The Incredibly Convoluted Tale of Alfredo Angulo and His Lost Year: Part Two
By Gabriel Montoya, from (June 18, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
Alfredo Angulo - Photo © German Villasenor, Doghouse Boxing
In Part One, we learned: (See Link to part one at the bottom of page.)

On August 11, 2011, junior middleweight Alfredo “Perro” Angulo will be 29 years old and will have been out of the ring for a little over a year, expelled to his own country due to a visa that expired for one of two reasons. Angulo’s new legal team of Mike Miller and Kelly O’Neill claim the visa was not renewed because someone dropped the ball, forgetting to renew it before it expired. Had Angulo’s legal team, in its estimation, gone through the proper processes, they feel he would still be fighting on HBO in the kinds of fights that fellow Mexican junior middleweight and middleweight fighters like Saul Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are enjoying right now.

  “Had it been done right, had he gone back and re-filed his paperwork to renew his visa, because he didn’t have a black mark on him, because nothing had happened during the three years that he had been here, it just would’ve been proper protocol to renew his visa like everybody else gets renewed,” claims Miller. “But you’ve got to go back and touch home plate. My understanding is you’ve got to go back and renew your application. They run you through the system and make sure you are on the up and up, make sure you are paying your taxes, haven’t been arrested, haven’t done anything stupid. If it all checks out, they renew your visa.”

  To be fair to Angulo, in Part One, I wrote that because of the fact that he fought twice on HBO with an expired visa, he was either playing the ignorant foreigner or was incredibly calculating to hide in plain televised sight twice. However, there is a third possibility: he simply did not know the visa had expired. Should Angulo have been on top of it? In my opinion, yes, but it is fair to say that it was the responsibility of his former legal team to handle this issue. Miller feels that at the least, Gary Shaw, as the visa petitioner, should bear some responsibility as well.

  “He had a P-1 Visa that Gary was the petitioner on. Gary’s name is on the visa and frankly, Gary is responsible for [Angulo’s] actions while he is the U.S. and had to make sure that he renews his visa before it expires and that didn’t happen,” Miller told me.

  “I didn’t cause it,” Shaw told me on the radio show. “I had him going into superstardom on HBO. I started him on Showtime and moved him to HBO. Why are you on my case? I didn’t do whatever is costing him.”  

Shaw’s lawyer, Leon Margules disagrees with Miller on the basis that Angulo should not have even had the 2007 visa in the first place, due to a past infraction.  

“They wouldn’t extend it because, May 18, 2006, he was deported and was ordered to stay out of the United States for at least ten years for being convicted of smuggling these immigrants,” Margules explained to me. “The visa that Gary got issued was by accident because when they issued the visa, they didn’t somehow come across this US Department of Justice order deporting him. In other words, Gary shouldn’t have gotten the visa that was granted. It should have never been granted. In other words, it was granted by mistake.”       

Shaw recently alluded to this issue on a recent episode of  

“Nobody knew he was illegal, not even myself,” Shaw said. “It goes beyond [the fact that] he was illegal. That is all I am going to say. I am telling you guys to drop it. I’m not going to discuss it other than it goes beyond being illegal. He didn’t just cross the border and sneak in.”  

Miller counters that if the infraction was so egregious, in the post-9/11 world, Angulo would not have been given a visa under any circumstances.  

“He hadn’t been arrested in the last four years for anything, so if [the State and Immigration Department] had done their homework and found out he was bad guy and smuggling illegal aliens and all that kind of stuff, after 9/11, I don’t think they would have issued him a visa to come to the US. I just don’t. I can’t read minds but you and I can come to the same conclusion, I bet. If he was a bad guy and had this huge mark on him, you know…he eventually got in.”  

Margules explained to me that when Shaw and Angulo found out the visa had expired, Shaw hired immigration attorney Frank Ronzio to handle the case. According to Margules, Ronzio cited the 2006 infraction as reason for not taking on the case.  

“I am not an immigration expert. What I am telling you is what Ronzio told me, explained Margules. “Gary called Ronzio and said, ‘Is there anything we can do to get this kid back in? Whatever the fee is, I want to take care of it.’ And Ronzio said, ‘Gary, I don’t want to take your money. There is nothing I can do. The kid was deported for ten years.’  

Ronzio declined to be interviewed for this story.  

Angulo’s current immigration attorney Kelly O’Neill told me had the 2006 infraction been the roadblock to Angulo’s current visa problems, he would not have taken the case.  

