Underdog Alfredo Angulo is looking to draw on his time spent locked away in a detention centre to help push him to victory over Canelo Alvarez this weekend.
The man known as ‘El Perro’ spent over seven months in ICE Detention Center in El Centro, California, having voluntarily checked in back in January 2012 due to an expired Visa.
At the time the light-middleweight star was expecting to stay no more than three days until the issue was sorted but ended up spending a large chunk of 2012 away from his family and boxing.
This ordeal helped toughen Angulo and he will be looking to draw on this uncertain period in his life to overcome Canelo on the biggest stage, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this Saturday night, a place that not so long ago seemed a million miles away.
“There were a couple times when I was in the immigration detention centre that I wanted to quit,” said Angulo. “But my team of lawyers always motivated me, wouldn't let me stay down for too long and kept telling me that justice would prevail and that I shouldn't give up,” he said.
“I always dreamed of being a headliner on a major card and here it is. I am so ready for Saturday.”
The man that stands in his way, Canelo, is a Mexican idol in his own right and when the pair clash live on BoxNation many expect a potential ‘Fight of the Year’ battle to be witnessed.
The 31-year-old Angulo is unfazed by the occasion and has promised to give fight fans the type of all-action affair they have grown to love and expect when he enters the ring.
“Style-wise, this is a great matchup for the fans and both of us. Fans are going to get a great fight. I'm ready to chase him or fight him like a true Mexican warrior. I plan to test him like he's never been tested before,” he said.
“I don't think anyone has ever hit Canelo as hard as I'm going to hit him. I'm totally relaxed and confident. Camp was amazing and I am in unbelievably great shape,” Angulo said.
The man that will be in Angulo’s corner for the fight is esteemed trainer Virgil Hunter, who joined forces with the hard-hitting Mexican on his release in late 2012.
The pair quickly bonded and have created a father-son relationship, with Hunter predicting this weekend’s fight to be an extraordinary battle that will change the course of history for both men.
“This is going to be a remarkable night, I can sense that. I’ve had a couple of weeks to reflect on this fight. I know the motto has been ‘toe-to-toe’ but I just have this feeling that I don’t think both men are going to walk out that ring the same after Saturday night,” said Hunter.
“I just anticipate such a savage affair that it’s going to be taken out of my hands, out of coach Reynoso’s hands [Canelo’s trainer] and it's pretty much going to be left up to both fighters,” he said.
The Hayward based trainer has also called on the men in charge to let both men fight it out, in an affair which will be a true test of heart and desire.
“I’m asking the officials and judges to just let them go because I can just sense this storm coming – just let them go. If Alfredo gets knocked down just let him get back up and go. If Canelo gets knocked down let him get back up and go,” he said.
“It’s going to be taken out of our hands. This is going to be a savage, savage affair. I’ve been anticipating this for the last couple of weeks and I can just feel it - it’s kind of bothering me.
“At the same time I hope that I can rise to the occasion and that my fighter can walk out of that ring intact with many future fights - and the same for Canelo and his team.
“But there’s just something about this fight, I really truly believe it’s going to exceed what we have probably ever seen before,” Hunter said.
Meanwhile, before the action kicks-off Stateside, BoxNation will also be showing rising star Paul Butler’s showdown with Argentine Oreste Nieva.
The duo clash for the vacant WBA Intercontinental Bantamweight belt at the Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool, in a bill which also features Kevin Satchell against Isaac Quaye for the Commonwealth title and Ronnie Heffron taking on John Thain in a light-middleweight contest.
The British and Commonwealth Super-flyweight Champion, Butler, has his eyes on bigger prizes should he come through the challenge with Nieva, as he hopes to take on Stuart Hall in the near future for his IBF Bantamweight World title.
“I would love that fight,” said Butler. “That’s what I’m working towards, getting my shot at the world title. I know that I have the style and ability to beat Hall. I’ve seen Hall at close quarters, I’ve sparred with him and the sessions have always been top class. I know if we meet it would be an instant classic – I’m sure about that,” he said.
“My aim is to get past Nieva on Saturday night and look impressive. It’s not an easy fight, and I’m sure like a lot of my fights it’s going to be really exciting. But when I come through that - then we can start looking at taking on Hall or Martin Ward, depending on who wins their fight. I’m ready for whoever, because I know my time is coming,” said a confident Butler.
The action from Liverpool kicks off at 7pm this Saturday on BoxNation, with episode 2 of ‘All Access: Canelo vs. Angulo’ just before at 6.30pm.
Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo is live on BoxNation, Sky Ch.437/Virgin Ch.546, this Sunday from 2am.