This announcement was issued by Premier Boxing Champions late on Friday afternoon:
Mexico's Vladimir Hernandez will step in to face hard-hitting Alfredo "El Perro" Angulo in a 10-round super middleweight contest that serves as the co-main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes this Saturday, August 29 from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Caleb Truax was originally scheduled to face Angulo, but was forced to withdraw due to effects of dehydration.
"We wish Caleb the best and hope to see him back in the ring soon, but it is fortunate that we have backups in place because of COVID-19,'' said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "Under normal circumstances you wouldn't have a backup on standby. But because of COVID-19, we have someone who has been training, has been tested and is in the bubble and ready to go.''
Reusse interviewed Truax on Thursday and this was a blog published at startribune.com earlier on Friday. The change apparently came up surrounding Friday's weigh-in. Truax said Thursday that he had "a couple of pounds to lose,'' but without the normal advantages such as a sauna inside the "PBC bubble":
Former IBF boxing champion Caleb Truax will turn 37 next month. He has two young kids at home, Gia, 5, and Cam, 1, with his partner Michelle Stocke. He was in Los Angeles this week when Cam stood up for the first time.
“I called home for a video chat and missed Cam’s first time standing by a few minutes,’’ Truax said. “That’s the tough part of this … not being there for moments like that.’’
Truax’s first professional fight was a TKO over Ray Walker at Target Center on April 6, 2007. He will have his 38th on Saturday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles as part of Fox’s fight night, featuring Premier Boxing Champions.
The nationally televised portion of the card starts at 7 p.m. in the Twin Cities, with Truax taking on Alfredo Angulo. It has been billed as an eliminator bout in the IBF Super Middleweight class, with the winner getting a title bout with unbeaten IBF champ Caleb Plant.
“It’s a huge bout for me, but they are all that way at this point of my career,’’ Truax said by phone this week. "I feel some desperation going into every fight. My approach is there’s no choice but to leave everything out there.’’
Truax paused and said: “Angulo’s older than me, so I’m sure he has the same attitude. He’s tough. He proved that against Quillin.’’
Angulo fought Peter Quillin last September in Bakersfield, Calif. and came away with a split decision. Truax was supposed to be Quillin’s opponent for that fight, but he tore an achilles in his right foot in training.
Basically, that’s part of what has been an unfortunate couple of years for Truax. He was bumped from the TV portion of the PBC card when he defeated Franklin Soares at the Minneapolis Armory in August 2018. He was fighting Quillin before a big crowd in the Armory in April 2019 when the bout was stopped by a Quillin head butt.
“Eightteen stitches total,’’ Truax said. “Worst cut I’ve had in the ring, by far.’’
The head butt was ruled accidental and the fight became a no-decision. He was training for the Quillin rematch and injured the achilles.
Truax managed to get in a fight this January in a card promoted by Tony Grygelko at the Minneapolis Convention Center. He defeated David Basajjamivule in a majority decision.
“I hadn’t fought for so long … I was rusty that night,’’ Truax said. “I’m going to have to be much better on Saturday night.’’
And that has to be much better in strange circumstance. Truax has been in the “PBC Bubble’’ since arriving in LA early this week.
“I had to come out negative in three COVID tests while training for this fight,’’ Truax said. “Then, I was given a COVID test when I first arrived in LA. I had to stay in the hotel room and not see anyone for a day-and-a-half, waiting for another negative result.
“I think there are 10 fighters here and you were only allowed to bring two people with you. I usually have four, but this week it’s just my trainer, Tom Halstad, and my cut man, Jim Maurine.
“We can’t go to an actual gym. We can’t take a run outside. We have to stay in the hotel, which is just down the block from the arena. They set up this ballroom with a boxing bag that’s a piece of junk and a couple of treadmills, and each fighter has been getting around an hour a day in there.
“I’ve never been in a situation like this the last week before a fight, but with the pandemic … we’re just fortunate boxing has taken such precautions and we have an opportunity to be back in the ring.’’
Truax has a loyal Minnesota following built from an Osseo-area base. The remodeled Minneapolis Armory’s revival as a boxing venue has had its biggest crowds with Truax in a featured bout.
Come Saturday, there will be no fans. “Even in my Golden Gloves days, in the small tournaments, there were fans,’’ Truax said. “I’ve watched all the fights that have been on TV since we came back from the shutdown. It’s strange.
"You have to bring your own enthusiasm, that’s for sure.’’
Yeah, but Caleb knows that the gals in his life, Michelle and Gia, will be back home in Minnesota watching and cheering. Right?
“I don’t think Gia is going to be watching, because her mom never watches my fights – not on TV, not live,’’ Truax said. “Michelle can’t take it. I call her afterwards.''
As for Gia: "She has a small pair of boxing gloves, so she'll be throwing some punches at her dad when I get home.''