Never mind that he has lost two of his past four fights. Mexico’s Alfredo Angulo has the promotional clout to land the first pay-per-view headliner of his career.
Angulo’s relentless, brawling style was sufficient for Golden Boy Promotions to match him with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on March 8 in Las Vegas. The super-welterweight bout will be Alvarez’s first since his majority decision loss against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last September.
Golden Boy eagerly wants to maintain Alvarez — its most appealing fighter — on the pay-per-view landscape. Alvarez is hugely popular in his native Mexico and western United States, and Golden Boy looks at the 23-year-old redhead as a possible torchbearer for the sport once Mayweather retires.
As the promotional power pairs Alvarez with compatriot Angulo, the company also will provide Alvarez an opponent that will expectedly trade shots at a constant pace — a contrast to someone blessed with exceptional boxing skills like Mayweather.
“These are two all-action fighters coming forward,” said Richard Schaeffer, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive officer. “They love to trade and slug it out in the middle of the ring.”
Schaeffer’s endorsement also could have been seen as a slight at Erislandy Lara. The native of Cuba has become one of the top fighters in the 154-pound weight class. Lara further enhanced his stock with a TKO win over Angulo last June and a dominant decision victory against Austin Trout last month.
But Lara boxes for results and is not known for the all-out warfare common of Angulo. Although Angulo, who has not fought since the loss to Lara, scored two knockdowns in their bout, Lara outpointed him in the majority of rounds.
For Lara, who also is promotionally linked to Golden Boy, the victories over Angulo and Trout were not sufficient to earn him the coveted date with Alvarez. Whether fighting style, the nationalistic angle or ideal opponent to match Alvarez after the Mayweather bout, Angulo managed to draw the enviable pay-per-view prize.
Shortly after the Lara-Angulo fight, Schaeffer glowed about Angulo’s prospects of remaining relevant in top bouts while undervaluing Lara’s performance. Schaeffer listed Angulo among a group of fighters that also included Alvarez, Danny Garcia and Marcos Maidana, whose styles attract fans and TV networks.
Interestingly, Schaeffer did not mention Mayweather, the sport’s most-popular fighter and top pay-per-view performer. Mayweather’s style will never be confused with Angulo’s. In fact when comparing fighters, Mayweather fits more with Lara’s approach.
If he follows his successful performances of 2013 with another strong year and still not land the premium bout, Lara perhaps will need to seek promotional guidance elsewhere. Lara might have no other choice, especially if opponents he has defeated continue overtaking him to the pay-per-view holy grail.
Pacquiao, Rubio meet
Before he begins training camp for his rematch against Timothy Bradley on April 12, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao has focused on his responsibilities as congressman in the Philippines government. Pacquiao’s activities include meetings with foreign politicians, such as a visit last week from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Rubio, who visited the Philippines as part of a three-nation Asian tour, met with Pacquiao and the two discussed various issues both advocate in their respective countries.
“Manny is not only a world champion boxer but a dedicated public servant,” Rubio said in a statement. “He loves his country and is so passionate about making sure the Philippines continue rebuilding in the typhoon’s aftermath.
“I also learned that fighting human trafficking is one of his signature issues and it’s something I’ve worked a lot on in the Senate. We promised each other we’d work together in the future to raise awareness and protect innocent people from this grotesque form of human slavery.”
Clay-Liston, 50 years later
History Miami Museum will present a special program commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Cassius Clay- Sonny Liston fight on Feb. 25.
Clay defeated Liston for the world heavyweight title at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Feb. 25, 1964. Shortly after the fight, Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali and became one of the most iconic sporting figures of the 20th century.
The program will feature exhibitions and speakers detailing the historic event. For information, call 305-375-4218.
• Mikey Garcia retained his WBO junior-lightweight title with a convincing decision against Juan Carlos Burgos in New York.
• Lamont Peterson successfully defended his IBF junior-welterweight title with a unanimous decision win over Dierry Jean in Washington. The bout was Peterson’s first since a third-round TKO loss against Lucas Matthysse in a non-title fight last May.
• Miami’s Joey Hernandez lost a lopsided decision against Cornelius Bundrage in their junior-middleweight title eliminator Friday night in Indio, Calif.