Unbeaten super middleweight Anthony Sims Jr. (20-0) fights for the WBO Latino title on Thursday night, challenging incumbent champion Roamer Alexis Angulo (25-1) at Island Gardens, Miami.
With a significant Latino population, Miami is one of the preeminent locations to contest a Latino title; and although native to Columbia, the added subplot of Angulo now training and residing within this wealthy enclave upon the South Florida coast, suggests a partisan crowd that unlike all bookmakers will favour the champ.
For Sims Jr., this fight represents his fourth contest since signing with Matchroom Boxing and ubiquitous promoter Eddie Hearn. His journey is remarkable and well documented. From the tragic circumstances of his father’s suicide, when Sims was age just 6, to years in specialist education unable to speak or read due to the resultant psychological trauma, to being bullied, to taking up boxing, to living and training with Roger and Floyd Mayweather Sn., to being Floyd Mayweather’s second cousin, to being promoted by Murad Muhammad (who first discovered Manny Pacquiao) and Don King, to the recent suicide of his brother, to training with Freddie Roach and Emanuel Steward.
He has long been considered one to watch, a champion in waiting and a top prospect. Now, established, comparatively content, and active under Matchroom, Sims Jr. is acutely focused on fulfilling that promise and in winning his first pro title.
“I plan on making it my first of many. I’ve been ready for this step up for some time and I will prove that I am ready to mix it with the best.”
His last victory was a 6th round TKO over Morgan Fitch (19-4-1), an opponent who closely resembles a heavily tattooed version of ITV weatherman, Alex Beresford. Sims JR. was sharp and impressive. His footwork fluid and skilled, cutting off the ring and avoiding Fitch’s venturesome importunes, whilst countering with his characteristic and rapid own. And he shall require all of these faculties honed and braced for the upcoming demand of succeeding Angulo.
Roamer Alexis Angulo is a proven, heavy-handed knockout veteran. Aged 35, he is 11 years senior to Sims, boasts an impressive 22 KOs within 25 professional victories and only has one defeat, a unanimous decision loss to undefeated Mexican and then WBO super middleweight champion, Gilberto Ramirez (40-0). Angulo rocked Ramirez twice in the contest and demonstrated a footwork and shot selection belying the fact that he belongs at championship level. Exhorting the support of his aforementioned local support and alluding to the relative chasm in extant experience, Angulo told reporters:
“On January 30th, my opponent will be facing the most difficult test of his young career. I will do everything I can so that he fails. I hope many of my fans and fellow Columbians living in Miami will come out to see my give my all.”
This is once again a further manifestation of the archetypal narrative young pretender vs ageing champion, only this time, and in this location, the protagonists are named Anthony Sims Jr. and Roamer Alexis Angulo, with the WBO Latino title a token coincidentally also at stake. Will the status quo be maintained or will the disruption of youth finally prevail? Only one fighter can win. Tune in on Saturday night to find out who.