By Joseph Herron – On November 5th, 2011, the boxing world witnessed one of the best rounds of action in recent memory when Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland battered each other for all three minutes of the opening stanza during their WBC semi-final eliminator in Cancun, Mexico.
Although both men were ostensibly hurt badly throughout The Ring’s “Round of the Year” for 2011, it was the Mexicali warrior who caught the brunt of the more meaningful exchanges on that fateful evening.
But “El Perro” was not only handed his second loss as a professional fighter. Most fight fans and boxing writers described the dramatic bout as one of the most brutal beatings of this era, and further labeled the destruction as potentially career-altering.
After almost a full calendar year of inactivity, Angulo will be stepping back into the ring this Saturday night, alongside heralded trainer Virgil Hunter, to try and repair some of “El Perro’s” dented mystique and checkered persona.
His November 10th assignment will be against Junior Middleweight prospect Raul “El Tigre” Casarez of the Texas/Rio Grande Valley. Though most boxing pundits give Angulo the clear advantage going into this “comeback” effort, is Casarez the right fighter for a rehabilitative outing?
The hungry young 25 year old fighter has become a South Texas favorite for his seemingly granite chin and equally durable will to win. Since acquiring the services of veteran trainer James Gogue in 2006, the Texas underdog has been perfect with a record of 10-0 and 5 KOs.
Casarez has already proclaimed his willingness to stand in the pocket and trade with the big punching Angulo, and insists that he will be the fighter who is consistently pressing the action this Saturday night.
Is this the right opponent to rebuild the ostensibly shaken confidence of a customary pressure fighter?
Salinas, California fight trainer and manager Sam Garcia chimes in on the prospect of a possible upset.
“I’m a big fan of Alfredo Angulo because he’s never in a boring fight,” claims the astute young fight trainer. “But because of his fearless style, all of his outings are subject to a possible upset. Alfredo looks to be in great shape and could be refreshed after an extensive lay-off. We’ll find out on Saturday night whether his inactivity will be a blessing or a curse against a tough pressure fighter like Raul Casarez.”
“Win or lose, it’s going to be a great, action filled fight for the boxing fans. Angulo is a credit to the sport, and I think it’s ultimately going to be a good night for Alfredo. Although Casarez has a great chin and is always pressing the action, I’m not sure if he can match the firepower of Angulo. Just looking at his resume, Casarez has never faced this level of opposition before. So it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the power of Angulo’s best shots.”
“No doubt about it…this fight will be a lot of fun to watch!”
The talented young trainer could be correct in his assessment. The Angulo/Casarez slugfest will most certainly be an action filled scrap from start to finish and could prove to be the show stealer of the scheduled Showtime quadruple header.
But is the wise constituent of Team Garcia Boxing correct in suggesting that Angulo will flourish against a fighter who is willing to stand in the pocket and trade with the tough Mexican national?
How will Alfredo Angulo respond when a young, hungry fighter takes his best shots and continues trudging forward? The only other fighter who had the courage to press “El Perro” throughout a prizefight was James Kirkland, and the style match-up didn’t end well for the Mexican favorite.
Will the 30 year old fight veteran carry the scars from his last battle into the ring on Saturday, November 10th?
Will Angulo’s confidence quake in the presence of a fighter who will be trying to shove “El Perro” backwards with power shots to the body?
Does Casarez have the experience or offensive prowess to withstand a fire-fight amongst the hard-punching Junior Middleweight contender?
The answers will be revealed during Showtime’s opening bout of the evening on Saturday, November 10th, from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.