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Angulo To Fight Rivera on February 14th, Cintron vs. Martinez

Alfredo Angulo Cosme Rivera Kermit Cintron Sergio MartinezBy Jim Dower: Unbeaten light middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo (14-0, 11 KOs) will be facing his third opponent this Saturday, February 14th, when he takes on welterweight journeyman Cosme Rivera (31-11-2, 22 KOs) at the BankAtlantic Center, in Sunrise, Florida. Angulo, 26, a former 2004 Olympian for the Mexican team, was initially set to meet former welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga, but he bailed out on the fight after apparently suffering an injury.

Next, there was Danny Perez who verbally agreed to step in as a replacement, but he, too, backed out of the fight, leaving Angulo yet again without an opponent for the 14th. Thankfully, Rivera, 32, stepped in to take the fight with Angulo.

As it turns out, Rivera may end up being much tougher than either Mayorga and Perez put together. Rivera fought light middleweight contender Joel Julio extremely tough in a October 2006 bout, losing a 12-round split decision in a life and death battle.

Rivera also fought welterweight Andre Berto in July 2007, knocking Berto down in the 6th round with a big right hand before losing by a 10-round decision. Rivera has excellent power, a decent work rate and a good chin, which should give Angulo some problems for at least awhile before Angulo starts to gradually wear him down with his high punch output.

Angulo is currently ranked #1 in the World Boxing Organization, #6 in the WBA and #8 in the IBF, and could possibly get a shot at champion Sergeii Dzinziruk in the near future. Angulo’s fighting style is similar to Antonio Margarito, whom he spars with regularly, except that Angulo punches with more power and is slightly slower.

His lack of hand speed was something that boxing experts felt would hold him back from winning a title when he first turned pro. However, he’s quickly proved to be a murderous puncher, and with his relentless offense, he’s very hard to beat. However, he’s yet to face a pure boxer like Dzinziruk or a fighter like Paul Williams, who has a work rate even better than his own. Once that happens, we’ll see what Angulo is made of.

As for Rivera, he’ll probably be too small to handle trading shots with the powerful Angulo. I can see him standing up to Angulo’s big shots for awhile, because Rivera seems to fight well when he’s facing a quality fighter, but sooner or later, Angulo’s high work rate will likely wear him down and he’ll be taken out.

In other action on the same card, interim WBC light middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs) will face former IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron (30-2, 27 KOs) in a 12-round bout. Cintron, 29, is moving up to take the bout, yet he continues to have his toe still left inside the welterweight division, where he’s currently ranked #2 in the IBF and poised for a shot at welterweight champion Joshua Clottey.

Cintron lost his IBF title to Antonio Margarito in a 6th round TKO loss in April 2008. Cintron never stood a chance, as he couldn’t keep up with the tremendous work rate of Margarito, even though Cintron was the harder puncher of the two. In Cintron’s most recent fight, he easily defeated Lovemore N’dou by a 12-round unanimous decision in November in a IBF Welterweight Title Eliminator.

Cintron punches incredibly hard for a welterweight, with 27 knockouts in 32 fights. It’s unclear whether he’ll carry his power to the light middleweight division, though. Martinez doesn’t tend to stand and slug with his opponents, so it may not a case where Cintron will be able to land any of his big bombs.

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