Alfredo ‘El Perro’ Angulo eager to show he still has goods to fight for title

Alfredo Angulo/Photo courtesy of John Aguon/Spike, Premier Boxing Champions

 

Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo of Mexico was very good as a junior middleweight and once held an interim world title in that division. But a lot has happened since then.

Angulo is now fighting as a super middleweight. He has lost three of his past five bouts – the two victories in there were against journeymen – yet he believes he still has a world-title shot in him.

Angulo on Aug. 27 will take on countryman Freddy Hernandez (33-8, 22 KOs) at Honda Center underneath the welterweight bout between Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and David Peralta (on Spike). At a news conference Tuesday, Angulo spoke about the task at hand as well as what the future might hold for him.

“I want to show people that ‘El Perro’ is back and that I still want to compete in the biggest fights,” said Angulo, 33. “If I work hard, I think that I can have an opportunity by next year for a title shot. I have a great team in training and we’re working hard for this challenge. I want to put on a great show for the fans. I want fans to remember my fights and I think this will be the best fight of the night.”

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Mikey Garcia brimming with confidence ahead of first fight in 2 1/2 years

Mikey Garcia speaks at Thursday’s final news conference/Photo by Ed Diller, Dibella Entertainment

 

Some fighters might be a bit worried about having a fight for the first time in 2 1/2 years. Not Mikey Garcia. He’s brimming with as much confidence as ever.

“I have better skills than any fighter put in front of me,” said Garcia, who Saturday will take on Elio Rojas in a junior welterweight bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime). “This will be the beginning of the next stage of my career, the most memorable part of my career.

Garcia, who was speaking at Thursday’s final news conference, has not fought since January 2014, when he defended his super featherweight title with a wide decision over Juan Carlos Burgos at Madison Square Garden.

Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs) then got into a contract hassle with his then-promoter, Bob Arum, and has not fought since. Garcia, who has won titles at featherweight and super featherweight, is now a free agent.

Rojas (24-2, 14 KOs), of the Dominican Republic, is expecting to beat Garcia.

“In this fight, I know I’m being brought in as an opponent,” said Rojas, a former featherweight champion. “But I’m going to let the fans know that I’m not just an opponent.

“I know who Mikey Garcia is. I have all the abilities to win on July 30. I’ve always been a boxer who was never protected. I always prepare to win the fight and this will be no exception.”

Rojas has had a layoff of 23 months.

Garcia-Rojas will fight underneath the featherweight world-title fight between champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Carl Frampton confident he can leave ring with Leo Santa Cruz’s title

Carl Frampton/Photo by Ed Diller, DiBella Entertainment

 

Carl Frampton will have his hands full Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn when he challenges Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KOs) of Lincoln Heights for his featherweight world title (on Showtime). But the former super bantamweight champion from Northern Ireland who is moving  up in weight has no doubt he can emerge with Santa Cruz’s belt.

“Leo is a great fighter,” Frampton said. “He’s world class. Easily the toughest opponent that I’ve faced so far. But I think I’m Leo’s best opponent as well. I think this has all the ingredients to be a top quality fight. I’ve had a hard training camp and I’m ready to leave everything in the ring.
“I’ve got a game plan. I’m not going to blink. We’re hoping that game-plan ‘A’ will work. But if not, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve.”
The way Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) sees it, he has nothing to lose in this one.
“All the pressure is on Santa Cruz,” he said. “Everyone is expecting him to win. I’m going to come in there and upset him. I’m here to put on a great performance and bring the belt back home.”

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Carl Frampton wants to ‘win it back’ for manager Barry McGuigan, who once held title Leo Santa Cruz now holds

Carl Frampton/Photo courtesy of Ed Diller, DiBella Entertainment

 

Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland has accomplished quite a bit in his career. He is 22-0 with 14 knockouts and has won a world title in the super bantamweight division.

Frampton on Saturday will try to add another belt to his collection when he challenges Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights for his featherweight world title at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime).

 

Winning a title in a second weight class provides Frampton with plenty of incentive. But there is another driving force. It has to do with Frampton’s manager, former featherweight champion Barry McGuigan of Ireland.

