Amped for Canelo-Angulo?

By Caryn A. Tate on March 8, 2014
Amped for Canelo-Angulo?
It’s refreshing that Canelo chose someone wherein a win is not a foregone conclusion.

The psychological and emotional experience of dealing with a loss can sometimes elevate a good fighter into a great one…

You may not be a Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-1-1) fan. You may also not be a fan of Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (22-3-0). Well then, why would you be excited for their pay-per-view bout?

Well, here’s the thing. There’s been an increase in recent years (perhaps coinciding with the use of social media) of fans who automatically label an athlete/artist/entertainer as a bum/hack/no-talent “hype job” if said fan isn’t enamored of the person in question.

Clearly that isn’t usually the case. More often it’s just a matter of taste, but for some reason many fans seem to think that if they don’t like someone, that individual must be awful at what they do. It’s a limited way of thinking, and it reveals just how rare it is to find a person who has perspective.

Even if Canelo and/or Angulo aren’t your favorite fighters, here are some real reasons to be excited for tonight’s bout.

1. Instead of taking the easier and more typical route of bounding back with a tune-up fight, following his first loss last September against Floyd Mayweather Jr., 23-year-old Canelo reached higher and opted to take on the fierce and ever-improving Angulo in his first fight back. On top of squaring off against a truly good fighter in Angulo, it’s a pay-per-view bout—Canelo’s first as the lead headliner. This reveals the Mexican boxer’s heart, determination, confidence and will. He’s not afraid of responsibility or new challenges. In a time when it’s more common for pugilists to face opponents we all know they’re going to beat, it’s refreshing that Canelo chose someone wherein a win is not a foregone conclusion.

2. This card is packed with good boxers with lots of heart—not just those with undefeated status. In addition to Canelo coming off his first loss, Angulo’s last fight was a loss to Erislandy Lara (19-1-2). The rough and tumble action fighter nicknamed “El Perro” feels he has much to prove to fans and to himself and will be to be looking for a knockout. Nihito Arakawa, who lost in a thrilling action fight last year against Omar Figueroa (who was also on this card but last week was sidelined due to injury), is also fighting in the event. To my way of thinking it’s a reward for fighters who showed a whole lot of guts and put forth a strong effort and a good show—regardless of the outcome. This is a positive change to come at a time when it seems more and more media and fans are buying into the ridiculous concept that as soon as a fighter has lost, he’s “washed up” or exposed as a “hype job.” Almost all the boxing greats have losses on their records, and overcame those losses to win again. As the legendary Cus D’Amato advised young Mike Tyson, what distinguished Jack Dempsey, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Muhammad Ali (to name a few) is the fact that they rose from defeat and came back to win. I would go so far as to say that the psychological and emotional experience of dealing with a loss can sometimes elevate a good fighter into a great one.

3. While both Canelo and Angulo are hugely popular in Mexico, neither is a traditionally styled Mexican fighter. Canelo has a distinctly different style from the majority of fighters from his country, which is in large part what has rocketed him to stardom. He’s an interesting mix of boxer and puncher; he’s got very good hand speed and is accurate with his punches; and especially in recent years, he often exhibits great head and upper body movement (check out his bout against Austin Trout to see evidence of this). In short, he’s fun and exciting to watch. Angulo, while more of a traditional Mexican styled fighter than his opponent, has shown immense technical improvements in his past few fights—in particular his last fight against Lara. Lara is a southpaw and a difficult opponent to nail down, much less have a serious chance against. In that fight, Angulo floored Lara twice and revealed that he has more technical ability and skill than people had previously given him credit for. While the fight was stopped in round 10 due to an eye injury suffered by El Perro, most viewers thought Angulo was well on his way to winning had it continued. Hugely impressive considering that before the fight, most people thought he was largely a brawler lacking in skill.

4. In addition to the main event, we have fighters including Jorge Linares vs. the aforementioned Nihito Arakawa and Leo Santa Cruz vs. Cristian Mijares. The card features rugged and experienced professionals as well as some tough and aggressive hopefuls, so it should prove to be exactly the type of card most of us enjoy: action-packed with largely unpredictable outcomes. I’m growing increasingly frustrated with the number of bouts that seem to simply be showcases for one of the fighters involved, while the other fighter is overwhelmingly expected to be the one notching a loss on his record afterward. While there are upsets and those are thrilling when they occur, most of the time that’s not the outcome we see. Let’s hope the quality bouts Saturday night serve as inspiration for future big fights and pay-per-views.

