When A.J. Liebling called boxing "The Sweet Science" he did not have fights like Saturday night's HBO doubleheader in mind. Heavyweights Chris Arreola and Tomasz Adamek and junior middleweights Alfredo Angulo and Joel Julio are action heroes who have produced a combined 97 knockouts in 120 victories. Odds are that viewers will be in for a brief but highly entertaining night at the fights.
Topping the card will be onetime heavyweight title challenger Arreola against Adamek, a former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion who is looking to conquer his third weight class.
Size matters but in Arreola's case too much size may hurt his cause. More than most fighters, Arreola's weight has a direct bearing on his ability to produce offense. Against Chazz Witherspoon, a 239-pound Arreola was prolific yet punishing as he landed 58.7 percent of his 61.3 punches per round (far above the divisional norms of 37.8 and 46.1) while landing 61.6 percent of his 46 power shots. Arreola threw fewer shots overall (180 to 200) but buried him under with an 85-42 bulge in connected power shots en route to a most brutal third round DQ.
Against Travis Walker, a 254-pound Arreola could only muster 27 punches per round while at 255 against Jameel McCline he averaged 36.5. His saving grace has been his accuracy, for he landed 49.3 percent (overall) and 62.5 percent (power) against McCline while against Walker those figures were 54.3 percent and 65.5 percent respectively.
Adamek, on the other hand, is a gym rat and at 220 pounds has retained much of the work rate he had at the lighter weights. His heavyweight debut against the aged but very large Andrew Golota provides a useful preview of what he might try against Arreola.
He averaged 69.2 punches per round, a full one-third more than the heavyweight norm of 46.1. Adamek also employed an accurate jab; his 31.2 jabs per round is far above the divisional average of 19.3 and his 11.8 connects per round is nearly double the 6.0 a typical heavyweight lands. Golota's ample body offered a very accessible target as Adamek went 161 of 346 (45 percent) overall and 102 of 190 in power shots (54 percent). Arreola's poor defensive numbers indicate he may suffer a similar fate.
But Arreola has a much higher margin of error. All he has to do is catch Adamek with one massive blow that scrambles his equilibrium, and then Arreola's killer instinct will take care of the rest. If Arreola reports in shape - meaning in the low 240s or below - this one will be over within three rounds because of the sheer volume and power he can generate. If he's in the 250s it will take longer and if he's in the 260s he opens the door for Adamek to spring the upset. The guess here is that Arreola, with a possible second title shot in the offing if he wins, will be in good enough shape to score a TKO in the middle rounds.
The co-feature may be more combustible than the main event because Angulo and Julio are pure bombers that love to throw and trade.
Once "El Perro" sinks his teeth into an opponent he will rip and tear at him until there's nothing left. He averaged an incredible 121.1 punches per round against Andrey Tsurkan - more than double the junior middleweight average of 58.8. His third round TKO of Harry Joe Yorgey was economically vicious. Averaging 77.7 punches per round, Angulo landed 48.5 percent of his 233 punches overall and connected on 63.1 percent of his 157 power shots.
Angulo said he was ill during his only loss to Kermit Cintron and the distribution of punches may bear him out. Although his work rate remained high (79.8 per round), the ratio between jabs and power shots was 57-43 in favor of jabs as opposed to the 67-34 (power) and 50-50 splits he had against Yorgey and Tsurkan. The jab is a much less physically demanding punch to throw, so it would figure he would fire more jabs if he were sick.
Julio's bombs-away style tends to draw plenty of return fire, and that's bad news against Angulo. James Kirkland, who fights very similarly to Angulo, posted revealing numbers. In stopping Julio in six rounds, Kirkland's 76.5-punch-per-round attack limited Julio's output to 51 and he enjoyed numerical bulges as a result (125-93 in total connects, 31-14 in landed jabs and 94-79 in power connects).
Julio's most recent fight was a six-round decision win over the 14-22-4 Clarence "Sonny Bono" Taylor. While the contender won almost every round, Taylor managed to out-land Julio 24-18 in the first round and hung in longer than a sub-.500 fighter usually would against a highly ranked pro. Julio won mostly on power punching as his 91-44 advantage powered his 139-87 overall edge.
Prediction: Although Angulo is two years older at 27, he is perceived to be the fresher fighter. This bout will not go the distance, and it will be a race between Angulo's brittle brows and Julio's porous defense. Since Julio being hit is a more likely possibility, Angulo will win by a very exciting sixth round TKO.
Posted 12:00 AM | Apr 22, 2010
HBO BAD - Apr. 24, 2010
Alfredo Angulo vs. Joel Julio