By Joseph Santoliquito
Alfredo Angulo wears the scars. They hang on his sagging eyebrows and the tiny lines that dot his face from the stitches he’s taken through the years.
He’s 38, but there was no convincing him that he was 38. Certainly not after the upset the rugged Mexican pulled off last September when he beat Peter Quillin by a 10-round split-decision.
Vladimir Hernandez threw a time machine at Angulo in the co-feature.
The late-replacement gave Angulo a taste of his own medicine, outworking him over 10 rounds, to pull off the upset by way of unanimous decision in super middleweight action.
Hernandez (12-4, 6 KOs) decided to step through the ropes against the ageless wonder on three-days’ notice. The 31-year-old southpaw was a late replacement for former titlist Caleb Truax, who fell out due to a non-related COVID-19 illness.
All three judges were in agreement, giving it to Hernandez by scores of 98-92.
Hernandez’s punches were crisp and accurate. He worked well at close range, slamming Angulo with right uppercuts, and on the outside, pecking away at Angulo and scoring.
In the first three minutes, Hernandez certainly did not act the part of a substitute. He went after the cagey veteran and pelted Angulo (26-8, 21 KOs) with light, though scoring shots.
A pensive Angulo walked back to his corner and immediately heard from his trainer, Abel Sanchez, to keep his hands up and start taking Hernandez seriously.
In the third, Angulo opted to fight southpaw and found a rhythm. He began crowding Hernandez, measuring him with body shots. By the sixth, Angulo was sitting down on his punches, landing a career-best 53 power punches and a career-high total of 57. His previous best was in a 2009 fight against Harry Joe Yorgey—11 years ago.
The work rate of the fighters was unique. Hernandez outlanded Angulo 60-35 through the first two rounds, though was outlanded 191-147 over the next five. Angulo won the connect battle from the third round through the seventh (Angulo outlanded Hernandez 226-207 after seven).
Punch stats said one thing. The eye test, however, said another.
Hernandez was still getting to Angulo. In the ninth, he cleaved Angulo’s guard with yet another right uppercut that snapped back Angulo’s head.
Angulo, looking slow and sluggish, zapped Hernandez with body shots. Though each time he appeared to pick up momentum, Hernandez answered.
The final punchstats stated Angulo connected on 351/1,134 total punches (31%) to Hernandez’s 306/1,003 (31%). Angulo threw a career-high 837 power punches, connecting on 301 (36%) to Hernandez’s power rate of 239/586 (41%).
The combined 2,137 total punches thrown is among the top two in a super middleweight fight.
The most important stat, however, went to Hernandez. He won.
Angulo, at 38, may have to reconsider his age.