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Angulo Destroys Tsurkan

Alfredo AnguloBy Manuel Perez: Undefeated light middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo (14-0, 11 KOs) gave Ukrainian contender Andrey Tsurkan (26-4, 17 KOs) a sound beating on Saturday night, battering him in every round until the fight was mercifully stopped at the 2:27 mark in the 10th round by referee Tony Krebs in the 10th round at the Pechanga Resort & Casino, in Temecula, California. What originally started off as a fairly competitive fight in the first couple of rounds turned into an ugly one-sided fight by the 3rd as Tsurkan didn’t have the power or the style suited to fight a rugged, high volume, hard punching light middleweight like Angulo.

It was like watching a harder throwing version of welterweight Antonio Margarito going out and destroying another hapless opponent. However, in this case, Angulo throws far less hooks and uppercuts than Margarito, preferring to mix in straighter shots than Margarito, whom he spars with on occasion. Tsurkan, 31, took an enormous amount of punishment in the bout and by the 7th round, he looked badly beaten, his face swollen around both eyes and red from the accumulation of punishment he had sustained. The fight arguably should have been stopped at this point, or perhaps a round earlier in the 6th, for it was painfully obvious that Tsurkan, although having put in a courageous effort against Angulo, just didn’t have the power to take him out.

At this stage in the fight, Tsurkan was just taking needless punishment and had zero chance of winning unless Angulo somehow self destructed on his own. That wasn’t going to happen, not the way he was throwing nonstop punches. Indeed, Angulo averaged well over 100 punches thrown in virtually every round of the fight and ended up throwing over 1000 punches in the fight. With as much crushing power that Angulo has, it was brutal to watch poor Tsurkan take so much punishment in the fight. Nevertheless, Tsurkan fought incredibly hard, and matched Angulo’s high punch output in some of the rounds, throwing more than 100 punches himself.

All total, Tsurkan ended up throwing over 700 punches in the 10 round fight, a very good number despite getting hit so often. The fight really stopped being competitive after the 2nd round, as Angulo just battered Tsurkan with huge hooks, right hands and jabs from round three until the fight was stopped in the 10th. Tsurkan was examined closely by the ringside doctor after the 8th round and kept a close eye on after the 9th. By this time, it seemed like only a matter of time before the fight was either stopped by the referee or Tsurkan’s corner.

No way, however, was Tsurkan going to quit or allow himself to be knocked out in the traditional fashion. He just seemed like the type of fighter that would have had to have been hit with something monstrous for that to happen, and as hard as Angulo hits, he doesn’t quite have the type of power needed to take Tsurkan completely on Saturday night. As such, the fight was like a case of a thousand cuts, with Angulo essentially torturing Tsurkan slowly bit by bit, hitting him with huge shots over and over again in every round, yet not getting a pay off by Tsurkan going down or quitting.

Tsurkan, 31, fought hard in the first couple of rounds, and showed how easy it was to hit Angulo with shots. The problem was he couldn’t hit him hard enough to stop him from landing his usual avalanche of punches, especially near the end of the rounds when Angulo would unload on him with a flurry of shots. Not sure if that was by design or what, Angulo fighting hard in the last third seconds of every round, but it seemed to me that he was doing things backwards.

If he fought that hard at the start of every round, there was more than a good chance that he would have hurt Tsurkan and might have been able to take him out with the remaining two and half minutes of the round. He didn’t, though, and what might have been an easy fight for him, dragged on and on until the 10th. And though Angulo eventually got the stoppage, he didn’t look nearly as good as another light middleweight on the same card – Sergio Martinez, who looked like a young version of Roy Jones Jr.

Angulo, as hard as he throws and as busy as he is, he would have stood no chance against Martinez on Saturday night and would have received a boxing lesson of the first order. Hopefully for his case, Angulo steers clear of him, because that’s a fighter that Angulo would have major problems with due to Martinez’s superior defensive and offensive boxing ability.

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