This brings us to the present.  

Whatever the case and its obstacles, what matters now is what is being done to rectify the situation.  

“My new visa has been approved,” Angulo told me by phone recently from a location near the Mexican border. “We are just waiting for the right people to check my papers and give the approval for the visa to be handed over to me. My lawyer is the one taking care of all that. I am just waiting for them to contact me to pick up my visa. The ‘O’ visa is already approved. That is what I'm waiting for.”  

“Visa problems don’t get fixed overnight,” explained Miller, “so we are in the process of setting up interviews. We had to submit an entire new set of documents and we are in the process of setting up interviews at the American consulate’s office in Tijuana for Angulo. But you don’t just show up. You can only go when you have an appointment, so scheduling an appointment is key and we’ve done that. [Angulo] has given his preliminary statement to the consulate and now we are waiting for his waiver to be granted by the State Department. So it can come tomorrow; it can come two months from now or two years from now. They never give you a guarantee if it’s ever going to come. In other words, it may be bad news and he’s disallowed and you kind of have to go back to the end of the line. It’s not over; you just have to go and reapply. Or it comes as early tomorrow and they say, ‘Welcome back.’”  

O’Reilly explained that the visa Angulo has been approved for is an O-1 Visa, which is reserved for “extraordinary athletes.” According to the U.S. Immigration Services website, “The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.”  

To qualify for an O-1 Visa, “the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.”  

Angulo, being a 2004 Mexican team Olympian and top-ranked professional boxer, fits that bill.  

Now comes the waiting game, which O’Neill feels confident will end later this year.  

Though the reason may be up for debate, the fact that Angulo cannot fight in the US is clear. Why he hasn’t fought anywhere else in the world, particularly in Mexico where he would surely sell a lot of tickets, is not. Shaw and Margules cite several reasons for this.  

For one, they had already made an offer to Angulo to fight Sergio Martinez on HBO for $750,000, a fight that eventually went to Paul Williams. According to Shaw and Margules, Angulo rejected it. In their opinion, that deal, which also included a guaranteed return fight to HBO- win or lose- was as good an opportunity as Angulo was likely to get.  

“When I offered him the money, he would still keep his ranking in 154 [pounds] in [the] WBC [and get an] HBO guaranteed comeback fight, win or lose,” said Shaw. “Why would you stop talking to me? What did I do wrong? I just want to know what I did wrong.”  

Two, Angulo’s immigration status, as interpreted by Shaw and Margules, prevents Angulo from fighting on HBO.  

“HBO is not going [to Mexico],” Shaw said. “Showtime is not going to Mexico. Showtime pulled out of the [Yonnhy] Perez-[Vic] Darchinyan fight and we had a great deal in Mexico. Showtime was going to go but because of all the violence, they will not go under the circumstances. They said, ‘We are not going to Mexico.’ And that happened at the last minute and that is why we ended up in the Nokia Center.”  

Miller disagrees with that assessment.  

“For the right fight, [HBO] will go,” said Miller.  

They might go for one fight but for more than one fighter? Unlikely, says Shaw.  

“HBO, even if they did one fight, so you promote him in Mexico. You’re not doing every one of his fights in Mexico. That’s not happening,” Shaw contends. “Even if I promote him in a fight in Mexico, so what? How is he going to make the big money? Even if HBO let him do one fight there, they are not going to Mexico for every Angulo fight.”  

When I asked an HBO spokesperson whether or not that network would televise Angulo in a Mexico-based broadcast, they responded, “We don’t comment on speculation. If his promoter brings us a fight that is within the proper framework, we negotiate.”   

The spokesperson also reiterated that Angulo was not banned from HBO as previously reported. They went on to tell me that the recent troubles in Mexico have not and will not prevent HBO from broadcasting from that country and have in fact done shows in Tijuana and Cancun twice among others. This Saturday, HBO will broadcast the WBC junior middleweight title fight between defending titleholder Saul Alvarez and Ryan Rhodes, live and on site from the Arena VFG in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, Jalisco, Mexico.  

Another issue is the matter of Shaw, Angulo’s promoter of record, not getting him any legitimate fight offers beyond the Martinez fight, which was offered last year. Beyond that fight, according to Miller, while fights have been hinted at by Shaw, no concrete offers have been made. Among those hinted at was a fight in Australia, which was given the go-ahead by Miller. That fight never materialized.   

