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Angulo Destroys Rivera

Alfredo Angulo Cosme RiveraBy Jim Dower: Undefeated light middleweight Alfredo Angulo (15-0, 12 KOs) was too much for his opponent Cosme Rivera (31-12-2, 22 KOs) on Saturday night, taking him out with a blizzard of power shots in the 5th round at the BankAtlantic Center, in Sunrise, Florida. With Rivera taking big punishment again the ropes late in the 5th, referee Telis Assimenios stepped in and halted the fight at 2:38 of the round.

The early ending was hardly a surprise, though, as not only was Rivera snatched as a last minute replacement having only four days notice to train for the fight, but he was also moving up from the welterweight division to take the fight.

As such, he was way over his head against the young, former 2004 Olympian from Mexico. But in getting taken out, Rivera further exposed Angulo’s lack of hand speed and foot movement, showing him to be more or less the equivalent of slightly larger, slower, more powerful version of Antonio Margarito.

Having more power is certainly a good thing, but Angulo’s lack of speed was troublesome, especially when you picture him fighting quality light middleweights like James Kirkland, Sergeii Dzinziruk or Sergio Martinez.
Rivera, 32, gave Angulo some problems in the opening round, moving to his left and hitting him with some nice right hands.

Angulo showed immediately that he had the much heavier shots, quite a bit harder than the smaller Rivera. In the first minute of the fight, Angulo was cut over his right eye after clashing heads with Rivera.

The cut seemed to energize Angulo, who attacked Rivera hard with combinations. To combat this, Rivera began moving more and doing a good job of negating Angulo’s offense. Sure, Angulo was still landing some big shots, but he was much less effective when facing target. The one advantage that Angulo had, however, was that Rivera wasn’t a very good mover.

In the 2nd round, Rivera took advantage of Angulo’s poor hand speed and plodding footwork to hit him with some strafing shots before Angulo, with his slowed reflexes, could react to the shots. Rivera got back on his bike after landing the big shots and stayed in control of the round until the last minute when Angulo, now looking angered, attacked him viciously with hard shots. Angulo fired on Rivera hard for the last minute, hitting him hard with brutal shots.

Angulo hurt Rivera twice in the 3rd round, tagging him with a big left hand that staggered Rivera and then a little later with a big right that caused Rivera to clinch. Rivera should have clinched after being hurt with the initial shot, because he took a lot of punishment from Angulo against the ropes until finally grabbing him and slowing him down.

If Rivera had seen Margarito’s fight with Shane Mosley, he would have understood how to beat Margarito’s style with the old punch and grab technique. Unfortunately, Rivera didn’t appear to have any effective strategies in how to beat Angulo.

Late in the 4th, Angulo hurt Rivera with a powerful right hand to the head. Up until then, Rivera had been moving and trying to neutralize Angulo’s big power shots. It had worked well except when he would stop and trade shots.

Rivera looked exhausted in the 5th and not in the condition to fight. Angulo was all over him landing one big shot after another. The referee should have stopped it early in the 5th, because Rivera was taking a bad beating, but instead the referee allowed it continue until almost the end of the round before stepping in and stopping it at 2:38 of the 5th.

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