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  1. Mike Schmidt 03:19pm, 03/09/2014

    Look forward to it. We watched the movie “Machete” just before the fight broadcast. I couldn’t help but smile- Machete looks kinda like the gent getting decked in the barn smoker ya got going in ” Mi Amor.” Look forward to seeing more.

  2. Caryn A. Tate 12:46pm, 03/09/2014

    @Mike, thanks so much for your kind words! Red Plains is near & dear for me; I grew up living the western/cowboy life & come from a long line of cowboys/girls. Thanks for the bare knuckle brawl shout out from Mi Amor! It’s one of my personal faves too. Santiago is a beast, wait till you see where he goes… :)  I’m currently working on a Red Plains novel and there are many more comics stories on their way so stay tuned.

  3. EL BASTARDO MAGNIFICO 04:48pm, 03/08/2014

    And yes Fearless Editor that was “wait” advantage- darn Marvel- ya had to part with 10 cents three times- three comic editions wait and see to see who beat down who- The Thing vs Hulk I think we could call a ND, or NC- heavens forbid either bad boy had a loss on their record!!! Even back in the late sixties of heyday Marvel a loss was viewed as a baddddd thing hee hee- looks like I am across the field to my neighbours to watch the fight in small no racket setting-

  4. Mike Schmidt 04:42pm, 03/08/2014

    Fantastic Four’s The Thing vs The Hulk was always a good scrap- I think in the original Marvel releases they went at it twice - the big Green fella had a decided wait advantage- that was of course before Vada pisser tests. Sir Eric, back to serious, go to Caryn’s link and check out some of the work. Bronson (the actor, not our Coyote/Shep dog) would be thrilled with some of the dust up scenes.. adios from El Bastardo Magnifico signing off- I am out the door soon to see if I am up a few chunks of clover or less of pocket on The Dog!!!!!

  5. Eric 04:26pm, 03/08/2014

    Oops. That’s Philo Beddoe and not Filo Bedo.  Bronson or Eastwood is one of those classic comparisons like Coke or Pepsi, Rolling Stones or Beatles. And keeping with the comics theme, Batman or Superman. I’ll take Bronson over Eastwood, Coke over Pepsi, Stones over Beatles and Batman over Superman. Buenos noches everyone.

  6. Eric 04:20pm, 03/08/2014

    Speaking of “high plains drifter,” the man with no name” and “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” were adapted to comic or graphic novel form by Dynamite Entertainment. Don’t know how close the comics are to the movie version though. They also have versions of The Lone Ranger and Zorro. The Lone Ranger isn’t half bad, might have to check out their take on “the man with no name.” Always preferred Clint as the cigar smoking gunslinger over Dirty Harry, but both are great. Eastwood and Bronson, Chaney and Filo Bedo, Paul Kersey and Dirty Harry, those were some real bad hombres.

  7. Mike Schmidt 04:18pm, 03/08/2014

    I am just waiting on a friend to call so I can watch it on somebody else’s dime!!!! I wish this was not a PPV- I think a lot of people have the same feeling- hope the numbers generate well in what should be a barn burner while it lasts. We shall see- it’s boxing and anything can happen when you have a puncher like The Dog- look at the fireworks when he went at it with Mandingo Warrior

  8. andrew 04:08pm, 03/08/2014

    Anyone who buys this fight has too much money and not enough to do.

  9. Mike Schmidt 03:20pm, 03/08/2014

    Wow!! Fearless Editor I am waiting by the fire with Bronson the Coyote/Shep dog Marvin “The Weasel” Elkind is late on a phone call in for arranging a Chuvalo view the fight tonight with a bunch of fight folks down at Olga Heron’s Huff boxing gym/club) and looking at some of Caryn’s work. Fantastic. “Red Plains: ‘Mi Amor.” Check out the back barn high plains drifter setting of a bare knuckle scrap worthy of a fast forward Charles Bronson Hard Times. Next story Caryn please, please, and more please- how does a “Red Plains gal” ( no pistol whippin please and thanks on the “gal”- just trying to get into my John Cougar Mellanchamp feel here) evolve into such an astute fight fan…. a grandpa, grandma, father… some big fight fan when you were a child got ya hooked???  Sir Robert I see a continuing comic story… some Sin City type character, going dust town to dust town but instead of use of his pistolerooooos he settles up justice with a high noon punch out. We even have a topical punch line “What’s yer excuse now Roy.” Love the work Caryn- keep em coming

  10. NYIrish 02:45pm, 03/08/2014

    Angulo’s weaknesses have been explored in public. Canelo not so much.