“Since the Martinez fight fell through, Gary has not made one offer. Not one,” said Miller. “In November, I got a call [from Shaw], ‘Hey Miller, what if I got him a fight in Australia? Would that affect his visa?’ Of course not. That was Gary personally. Then in January, Gary’s lawyer, Leon Margules called and said, ‘We’ve got a fight offer. It’s very interesting. It’ll be coming very soon.’ Well, that never came. Then about three or four weeks ago, Leon called me again. ‘An offer is imminent. It will be forthcoming.’ I still haven’t seen it, so it is very frustrating. There are companies that would love to have him that are outside the country.”  

Margules says yet another reason why Angulo has not fought might be that communication with him took some time to be reestablished. Angulo and Shaw had ceased speaking since the Martinez fight fell apart. Between Angulo changing management and the time frame of events, according to Margules, Angulo’s inactivity should not be a surprise.  

“We sent a letter to him in, I believe, September, that said, ‘We represent Gary Shaw. The contract is hereby extended,’” explained Margules. “[We told him about] the letter from HBO. [Angulo] was in litigation with his [then] manager Mike Criscio, so he wasn’t talking to him. So we wrote a letter basically saying, ‘Until you clean up your immigration status, the contract is on hold because we can’t get you on HBO.’ You know, he was making big money and then, we don’t hear from anyone for three months.”  

When Miller took over representation for Angulo after the split with Criscio (who could not reached for comment on this story), Margules received a letter informing him of the change.  

“Then in maybe December of last year, I get a letter that Miller is representing him,” explained Margules. “And the first letter Miller sends me is that he is getting [Angulo] back in the country and it could be any day or any week and please start looking for a fight for him on HBO. We explained to him that as soon as you get him in the country [then negotiations can begin]. I can’t talk to HBO until you get him a social security number and get him back in the country because HBO was not willing to talk about it. And then in March or February, I get another letter from Miller saying, ‘Well, it’s not looking so inevitable. It may take several months. Maybe we should start looking for a fight out of the United States.’ Well, it’s only June for Christ’s sake. He was supposed to fight in September. So this is a bunch of happy horsesh*t, this stuff.”  

Miller informed me that there was a recent offer from K2 Promotions for Angulo to fight on the undercard of the July 2 Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye card in Germany. Miller claimed that he informed Margules of the offer via text in early May. Margules conceded he was informed earlier of the fight but was unsure if it was as far back as Miller claimed. Margules showed me a series of emails, dated May 27 and beginning at 11:22 in the morning, detailing the final conversation regarding that fight offer.  

From Miller’s side, the issue was that Shaw needed to give an OK for the fight to go ahead but that “time was of the essence.” The emails began at 11:22 in the morning and by the time they had finished at 5:12 that evening, the fight had been OK’d but deemed, at six weeks from the fight, to be insufficient time to get ready for the bout. The final email intimated that Angulo felt Shaw had stonewalled him until the fight became an impossibility. Six weeks to train and travel to Germany is simply not an ideal time frame for a fighter off as long as Angulo has been.  

The emails also expressed Angulo’s unwillingness to be further promoted by Shaw. Angulo said as much to me in our conversation.  

“I believe I would be very happy to return to the United States and fight in front of the people who have always supported me in the United States,” said Angulo. “I think that if I go back, I would like to return as a free agent and not [in] handcuffs with a promoter.” Angulo’s frustration comes from the fact that despite turning down one fight, he has not been offered anything that could be construed as a real fight since. In fact, the only fight involving Angulo, has been Shaw stating in the press he would litigate if someone tried to sign away his fighter.  

As recent as January and as early as August 2010, rumors have circulated that Golden Boy Promotions might be circling their wagons around Angulo. In a story written by’s Michael Marley in August 2010, Shaw was asked about the rumor and he responded, “I hope ‘Perro’ comes back; I have a contract with ‘Perro’ and hope GBP respects that, as everyone knows I will sue.”  

The lack of fights has Angulo questioning his own promotional status as well as Shaw’s inability to make a fight for him. “Well, [Shaw] has made sure to tell most promoters that he is my promoter and that, if they put me in one of their cards, he will sue them,” said Angulo when I asked what his promotional status is at this point. “But I think that, if he considers himself to be my promoter, I haven't fought in a year. I do not understand; if he says he is my promoter, why he hasn't gotten me a fight in a year? I can fight anywhere in the world, Mexico, or in Europe, or any other continent. The only place where, for the moment, I cannot fight is in the United States. He has been in contact with my lawyers, saying that he is looking for a fight but he has been looking for a fight for a year and I do not believe that in a year, he cannot get a fight.”