“Obviously, I have enough motivation on my own, but it would be nice to bring back the title that Barry once owned,” Frampton said. “It feels a bit like destiny for me. It’s my turn to win it back for him. I’m doing this for my whole team. I’m doing this for my family and I’m doing this for my entire country.”

McGuigan once held the WBA featherweight title, the same one Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KOs) currently holds.

 

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Leo Santa Cruz seems to have nothing but respect for Carl Frampton

Leo Santa Cruz/Photo by Amanda Westcott, Showtime

 

Leo Santa Cruz didn’t get to where he is today by taking victories for granted. Therefore, even though Carl Frampton is moving up in weight to challenge Santa Cruz for his featherweight world title Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime), Santa Cruz will stick to his credo of regarding every opponent as an equal.

“People think Frampton is the underdog because he’s moving up in weight,” Santa Cruz said Wednesday at a workout in New York City. “But I (previously) moved up in weight, too. I never take an opponent lightly. I’m going to come really hungry. I respect every fighter and I train for my opponent to be at his best.”

Santa Cruz intimated Frampton – a former super bantamweight champion from Northern Ireland – is as real as a fighter gets.

“I have a lot of respect for Frampton,” said Santa Cruz, of the Lincoln Heights section of Los Angeles. “He has everything you need to be a great fighter. Excellent footwork, great power and good punches. Once he’s in the ring with me, I’m fighting for my future.”

Santa Cruz is 32-0-1 with 18 knockouts. He has won titles in the bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight divisions.

Frampton is 22-0 with 14 knockouts.

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Leo Santa Cruz stoked that his ailing father made trip to New York City

Leo Santa Cruz, left, and Carl Frampton pose here on the observation deck of the Empire State building in Manhattan. They will fight Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn/Photo courtesy of Amanda Westcott, Showtime

 

Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights was in a good mood Tuesday. One reason was because he and Carl Frampton were able to spend some time on the observation deck of the Empire State building in Manhattan. The biggest reason was because Santa Cruz’s ailing father – Jose Santa Cruz – will be in his corner Saturday when Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KOs) defends his featherweight belt against Northern Ireland’s Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime).

The elder Santa Cruz helps train his son along with his other son, lead trainer Antonio Santa Cruz. Jose Santa Cruz has been battling spinal cancer and although he has been improving, there was still a question as to whether he was going to be able to make the cross-country trip to New York City.

“I am so happy my father is here with us,” Leo Santa Cruz said. “We thought he might not be able to make it, but thank God he is here with us. Not having my dad here in New York with me would have been hard. It actually brought tears to my eyes.
“But I am very happy that he is here and will be in my corner for my fight.”

 

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Oscar De La Hoya high on Ukranian light heavyweight Vyacheslav Shabranskyy

Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, right, will headline the Aug. 19 main event at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Vyacheslav Shabranskyy of Ukraine is trying to follow in the footsteps of other boxers from his country by winning a world title. He could be on his way, what with a record of 16-0 and 13 knockouts as a light heavyweight. He’s ranked as high as No. 5 in the world by one organization.

Shabranskyy goes by the moniker “Lion Heart.” His promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, believes it fits.

“… He is a fearless warrior whose inner strength matches his physical strength and skill,” said De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Slava, as we call him, is a future star of the sport headed toward a world championship, and I’ve been pleased with his continued ascent as he rises to the challenge every time he steps in that ring.”

Shabranskyy on Aug. 19 will continue his journey when he takes on Oscar Riojas (10-5-1, 3 KOs) of Mexico in a stay-busy fight at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles (on Estrella TV).

 

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Tom Loeffler scoffs at notion Golovkin-Brook comparable to Canelo-Khan

Unbeaten welterweight champion Kell Brook will go up in weight to fight undefeated middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on Sept. 10 in London. (Chris Carlson/The Associated Press)

Kell Brook of England will move up two weight classes to challenge Gennady Golovkin for his middleweight belts Sept. 10 in London/AP photo by Chris Carlson

 

Canelo Alvarez took a lot of heat when, as middleweight champion, he took on welterweight Amir Khan and knocked him out in the sixth round this past May. It’s only fair then that Gennady Golovkin absorb similar criticism, or so it would seem.

