HBO's July 17 doubleheader pits four fighters at the crossroads as Timothy Bradley debuts at welterweight against Luis Abregu while Alfredo Angulo tackles former champ Joachim Alcine in a 154-pound eliminator.
A look at each man's CompuBox stats reveal potentially telling habits. Factors that may sway Bradley-Abregu include:
Stability vs. Volatility: Both boast high volume as Bradley's five-fight average is 66.3 (nine percent above the 60.6 junior welterweight average) and Abregu's four-fight average is 70.1 (17 percent more than the 58.5 for welterweights). Their pacing, however, is markedly different.
While both are fast starters, Bradley holds his pace better. In his 12-rounders against Kendall Holt, Edner Cherry and Lamont Peterson, Bradley averaged 66.6 (Holt), 71.1 (Cherry) and 86 punches over the first eight while in the final four he slipped to 52.75 and 55.25 against Holt and Cherry but surged to 93.75 against Peterson.
Conversely, Abregu's engine can sputter. Abregu averaged 71 punches over the first seven against Richard Gutierrez but plunged to 44.6 in rounds 8-10. Against David Estrada, Abregu's averaged 87.5 punches over the first eight but slipped to 63 in the last two. Both drop-offs also yielded Abregu's only single-digit connect totals of the bout. Some may say Abregu was coasting but others may suggest stamina problems. That may prove troublesome against Bradley's steadier volume.
The Power Stroke: Bradley makes his power shots count while Abregu's accuracy is average at best. Against Cherry, Holt, Campbell and Peterson Bradley landed a combined 47.5 percent of his 38.3 power shots per round, well above the 140-pound norms of 36.7 percent and 35.8 attempts. Abregu threw a similar amount against his four opponents (36.5) but his connect rate is 36.4 percent (somewhat below the 147-pound norm of 39.3 percent).
The power connect plus/minus gaps are telling. Bradley hits 9.7 percent more than his opponents (47.5-37.8) while Abregu's gap is plus-3.4 (36.4-33.0). Bradley's superior marksmanship and defense may prove pivotal.
Ups and Downs: Both men have been floored. Holt twice decked Bradley while Gutierrez and Garcia did the same to Abregu. The Argentine has strong comeback capacity as he scored his own knockdowns soon after and ended up stopping Garcia. Bradley may target Abregu's left eye because it was cut against Gutierrez and Estrada.
Carelessness may be Bradley's enemy, especially in fights he is controlling. Cherry shook him badly in the 11th round while Holt nearly stole the fight in the final 20 seconds. Maintaining focus will be crucial for Bradley.
Prediction: Abregu's size and swarming attack will challenge Bradley's skills, but "Desert Storm's" pedigree will net him a decision.
Angulo vs. Alcine
No matter who Angulo faces he is the same high-octane force. In eight CompuBox-tracked fights Angulo averaged 90.2 punches per round (36 percent higher than the 58.5 typical junior middleweights throw) and connected on 46.7 percent of his 44.8 power punches. The results are usually devastating but Kermit Cintron and Joel Julio proved that "El Perro's" style can be controlled.
The key is to match Angulo's output while using boxing skills to create countering opportunities. Cintron out-threw Angulo 1,096-957 and out-landed him 316-277 while Julio netted a 175-167 connect advantage despite throwing 118 fewer blows (762-880). Each was slightly more accurate on their power shots (40 percent to 37 for Cintron, 35 percent to 33 for Julio) and each worked on Angulo's scar tissue.
Angulo's strength is difficult to overcome as Yorgey found out. In less than three rounds Yorgey was out-landed 113-31 overall and 99-25 in power shots and Angulo connected on an eye-popping 63 percent of his hooks, uppercuts and crosses.
Alcine proved against Javier Mamani and Travis Simms that he can effectively adjust his style according to field conditions. Mamani tried to impose a toe-to-toe war in the opening round but Alcine's skills enabled him to pull away to leads of 274-132 (total connects), 122-58 (connected jabs) and 152-74 (power connects) en route to a decision.
Against tricky southpaw Travis Simms Alcine successfully fought on his opponent's terms as he out-landed him 200-133 (total) and 163-113 (power). He landed an impressive 47 percent of his power shots and limited Simms to an 8 percent jab connect rate (20 of 266).
It is telling that Alcine's only loss came to another southpaw in Daniel Santos (KO by 6) but the Puerto Rican's polished style is a direct contrast to Angulo's pedal-to-the-metal approach.
Prediction: At 34, Alcine is past his best while the 27-year-old Angulo has rediscovered his touch after the Cintron loss. Angulo TKO 10.
HBO BAD - July 17, 2010
Angulo vs. Alcine