The Mexican warrior is rejuvenated under the tutelage of trainer Abel Sanchez, and gunning for a world title at super middleweight as he returns to the ring Saturday night on FOX.
Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo isn’t ready to discuss retirement, but it doesn’t mean he can’t openly embrace the twilight of his career.
That self-awareness allows Angulo to enter training camp with a clear mind. Having spent over a year working with famed cornerman Abel Sanchez, he continues to learn how to get the most out of his abilities and fight smarter, rather than being an aging boxer trying to rediscover his youth.
“Abel has been the missing puzzle piece in my career,” notes Angulo (24-7, 20 KOs) ahead of his scheduled 10-round super middleweight battle with Evert Bravo (24-9-1, 18 KOs) this Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. “The past couple of years prior to our working together, they weren’t that great.
“In the year-and-a-half I’ve been with Abel, everything has gone so great. We work very well together. I finally feel like everything has fallen into place and I now want to give a great ending to my career.”
Proof of that will come in his bout this weekend, which serves in supporting capacity to the headlining welterweight battle between former two-division champion Danny Garcia and contender Adrian Granados, live on PBC on FOX (8:00p.m. ET/5:00p.m. PT).
Angulo, a 36-year-old slugger from Mexicali who now lives in Coachella, California, has endured his share of bumps in the road over the course of his 14-year career. At his best, he was a handful for anyone in the super welterweight division.
Now, in what he considers the final victory lap, the goal is to wreak havoc on the best the super middleweight division has to offer.
“When I first moved up in weight, it was just because I couldn’t make (the 154-pound limit) any longer,” Angulo confessed. “So, moving up to middleweight and then super middleweight, it was just fighting at a weight I never really gave myself a fair chance to (grow) into.
“For the first time in my career, I truly feel like a super middleweight. I notice it in my movement, in my punches. That comes with the type of discipline a great trainer like Abel Sanchez demands when you enter his gym. He has a strict itinerary, and it’s brought out the old Alfredo Angulo.”
Sanchez, who won the 2015 Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year award, has guided many boxers to world championships over the course of his career. He remains best known for his work with former middleweight king Gennady Golovkin, as well as currently grooming England’s Joe Joyce, the 2016 Olympic Gold medalist and aspiring heavyweight contender.
It’s just a small sampling of what Angulo is surrounded by during any given training session at Sanchez’s famed “The Summit” in Big Bear, California. That atmosphere rekindled Angulo’s champion-like mindset during training camp with Sanchez, even if he didn’t agree with the result of their first fight together, nor was it what he desired.
“ I don’t need a lot of fights, just the right ones... ” Super Middleweight Contender - Alfredo Angulo
Angulo ended a 20-month ring break against Sergio Mora last April. The two were good friends going in, but that didn’t sweeten the bitter taste of the eight-round split decision defeat.
“The judges did a bad job,” Angulo said. “Despite my inactive period, it was a good fight. I was able to show a lot of what I learned in training camp. The outcome disappointed me, but it also motivated me to give even more in training and ahead of my next fight.”
That opportunity comes this weekend, an opportunity he insists is the starting point for the rest of his career. There is no set deadline, not when he’s feeling like the Alfredo Angulo of old and believes there’s still more work to be done—even while realizing he’s up against a ticking clock.
“I know I don’t have another 10 years left,” Angulo acknowledged. “I’m also not looking for a bunch of (tune-up) fights to get ready for a big opportunity. My record and ring experience speaks for itself. I don’t need a lot of fights, just the right ones where Abel and I can put in the work to fight for a super middleweight world title.”
While he remains focused on April 20—against an opponent he admittedly doesn’t know much about—Angulo can’t help but envision showdowns with the likes of recently-crowned super middleweight titlists Andre Dirrell and Caleb Plant. Of course, he knows that opportunities must be earned.
That means finding the win column this weekend and then putting in the work immediately thereafter. The latter is what he looks forward to most these days.
“If we fight like I know we’ve prepared to do, the sooner I can get back into the ring, the better,” Angulo insisted. “Training for a fight means more quality time in the gym. The way I feel right now, I’m ready to do damage in the ring and then come back even better for my next fight.
“That’s the difference in training with Abel Sanchez, he brings that out of you. He got rid of Alfredo Angulo the old man and brought out the old Alfredo Angulo. Every punch I throw on Saturday, every step I take in the ring—forward, backwards, side-to-side—comes with a different purpose than I’ve experienced before.”
Who says you can’t teach an old perro new tricks?
For a closer look at Alfredo Angulo, check out his fighter page.
- Alfredo Angulo