It was a good night to be a canine on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, whether it was super middleweight Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell or junior middleweight Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo. Even the real mongrel Angulo brought in the ring on a leash before his fight was having a nice time.
- Dirrell started sloppy, lunging, winging wide shots and going back with his hands down against short-notice opponent Alfredo Contreras. As the fight went on, he got sharper, punching more accurately, dodging more shots and fighting well going backward, forward, inside or outside. The 7th round stoppage was maybe even a tad late, because from the 5th to the 7th, the very tough Contreras was taking tons of flush power shots. A faster or heavier-punching opponent might have been able to make Dirrell pay for some of his earlier trespasses, but late in the fight he looked like a legit contender. I agree with ESPN2’s Teddy Atlas: It’s time for him to step up the opposition. It’s fair to say Dirrell needed to work back against relatively soft opponents after winning his battle against cancer, but he’s had six fights since an almost two-year layoff and he looks like he’s getting into a rhythm.
- Angulo bounced back extremely well from his first career loss, scoring a 2nd round KO over Gabriel Rosado, a boxer who’s given a lot of trouble to some pretty good fighters. And while the 1st round and beginning of the 2nd round were very competitive, maybe even Rosado’s, Angulo landed a sharp right hand coming out of a clinch and the knockdown was the beginning of the end. Rosado complained, but I saw nothing illegal happening, because it was Rosado holding while Angulo was hitting, and the referee didn’t say to break. Two more offensive assaults and knockdowns ended matters, and while I might have let Rosado continue, given how quickly Rosado rose from the third knockdown and wasn’t on shaky legs, the stoppage was fine. Angulo is always going to be slower than his opponent. He doesn’t always have to have terrible defense like he does. He may or may not be able to beat an elite opponent; probably if said opponent is carefully chosen, he can. But he’s definitely fun to watch. He’s an offensive machine who takes a shot as good as anybody in the business. Good to see him return to the win column.