This naturally brings us to Angulo’s actual promotional status. From what I understand, nowhere in Angulo’s contract does it say he has to fight on HBO (or Showtime, for that matter). Being a promoter requires getting your fighter fights. While the fights available to Angulo right now might be not HBO paycheck-level, the man simply wants to ply his trade somewhere, anywhere.  

Moving past the HBO point of contention, why hasn’t Shaw, as Angulo’s promoter, at least gotten him a stay-busy fight in Mexico where Angulo would surely sell some tickets?  

“That’s plan B,” said Margules.  

According to Shaw, he is in negotiations right now for a fight for Angulo. When, where and against whom was not mentioned. Shaw implied it would be an off-network affair, however.  

“I don’t know if you are going to see him but he will be back in the ring,” Shaw said.  

This past week, I was told that the local government and possibly the Mexican National Boxing Commission would be assisting Angulo in securing a fight in Mexicali soon, tentatively scheduled for late August. Several news sources reported the possibility of a fight for Angulo; confirmed it with Angulo himself that he will be fighting at the Nido Sport Center in Mexicali against the dreaded TBA. There was no mention of Shaw being involved.  

As it stands right now, Gary Shaw is still Alfredo Angulo’s promoter. However, a source close to the situation, who asked to remain anonymous, informs me that may not be true. So where are the fights?  

A source close to the situation, who asked to remain anonymous, informed me that while Shaw has extended his contract with Angulo via the aforementioned letter, that extension may not be valid for a few reasons. Among them, that extension was dependent on Angulo becoming a world champion. To date, Angulo has only won an interim WBO junior middleweight belt. There may be a loophole there. This source also pointed out that the contract between Shaw and Angulo is subject to New York State Athletic Commission rules, one of which states that promoter/fighter contract cannot exceed three years. Also, an extension cannot just automatically be renewed or extended. This source contends that Angulo’s contract was over some time ago due to those violations and possibly others, including a lack of fights in a specific timeframe that were agreed upon in the contract.  

While Shaw is Angulo’s current promoter, he is also a man deeply hurt by the rift between fighter he considered “like a son” and himself.  

“We used to kid that I would marry his mother so he would be my real son,” Shaw told me. “I am hurt on two levels. I lost the biggest fighter I made. On a level of intimacy, I am devastated. I thought I’d be walking this kid into Canastota. I wouldn’t care if he left me but why never speak to me?”  

In the eye of this 11-month storm is an inactive fighter who was reaching the peak of his abilities when we last saw him. Since that time, fans, boxing writers, and industry insiders have wondered, “Where’s ‘Perro’ and what is he doing?”  

“[I’ve been] in Mexicali, here where I was born, where my mom still lives,” answered Angulo. “Sincerely, it has been very frustrating to me because I haven't been able to do what I want, what I like to do, which is fight. I have been able to continue training but it is not the same to train [and] having a date to fight than to be just training. Not being able to see the people, the fans that like the way in which ‘Perro’ fights. One of the things that has frustrated me the most up to now is that anywhere I go during the day, every day since all this started, everybody asks me, ‘Hey, when are you gonna fight? When are you gonna fight again? When are you gonna fight ‘Canelo’? When are you gonna fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.? And when are you gonna fight [Sergio] Martinez?’…Not being able to have a concrete answer to all those questions is something very frustrating, not being able to answer to them, or that they may think I'm ignoring them. I don't like that because I don't…I don't ignore them. On the contrary, I'm very, very proud of the fact that they like the way I fight. That is what keeps me standing; that even though people have not seen me fight in a year, they still keep asking, ‘When will ‘Perro’ fight? Where will ‘Perro’ fight?’ and they want to see ‘Perro.’ I believe that is something very beautiful. I don't have the means to repay people their appreciation and the love they have for me because even though they don't know me as a person, they love me. Words fail me to express my gratitude to them.”  

While he has been away from fight fans’ sight in the ring, Angulo has certainly not stayed out of the gym. However, he has not been able to continue the work he was doing with conditioning guru Darryl Hudson, who was physically taking Angulo to the next level before his long layoff.  

