfredo's fights," Jessica tells me. "But I get very nervous. I have to be there and I know he will win, but I can't help getting anxious. I like boxing, we watch it at home on TV together, but it is different when I have to watch my husband fight."
Alfredo laughs gently as his wife explains her ringside anxieties. Fear and apprehension are simply not emotions this tough Mexican feels himself when doing what he does best. And Alfredo is sure he will be a world champion. He also assures me he is a natural light-middleweight, and it is at 154-pounds where he will become a world champion.
"154-pounds, that's my natural weight now. I am going to be here [at 154] for a long time, too. I have no problems at all making weight. Whoever gives me the opportunity to become a world champion, that's who I will fight. I hope to be given a chance against a world champion by next year. I WILL be the champion if I'm given the opportunity. Actually, I would say I want to win the IBF title more than any other. The reason is, that title will be for a very dear friend, who it will mean a lot to and will be a special present for. My trainer Clemente Medina, he has trained fighters in the past but never has one of his fighters won the IBF belt. I want to win that title for him."
There are plans for Angulo to box, possibly against Scotland's Craig McEwan, on the Hatton-Malignaggi November 22nd card. But Alfredo finished off by telling me that though he likes to fight every two months or so, November 22nd would perhaps be too soon.
"I like to fight often, and I like being active. I'm always in the gym. But November 22nd may be too soon. I just fought on October 4th. But I will see what my promoter and manager says."
Sincere thanks go to both Alfredo and Jessica for affording me their time.
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