Sharkie's Machine: Alfredo Angulo TKO’s Cosme Rivera in Five
By Frank Gonzalez Jr., exclusive to Doghouse Boxing (Feb 16, 2009) Photo © Ed Mulholland /HBO  
Last Saturday in Sunrise Florida, Jr. Middleweight prospect Alfredo “El Perro (The Dog)” Angulo (15-0, 12 KO’s) entered the ring at the Bank Atlantic Center wearing his trademark black neck collar, as his trainer walked him into the ring. Angulo was mindful not to pee on the ring posts as his opponent, veteran stepping stone Cosme Rivera (31-12-2, 23 KO’s) entered the ring for a scheduled ten rounder.

Rivera was there as a late replacement for Ricardo Mayorga, who pulled out of this fight for obvious reasons. Angulo don't do much barking but he has a hell of a bite. After being KO’d with one tick left against Shane Mosley in 2008, perhaps Mayorga ain’t too keen on his new role as a stepping stone. Though Rivera came in on very short notice, he gave a good account of himself—for the first round at least.

Rivera proved to be in good shape, winning the first round by out-boxing Angulo and opening a cut over his right eye with his jab. That cut appeared to be aggravated by an unintentional head butt. It was a pretty ugly cut and in no time, it was bleeding profusely but Angulo never lost his cool. Angulo’s corner did a serviceable job managing the cut, allowing Angulo to focus on Rivera instead of his bleeding eye.

It was the first time I’d seen Angulo bloodied. Rivera was unusually sharp and bouncing on his feet. After that first round, Angulo turned into a human wrecking machine, blasting Rivera with jabs, rights, left hooks and uppercuts that continued from rounds two through five. And though Rivera was game, landing some good shots in spots, he ended up taking a beating.

Late in the fifth round, Rivera was winded, battered and taking unnecessary punishment. Anyone with sense could see that the fight should’ve been stopped before Cosme got seriously hurt. Since the referee wasn’t up to the task, one of the commissioners stepped into the ring at instructed the ref to stop it.

Angulo retains his status as one of the most dangerous young fighters in boxing today.

Out of all the top prospects at 154 pounds, Angulo appears the most promising of the lot. In a perfect world, there’d be a tourney between involving guys like Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Sechew Powell, John Duddy, Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. and Joaquim Alcine and the rest of the mostly untested, highly touted prospects.

I think Angulo beats the lot of them. For a guy with only 15 pro fights he shows great maturity and a quiet, confident poise. He has good power, knows how to throw straight punches and has shown a good beard so far. Contrast that to say, James Kirkland, who has been floored a carefully a selected opponent due to poor defense and undisciplined style. Yeah, Kirkland’s exciting to watch and we’re going to find out just how exciting he really is when he finally faces a reputable opponent next month in Joel Julio (34-2, 31 KO’s), whose a pretty good boxer. Referees often find ways to grant Kirkland TKO wins but I doubt Julio falls prey Kirkland ’s wild brawling tactics. Aggression without discipline is not a good combination. Julio will be Kirkland ’s first fight against legit competition. I can hardly wait to see how that one unfolds. Kirkland ‘looks the part’ but seems too defensively challenged to handle a quality fighter, which to this point, Kirkland has no experience doing.

Perennial prospect, Sechew Powell (25-2, 15 KO’s) is pretty good but a bit wild and careless in spots. I’d like to see him fight Canadian, Joaquim Alcine (30-1, 19 KO’s). And how about Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. (38-0-1, 29 KO’s), after 39 fights, has yet to face anyone of significance. Chavez should fight John Duddy (25-0, 17 KO’s). Let these prospects fight each other until they sort themselves out and spare us all these TBA opponents that come to lose. I want to see James Kirkland in a real fight, not a real easy fight. Maybe if these guys weren’t managed so cautiously, they’d get better a lot faster. Building records on soft opponents only lends a false sense of ability that often finds them “exposed” as soon as they fight someone with moderate talent.

If Alfredo Angulo is as good as I think he might be; he can win a title within a year. Hopefully, he’ll get a chance to fight the guy nobody seems to want to fight, tall Paul Williams. That fight might be more exciting that a rematch between Williams and Margarito. I like Williams in that one.

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