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Alfredo Angulo vs. Joel Julio Fight Preview and Pick to Win

Alfredo Angulo vs. Joel Julio Fight Preview and Prediction
When: Saturday, April 24, 2010
Where: Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, California
TV: HBO at 11:15 p.m. (EST)
Weight Class: Interim WBO Light Middleweight Title: 12 Rounds
By Scotty L of

Alfredo Angulo, 17-1 (14 KOs), Mexicali, Mexico/Coachella, California. Vs. Joel Julio, 35-3 (31 KOs), Monteria, Colombia/Miami, Florida.

Fight Odds: Alfredo Angulo (-500), Joel Julio (+325)
Over/Under: Over 7.5 (-110), Under 7.5 (-130)

Analysis: In the chief support to Arreola-Adamek on HBO, junior middleweights Alfredo Angulo and Joel Julio collide in a 12-rounder. With a combined 35 knockouts in 42 wins, fireworks are all but guaranteed. Both fighters’ history shows a long line of exciting fights and it would be surprising if this weren’t action-packed. The title ramifications for this bout are highly suspect, but the winner is primed to fight the best in the weight class.

Angulo is clearly the more highly thought-of fighter at this point. Despite a loss to Kermit Cintron a few fights back, Angulo has subsequently righted the ship. His win over outgunned Harry Yorgey in November was scary, as he nearly tore his opponent’s head off. With all respect to Cintron, Angulo seemed to be off that night and was reportedly under the weather.

When at his best, Angulo is a world-class fighter, a hard-hitting, patient, and well-schooled battler. His left hook, both to the body and head, is wielded with great power and technique. He has a true fighting spirit, in that he’s not afraid to get hit and is almost impossible to dissuade. In the Cintron fight, he showed he is not adept at fighting tricky styles, which isn’t really in Julio’s repertoire anyway. The former Olympian looks to stay active and in winning form on Saturday.

Joel Julio once enjoyed the status Angulo now enjoys. Future champion Carlos Quintana upset him in 2006 to signal that he was perhaps not going to live up to the lofty expectations made for him. He came back with quality wins over Cornelius Bundrage and Ishe Smith. As he was getting his momentum back, however, he was outpointed by WBO champ Sergiy Dzinziruk. Then in his next fight, fearsome contender James Kirkland stopped him in six rounds, in the Texas brawler’s last fight before going to prison for a gun charge.

Julio has since emerged from that defeat with a perfunctory win over sub-.500 Clarence Taylor, but something was missing in the Kirkland fight. There is no shame in losing to a fighter of Kirkland’s power and talent, but Julio had the look of a gatekeeper in that fight—a boxer who had passed his peak. The confidence that marked his earlier performances was gone and he had no answers for the hard-pressing Kirkland.

Angulo is a fighter being set up for bigger things. While Julio’s knockout percentage makes him a threat, Angulo doesn’t figure to slip up here. He’s on his way up and Julio isn’t. Styles make fights, so it’s possible that the hard-punching Julio will find Angulo’s style more to his liking than he did Dzinziruk and Kirkland, but I don’t see it. Julio doesn’t appear to have the versatility that Cintron has to trouble Angulo. He has a reach advantage, but Julio is not adept at fighting that long-range, cute style.

Scotty L's Pick to Win: Julio likes to mix it up. When he does on Saturday, he will be met by a more consistent and well-rounded attack. It will be competitive and exciting for 4-5 rounds as the two exchange freely. Angulo will work Julio’s body, which will eventually force him to begin dropping his hands. Anytime after the 6th round, I picture Angulo pouring it on with headshots and getting Julio out of there. Bet on Alfredo Angulo to win.

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