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Has Alfredo Angulo hired Virgil Hunter?

Junior middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo will return to the ring against Raul Casarez on the undercard of the anticipated Abner Mares-Anselmo Moreno junior featherweight showdown on Nov. 10 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The popular Mexican slugger was recently released from a federal detention center where he had been held for eight months for immigration matters. Kirkland has been without a trainer since his last fight, a brutal sixth-round stoppage loss to James Kirkland last November.

The 30-year-old veteran was last trained by Nacho Beristain but he made it clear to the boxing media at a recent press conference that he is no longer associated with the respected Mexican trainer and was in search of a new coach.

Most boxing insiders figured Angulo (20-2, 17 knockouts), who lives in the greater L.A. area, would wind up with one of the rising young Mexican-American trainers based in Southern California — Robert Garcia, Joel Diaz or Henry Ramirez. Instead it looks like he might travel north to Oakland, Calif., to join the growing stable of Virgil Hunter, who is best known for guiding Andre Ward to the super middleweight championship and the top of the pound-for-pound lists.

It’s an odd pairing, if the rumor is true. Angulo is a forward-marching offense machine, while Hunter is known for teaching a very technical and cerebral style of boxing.

Hunter, who was voted Trainer of the Year for 2011 by boxing writers, has obviously done well with athletic boxers, such as Ward and 140-pound prospect Mike Dallas Jr.

It will be interesting to see what he can add to Angulo’s rough and aggressive style, which should mesh well with Cazares (19-2, 9 KOs), a 25-year-old Texan who is unbeaten in his last 11 bouts and is coming off a close unanimous decision over former title challenger J.C. Candelo in March.

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