Alfredo Angulo and James De La Rosa are preparing for their September 13 clash on the Mayweather-Maidana undercard, a fight that is seen as a "comeback" sort of outing for Angulo, while a big opportunity for De La Rosa, who is getting a major opportunity to score an upset win.
Angulo (22-4, 18 KO) is moving up to 160 pounds, and not as a one-off, either. This is a permanent move to the middleweight division, which the 32-year-old Mexican brawler says came because his body demanded the jump.
"I think this is a good fight for my weight," Angulo said on a media conference call this week. "I've been getting my weight and my body ready for the next weight class. I cut a lot of weight before the last fight and I think my body will be better at middleweight."
He added, "I've been saying it all along I was going to stay at 154 up until my body said otherwise. It's not a struggle. I can still make 154 but not comfortably, so that's why the jump to 160. You know, I think I'm going to feel more comfortable. I'm going to be the "Perro" that you all know."
Asked what he learned from his losses to Erislandy Lara and Canelo Alvarez, Angulo had far different takes on the two fights.
"As far as the Lara fight, I learned a lot. It was a great experience. I showed the people that gave me no chance, that Perro is always going to be here and give great fights," he said. "Honestly, in the Canelo fight I can't tell you I learned anything because I wasn't there. It wasn't me. It wasn't the one you all know, and I didn't feel the strength and I wasn't able to put on the performance that I would've wanted."
De La Rosa (22-2, 13 KO) is a major underdog, and understands that.
"I know it's not any other fight, this is a big stage for me," he said. "Basically I've got to be in my zone, and I've got to block everything out and do what I've got to do and do what I do best on that stage to get that win and just train hard. That's what I'm doing. I've been training hard and getting ready for it. I just can't let the crowd distract me or anything like that. I've got to focus on myself."
For Angulo, this is seen as a tune-up fight, but he says he takes every fight the same way, and knows that opponents prepare hard to fight him no matter if they're underdogs or favorites.
"You know, in all honesty I don't really look into too much of my opponents besides obviously their record. I don't know really too much about James as far as what style he can bring. What I do know is that all my opponents when they are going to face me, they train extra hard. They give it that extra training because they know that it's not going to be an easy night once they step into that ring with me."