While enduring an eight-month stay at the El Centro Detention Center in El Centro, Calif., Mexican junior middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo claimed that he was denied reading material, ointment for a cut, a regulation pair of sneakers and told by a guard four days in that he would never get out.
“I had no idea. I had no idea when I was going to get out,” said Angulo, 30. “I was told it was going to be a short time and obviously that didn’t happen. So I just kept focusing on staying strong, just to get out of there.”
Angulo was released in August after winning his court case involving immigration matters on July 30, this, after having been detained at the facility located just under 14 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border for having “overstayed his U.S. visa,” according to his manager and counsel, Michael Miller.
“I kept thinking about my daughter, which is very important to me. And also I kept thinking about helping other detainees that were in the same situation as I was, get out and making a difference in helping them out,” said Angulo.
“And obviously the last thing was being able to get back in the ring and fighting in the United States again. Yes, I did go through a very difficult period, but I’ve proven to myself and I’ve proven to everybody that I’m ready for anything.”
Angulo (20-2, 17 knockouts) will return to the ring for Saturday night’s Showtime-televised clash with Raul Casarez (19-2, 9 KOs), of Edinburg, Texas, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“I know that Casarez is a very good fighter. I know that Casarez is a very good fighter,” said Angulo, who is currently residing in Coachella, Calif. “I’ve never asked for easy opponents. So if anything, I’m going to be ready and I’m going to give the fans what they deserve.”
Angulo was last in the ring in November when he lost by an exciting, sixth-round knockout to James Kirkland. Angulo was stopped for the first time in his career, ending his streak of five straight knockout victories since losing by unanimous decision to Kermit Cintron in May of 2009.
“I’m really excited to get back into the ring, and to fight at the Staples Center. This is for the fans of mine who follow ‘The Dog,’” said Angulo, referring to his nickname, which is, “Perro,” in Spanish.
“I’m ready for Nov. 10. Everything is good. I’ve been training since I left the detention center with Daryl Hudson, my conditioning coach. We’ve been working for two and a half months.”
Angulo was under the guidance of legendary trainer Nacho Beristain against Kirkland, but will be trained by Virgil Hunter for Cazarez, a 25-year-old winner of his past 10 fights with five stoppages during that run.
“There’s been no changes to my style. It’s the same style. The only things that Virgil Hunter has done is added to my style,” said Angulo of Hunter, the reigning Trainer of The Year as chosen by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
“He’s enhanced it. He’s picked up on things that I’ve already known about, so he’s picked up on some of the things that I wasn’t doing, and he’s incorporated that through repetition and training. It’s the same style, but I’m ready for the fight. When you get to see me at the weigh-in, you’ll know that I’m ready.”
The usually clean-cut Angulo has allowed his hair to grow long on his head, as he has, a beard, on his face. The fighter will eventually donate his hair to the charity, Locks of Love, which provides hairpieces to children suffering from hair loss as a result of chemotherapy to treat cancer.
Saturday night’s main event features WBA bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno (33-1, 12 KOs) rising a division to challenge unbeaten WBC junior featherweight beltholde Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KOs), against whom Moreno will make his 122-pound debut.