“As I think you and most people know, I'm a gym rat,” Angulo told me. “I like to be training. Right now, I have continued training. I was named godfather of a new gym that was opened for kids here in Mexicali. I normally go three or four times a week to see the kids train and try to help them in any way I can, with advice or helping them a bit with their technique.”  

Beyond the business of boxing or simply missing fighting, Angulo has lost something he can never get back: precious time with his five-year-old daughter who was born in the U.S. and who continues to live there with her mother. “[I've been] enjoying my family, seeing my daughter during the weekends because she lives in Los Angeles,” said Angulo, whose voice audibly displayed his emotions. “That is another of the things that bother me right now because I cannot go to pick her up at school like I'm used to. And enjoying my mom, my siblings, and the people I love, for it had been a long time since I spent so much time with them. Right now, I have been trying to take advantage of time that way.  

“She is a U.S. citizen. They brought her for me to see her this weekend,” continued Angulo. “They bring her every week or every 15 days. It depends; if her mom has time to bring her, she brings her to the border and I pick her up there. Right now, she is here. She just didn't want to come with me to speak on the phone. She wanted to stay playing with her cousins.” Because his visa was allowed to expire, Angulo has also lost his place in line to become a naturalized citizen.    

“After you renew several times, you can receive full residency. You can apply for a resident alien card that allows you to stay here and eventually, if you want to be a citizen, that would be the third step,” explained Miller. “So he was looking forward to a resident alien card where he didn’t have to worry about a visa. He’s got a daughter here. So he wants to live in the US. He’s got family. He wants to be in the US. Now he is back in line. He has to go to the end of the line now. Once you put it off, his ability to get a resident card and even further to get a citizenship status has been prolonged for years.”  

As for when he will again be able to fight in the U.S. again, Angulo is unsure. “Well, I honestly don't know that,” Angulo told me. “That depends on the immigration people. I trust and have complete hope that it would be very soon. About returning to the ring, I hope it to be very soon. If I have to do the promotion myself to fight in Mexico or in any place, I don't care. I will do so because being inactive for a year is too much time and the life of a fighter is very short. So I have to continue with my career with or without Gary Shaw's support.”    

For now, Perro will begin preparations for his tentative fight in August. Beyond that, he will continue to wait and hope for a happy ending to the long and complex tale that brought him to call me from the Mexican border.  

Before we parted ways, I asked Angulo if there was anything that I had not asked about that he wished discussed. In closing, he relayed an important message to the media. “No, just that…Oh, sorry, yes, look…Scott Hale [of] interviewed me because everybody has heard only Gary Shaw's story,” said Angulo. “Not one journalist bothered to ask me directly. Many told only Gary's story. Scott Hale did an interview with me and disseminated it to all media outlets in the United States. It was not published. None of the media disseminated it. He sent it to the media here in Mexico and here in Mexico, it was published in all the newspapers. That surprised me a lot that nobody published that interview. Nobody had the decency or the desire to publish that interview despite the fact that Scott Hale had sent it to them.”    

With that and a few parting pleasantries between us, Angulo and I said our goodbyes. He returned home to enjoy his daughter for the little time he had left with her that weekend and I went off to continue researching this story.  


On Thursday morning, when Part One of this story was published, I was contacted by Lou DiBella, who informed that he believed Gary Shaw’s side of the Cintron travel story detailed in Part One. He told me he had a list of fighters to arrive via plane in Florida and he said that Angulo was on that list. He reiterated Shaw’s and Margules’ claim that Angulo was scared to fly because he was afraid of being caught because of his visa issue.  

I reminded him that the Cintron fight was in 2009 when his visa was still very much valid. I also noted that Angulo, as told to me by Gary Shaw, flew to Shaw’s father’s funeral which was held in New Jersey on March 9, 2010. At that time, Angulo’s visa was still valid, begging the question: Why would a man with a visa be afraid of flying to a title eliminator fight on HBO in Florida but not care about being caught flying to the New Jersey for the funeral of his promoter’s father?    

In the end, there are many sides to this story. The full details of it all may someday come fully to light. The truth, like Angulo, can only wait and hope.

For Part 1, click this link: The Incredibly Convoluted Tale of Alfredo Angulo and His Lost Year: Part One Gabriel Montoya

You can email Gabriel at, follow him on Twitter at and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim or tune into hear him live on Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST when he co-hosts the BlogTalk radio show Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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