— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) September 14, 2014
James De La Rosa (23-2, 13 KOs) broke away from his contract with Don King with hopes of making a name for himself with another promoter.
De La Rosa did just that when he scored an upset unanimous decision over Alfredo Angulo (34-4, 18 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The ten-round Super Middleweight fight, which was Angulo’s debut at Middleweight, was the first bout of the pay-per-view event headlined by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana.
De La Rosa seemed to have the odds stacked against him going into the fight, moving up in weight and in competition to take on the popular 32-year-old slugger of Mexicali, Mexico.
Nevertheless, De La Rosa, a 26-year-old native of San Benito, Texas, rose to the occasion against a past-his-prime Angulo, using his footwork, jab, and combination punches to land easily for most of the fight.
Angulo had no answers for De La Rosa’s offense, perhaps caused by his coming into the fight at 180 pounds, a staggering 18 pounds over the contracted weight limit of 162 pounds which may have slowed him down more.
Or perhaps it was his war with James Kirkland in 2011, or his TKO losses to Erislandy Lara and Saul Alvarez in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
For Angulo, it seemed, the fight could only get worse as the rounds progressed, as he was deducted a point in round seven after being severely hurt in his right eye in round six.
Angulo could not successfully let go of his punches, as he had trouble cutting the ring and, when De La Rosa closed the distance, was too slow on the inside to be effective.
That was the case, however, until rounds nine and ten, when Angulo showed signs of his former self.
It might not have been Angulo’s skill at this point, but it was definitely his heart, as an exhausted De La Rosa was caught with a left hook in the ninth round, stunning him for the rest of his fight.
De La Rosa would spend the rest of the fight surviving and doing his best to evade a last-minute stoppage by Angulo.
The judges scored the fight 98-90, 96-92, 99-89 for De La Rosa, who makes a successful debut on pay-per-view against a well-known Mexican warrior.
Angulo suffers a third consecutive loss of his career and might consider retirement, but he nevertheless ended the fight the way he best could—by coming forward relentlessly.
Header photo by Stephanie Trapp