  11. luvbrothel 01:32pm, 03/08/2014

    Not my favorite fighters, but I love this fight.  I hope it goes deep into the later rounds, but there’s going to be a lot of bomb throwing in there, so doubtful it goes the distance.

  12. Clarence George 12:53pm, 03/08/2014

    Ah!  I must have come across your site, and I remember everything (although sometimes imperfectly).

  13. Caryn A. Tate 12:26pm, 03/08/2014

    @Clarence, not Zane Grey, but you’re in the right genre!

  14. Clarence George 09:55am, 03/08/2014

    I haven’t been following him that closely, Irish.  I can’t say I was overly impressed by last night’s performance, though he won and remains undefeated.  Too soon to tell, I think.

  15. Eric 09:29am, 03/08/2014

    Haven’t done a PPV since Azumah Nelson-Jeff Fenech I, and this fight won’t break that streak. However, this fight does look good on paper. I think Canelo is way overrated, but this bout against El Perro might be an entertaining blood and guts type of slugfest. This actually seems like a safe “comeback bout” for Canelo. Canelo is the smoother boxer and El Perro’s style of throwing relatively slow, wide, albeit powerful punches, seem to guarantee a victory for the younger, more skillful Canelo. I wouldn’t rate either one of these fighters as elite fighters but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be an entertaining bout. After all sometimes a bout featuring HOF caliber fighters turns into a snooze fest, Duran vs. Benitez was a good example. While a bout between lesser fighters like a Caveman Lee vs John LoCicero turns into a memorable fight.

  16. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:25am, 03/08/2014

    Clarence George-Do you think I’m overboard on Dusty Hernandez Harrison….though he’s only 19 years old, I was surprised (as he was) that he was buzzed then later put down by Balasi’s round house wallops.

  17. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:07am, 03/08/2014

    NYIrish-“He had the demeanor of a sparring partner getting paid by the round.” I say there is more about Canelo that is different from the Mexican fighters that we have all come to admire and appreciate than his physical appearance and his boxing style. As I have posted before, I feel that early on in his fight with Floyd he decided that discretion is the better part of valor and that his career was more important than than going all out and risking getting stopped by Mayweather.

  18. NYIrish 08:07am, 03/08/2014

    I was a Canelo fan. I thought he was one of the best prospects to come along in recent years. I like his style. Then I scored the Trout Canelo fight 7-5 for Trout. I thought Alvarez would handle Trout easily. He didn’t. Alvarez didn’t gamble against Mayweather. He had the demeanor of a sparring partner getting paid by the round.
    Angulo is a more honest fighter. I’m impressed that he had Lara down twice. Not that he had the power, but that he caught him twice. (Didn’t see the fight.) I think Angulo might catch Canelo and send him to the canvas. The dog may give him some bad moments but Canelo will finish on the top side.

  19. Ted 08:05am, 03/08/2014

    cg is correct. But I’ll go one step further and say I am not doing PPV on this one which is very rare for me. I see it as a one-sided beat down of a soon-to-be-shot Dog—no pun intended.

  20. Clarence George 05:49am, 03/08/2014

    Caryn A. Tate…I know that name from somewhere.  Something to do with Zane Grey?  I won’t look it up if I can help it—that makes for a lazy memory, and I’m trying to get mine as photographic as I can.  It will come to me.

    Anyway, I agree with many of Miss Tate’s points, including her observation that Alvarez has added head movement (albeit still a bit rough) to his repertoire.  But, speaking of moving one’s head, mine jerked up when I read of the “ever-improving Angulo.”  I like “El Perro,” but the one thing he’s not doing is improving.  Indeed, he’s pretty much bumped his head against the ceiling of his ability.  Assuming he loses to Alvarez, which is as safe as assumptions get, he’ll do little more than tread water for the remainder of his career.  More good fights, many of which he’ll win?  Yes, but the Hall of Fame will never beckon.  Very different future if he beats “Canelo,” but I just don’t see that happening.

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