Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo may not be getting the respect he deserves from Las Vegas oddsmakers. Heading into his bout with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on Saturday night from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Canelo is listed as a minus-700 favorite, per Bovada.
While he should be the favorite, as I picked him to win via TKO in my preview, the long odds suggest the 23-year-old Mexican star will mow down Angulo.
The truth is that Angulo has more than a puncher's chance to pull the upset.
In his last fight, he lost to the slick Erislandy Lara after the Cuban landed a well-placed and timed shot that badly injured Angulo's eye socket. When it happened, Angulo turned away, and the referee was forced to call off the bout.
Are the odds against Angulo too long?
At the time of the stoppage, Angulo was up on one judge's card and trailing by one point on the other two cards. The momentum was on his side after he dropped Lara in the ninth round. It was the second time he'd floored his opponent in the bout.
Although he lost the fight, Angulo's stock ascended because of his performance. He is a power puncher as his 18 KOs in 25 fights would indicate, but with Virgil Hunter as his trainer, he looks more refined and has better stamina.
Even in defeat, Angulo showed the strides under Hunter, the same man who trains Andre Ward, Amir Khan and others.
At one point, Angulo was nothing more than a brawler hell bent on thrashing his opponent with little regard for anything else. While he'll always be a slugger, against Lara, Angulo showed that he had patience and stamina.
Lara was so impressed with Angulo that he predicts Angulo will knock out Canelo, per Miguel Rivera of Boxing Scene. Lara said, "If Angulo's eye holds up from the pounding of his last fight, I think he will knock Canelo out."
In this interview from EsNews Reporting, Angulo says that Lara is more talented than Canelo:
Quite honestly, that's not a preposterous statement. Lara's boxing skills and reflexes are exceptional.
This is precisely why Angulo's showing against him raised so many eyebrows.
That said, styles make fights. Just because Angulo narrowly lost to Lara, and the latter is presumably more talented than Canelo, doesn't mean that El Perro will win on Saturday night.
Still, there's enough doubt to push the odds a bit closer than they are. We'll see what train of thought is closest to reality on Saturday night.
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