Tom Loeffler disagrees. Loeffler, who promotes Golovkin under the K2 Promotions banner, insists that Golovkin defending his title against welterweight champion Kell Brook on Sept. 10 in Brook’s native England (on HBO), is not the same.

“I think the fans realize it’s a completely different situation,” Loeffler told this newspaper this week. “That’s why tickets sold out as quickly as they did. I mean, literally, 11 minutes.”

Golovkin-Brook will be contested at O2 Arena in London. It seats 20,000.

Loeffler reminded a reporter that K2 Promotions tried to get a middleweight for Golovkin. Alvarez, rather than fight Golovkin this fall, gave up his middleweight belt and has moved back down to junior middleweight.

“Every middleweight that we tried to get in the ring with Gennady (turned down the fight), starting with Canelo and going to Billy Jo Saunders to try to unify the title, and then Eubank,” Loeffler said.

Loeffler thought he had a deal for Golovkin to defend against No. 2-ranked middleweight Chris Eubank Jr., but Eubank balked.

“Eubank was a long, drawn-out process,” Loeffler said. “So I think there’s a big difference there and the fans realize that. Look, if any one of those three we had been talking to had signed the contract, Gennady would be fighting a middleweight. But fighting an undefeated welterweight who is arguably the best in his division with a bigger heart than many of the middleweight champions, I think it’s a big statement.

“And the British fans realize how difficult it’s been for Kell Brook to get a big name as well. So it actually solves the problems of both fighters. It’s a good fight.”

Moreover, Khan was a small welterweight. Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) is a big welterweight. A source told this newspaper that when the muscle-bound Brook was on hand for a news conference July 14 in New York City, he was walking around at 178 pounds.

Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) never weighs that much between fights.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Carl Frampton knows he’s fortunate to have the McGuigans in his corner

Carl Frampton/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com

 

When Carl Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) of Northern Ireland challenges Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KOs) for his featherweight world title Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime), he’ll bring with him a team that includes former featherweight champion Barry McGuigan of Ireland and his son, Shane.

To Frampton, this is an undeniably strong team, with the elder McGuigan as his manager and his son as Frampton’s trainer.

“Well, he brings a lot,” said Frampton, when asked what Barry McGuigan brings to the team. “He brings a lot of wisdom. Obviously, he’s been there and he’s done it. Barry’s my manager now and I think we have a great team. It’s his son, Shane McGuigan, who actually trains me. Shane is the one I listen to and comes up with a plan and the tactics.

“But everyone has a bit of an input. And, obviously, it would be silly for us not to take the advice of Barry considering he’s been there and he’s done it. So it’s great that we got people like this on our team who have taken punches in the head, who know what it’s like at the very top level of the sport. Of course, you’re just going to soak it all in.”

In other words, when the McGuigans speak, Frampton takes heed.

“And when someone like that gives you advice,” Frampton said, “you listen.”

 

 

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail

Elio Rojas will be eager to show he still has ‘elite’ ability when he fights Mikey Garcia underneath Santa Cruz-Frampton

Elio Rojas/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com

 

Elio Rojas of the Dominican Republic is a former featherweight world champion. But he doesn’t believe he was ever afforded the proper appreciation for that, so that’s one reason why he decided to accept a fight with former two-division world champion Mikey Garcia.

The two will tangle Saturday underneath the featherweight title fight between champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime).

“I’m taking this fight because I mean to show the world I’m an elite fighter, and the only way to show it is to beat the elite fighter, which is Garcia,” Rojas said. “That’s why I need to show the world that I’m able to be on top with the big names. I deserve this opportunity because the public never gave me the respect that I deserved.”
Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs), of Oxnard, is a former featherweight and super featherweight champion. He has not fought for 2 1/2 years because of a contract dispute with his now-former promoter, Bob Arum.
Rojas (24-2, 14 KOs) has had a long layoff, as well. He lost his title to Jhonny Gonzalez via decision in April 2012, took more than two years off, came back and won an eight-round decision over journeyman Robert Osiobe of Nigeria in August 2014 and has not fought since.
Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email Snailmail