- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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HARTFORD, Conn. -- Alfredo "Perro" Angulo simply destroyed Harry Joe Yorgey with a crushing third-round knockout on Saturday night at the XL Center.
The fight was the co-feature on the card headlined by the light heavyweight rematch between Chad Dawson and Glen Johnson and Angulo turned in an explosive performance to claim an interim junior middleweight title.
By winning the interim belt -- one that Paul Williams owned until he was stripped of it this week without being notified so the WBO could sanction Angulo-Yorgey and pick up the accompanying sanction fee -- Angulo becomes the mandatory challenger for full titleholder Sergei Dzindziruk. Dzindziruk has been inactive for the past year because of promotional problems with German-based Universum.
"I never worked this hard for anything in my life," Angulo said. "All the hard work paid off. I knew I would be victorious."
After Yorgey had success boxing and moving on Angulo in the first round, it turned into a massacre in the second round as Angulo teed off on Yorgey almost at will. He scored a knockdown in the second round and landed 58 of 108 punches, according to CompuBox statistics.
A huge right hand did the initial damage as he hurt Yorgey against the ropes. But Angulo did not let him off the hook and continued to pound away for the knockdown, during which Angulo appeared to hit him while he was down.
During the follow-up attack after the knockdown, Yorgey was stumbling and in bad trouble but referee John Callas didn't seem to have any idea what to do, momentarily letting Yorgey stand in a corner to try to collect himself as Angulo's corner screamed at him.
The fight probably could have been stopped in the second round, but it continued into the third. Angulo (17-1, 14 KOs) continued to pound Yorgey, 31, of Bridgeport, Pa., who was coming off his highest-profile win, a ninth-round upset knockout of Ronald Hearns, the son of legend Thomas Hearns.
Angulo, 27, a 2004 Mexican Olympian, appeared to score another knockdown in the third round but Yorgey (22-1-1, 10 KOs) grabbed onto him before falling to the canvas. Callas didn't rule it a knockdown, even though when Yorgey got up he was stumbling around the ring.
Finally, Angulo dropped Yorgey with a right-left combination that knocked him out cold, ending the fight at 1 minute, 3 seconds of the third.
"Once I started hurting him to the body I knew the fight would be over quickly," Angulo said. "That's when he put his hands down and I knew it was over. That started it and that finished it."
Said Yorgey, "I felt I won the first round. I was beating him to the punch but he kept coming. It was a shot to the back of the head that hurt me [in the second round]."
Angulo has won two in a row in bouncing back from his lone loss, a decision to former welterweight titlist Kermit Cintron on May 30.
With the win, Angulo accomplished his goal of winning a belt.
"If I hadn't lost to Cintron, I would have already been in a title fight," he said. "That postponed it six months."
Dan Rafael is a boxing writer for ESPN.com.
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