Angulo continues to grow inside the ring
Just over a year ago, no one knew Alfredo Angulo from any other hard-nosed, Los Angeles-based pug just trying to make it inside the ring. How things have changed, writes Robert Morales.
Originally Published: October 5, 2008By Robert Morales | Special to ESPN.com
Naoki FukudaAlfredo Angulo, right, threw everything in his arsenal at Andrey Tsurkan in a winning effort on Saturday.TEMECULA, Calif. -- When boxing manager Mike Criscio first came upon junior middleweight Alfredo Angulo in early 2007, he found a boxer far different than the one he works with today. Angulo was a down-on-his-luck fighter who was living with five other boxers in a one-room dwelling just trying to make it in the Los Angeles area. "He had no food and he was ready to quit," said Criscio. "But I got him a place to live, money to live on and the proper tools to train on." That's because Criscio, who also manages light heavyweight titlist Chad Dawson, saw something else in Angulo.
"The same things I see in Chad, the heart and determination to do well for his family," Criscio said of Mexico-born Angulo, who now lives in the Los Angeles suburb of Paramount with his fiance and their daughter. "You could see if this kid was to give his all, he would be a terror in the ring." Angulo was all that on Saturday when he stopped tough-as-nails Andrey Tsurkan of the Bronx, N.Y., via Ukraine at 2:27 of the 10th round. Angulo, 26, displayed a full arsenal in taking apart Tsurkan round after round. The heavy-fisted Angulo worked the body and head beautifully, even retaining most of his power when he switched from an orthodox stance to southpaw. For a fighter who now has just 14 professional fights, Angulo (14-0, 11 KOs) came off as very polished. He remained calm, even as Tsurkan refused to taste the canvas despite absorbing tremendous punishment. "I got that from sparring with all the great fighters -- Antonio Maragarito, Roy Jones Jr., Ricky Hatton," said Angulo, a 2004 Mexican Olympian. Angulo hit Tsurkan with everything but the kitchen sink. But Tsurkan (26-4), who was stopped for just the second time in 30 fights, displayed a granite chin and incredible heart. Just about any other fighter would have folded much earlier. Tsurkan's face did show what kind of a beating he took, with both of his eyes puffy and blackened underneath, but he never stopped trying to win. "This was one of my toughest fights so far," Angulo said. "He was a great opponent, but he couldn't keep up with me." It wasn't long after Criscio rescued Angulo from his doldrums that Angulo signed a promotional contract with Gary Shaw. Shaw likes what he sees thus far. "When I saw him spar, I saw Margarito in him," Shaw said of Angulo, who has been a sparring partner for Margarito the past two years. "I saw a determination in him." There's that word again.
Naoki FukudaIt took every minute of all 10 rounds for Alfredo Angulo to cut down Andrey Tsurkan on Saturday.
He fights with fire. I don't want to say he fights with reckless abandon, but he's sure a fan-pleaser. When he has a fighter hurt, he finishes him. He senses that.
-- Promoter Gary Shaw, on Alfredo Angulo's intensity inside the ring
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