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Angulo vs. Mayorga on February 14th

Alfredo Angulo Ricardo MayorgaBy Jim Dower: Unbeaten light middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo (14-0, 11 KOs) will face two-time welterweight and former light middleweight champion Ricardo Mayorga (28-7-1, 2 KOs) on February 14th, a fight that will likely be a war from the opening bell. Angulo, 26, a former 2004 Olympian for the Mexican amateur team, is one of the hottest stars in the boxing world, and has already beaten quality light middleweights like Richard Gutierrez, Andrey Tsurkan and Archak TerMeliksetian, showing a lot of power and a high work rate that reminds many fans of a harder punching version of welterweight Antonio Margarito.

This figures to be a tough matchup for the 35-year-old Mayorga, who is coming off a 12th round stoppage at the hands of Shane Mosley in September. Mayorga was doing well up until the 12th round when he got nailed by a big right hand from Mosley, sending Mayorga down to the canvas with 15 seconds left in the bout.

Mayorga got up, hurt, and was met with a flurry of shots from Mosley, ending with a left hand that sent Mayorga down for the 2nd time in the round. The referee David Mendoza then stepped in and halted the fight with one second left on the clocking, stopping it at 2:59 of the 12th.

Mayorga may cause Angulo some trouble with his unorthodox offense, which includes a lot of punches from odd angles, but it’s doubtful whether Mayorga has enough power to hurt Angulo or slow him down any. Perhaps if this fight had taken place five years ago when Mayorga was the welterweight champion of the world and had a similarly high volume offense, he’d have a good chance at beating Angulo. Not now, though.

At 26, Angulo, ranked #3 in the WBC, #5 in the WBO #8 in the IBF and #9 in the WBA, is two, possibly three fights away from a title challenge against one of the light middleweight champions in the division. A fight against WBC title holder Vernon Forrest or interim champion Sergio Martinez would seem like the most likely option for Angulo in the near future.

Because of Angulo’s straight ahead, high pressure offense, he would stand a better chance against the 37-year-old Forrest rather than the crafty Martinez, who moves constantly, counters well and is hard to pin down for any length of time.

Angulo, though a hard puncher and one that throws a lot of punches in every fight, doesn’t have much hand speed. It’s not that he’s slow, per say, but rather he’s slow in comparison to other top light middleweights like Martinez, but Angulo’s nonstop punching seems to more than make up for his limited hand speed.

In Angulo’s last fight, he stopped the tough Ukrainian Andrey Tsurkan (26-4, 17 KOs) in the 10th round in October. What was originally thought to have been a potentially competitive bout, quickly turned out to be one-sided mismatch as Angulo battered Tsurkan around the ring, hitting him often and not letting up on his heavy pressure on the Ukrainian.

As the fight progressed, it was clear that Tsurkan stood no chance against Angulo and was just absorbing a terrible beating. From the 6th until the 10th, the fight was saw Angulo pounding away on the near-helpless Angulo until finally the bout was stopped at 2:27 of the 10th by referee Tony Krebs.

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