The WBO super bantamweight title will be on the line as Angelo Leo and Stephen Fulton will step in the ring at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and both fighters have been waiting a few months to get at each other. This fight was originally scheduled in August but Fulton had been sidelined with COVID-19, which had Leo fighting Tremaine Williams for the vacant title. Now Fulton is ready to go and have his shot to be a world champion. Both fighters are unbeaten and want to get at it.
While Leo (20-0, 9 KOs) is the one coming in as the champion, there are some places that have Fulton as the favorite in the bout on January 23rd. He did have his win over Williams in the same venue but the Las Vegas native is not fazed by the critics that doubt him being successful in the bout against Fulton.
“I’m not surprised at all that Vegas has Fulton as the slight favorite,” Leo said during the press conference. “I know that he has a lot of supporters. I’ve been an underdog before. I’ve been in these shoes before, so it’s no surprise to me. It just gives me more fuel for the fire.”
That fuel is what is motivating him to defend the title as he has been preparing for this bout in camp. He is part of a group of fighters under Floyd Mayweather, and during training camp Floyd had given him a few pointers while working on his game plan.
“Floyd [Mayweather] has been in my ear, solidifying the game plan with me. He’s been telling me exactly what I need to do to win this fight. I’m known for throwing a lot of body punches and for my pressure. That’s no secret. I feel like people haven’t seen all of me yet. I have a lot to prove.”
He does give a lot of respect towards his opponent in Fulton but feels that his style will carry him to victory.
“I know Fulton is coming to fight and I’m coming to fight too. This is going to be one of the best fights of the year and I can’t wait for you all to see it. It’s going to be fireworks.”
For Fulton (18-0, 8 KOs), he is thankful that he is able to be 100% going into this bout. The Philadelphia native had been sidelined for weeks due to having COVID, and he built his way up to being ready for his first fight for a world title. He has taken all the precautions necessary to make sure that he is at full strength after missing out on fighting Leo in August and his level of confidence is high going into his bout.
“Going through the experience of having the fight against Leo cancelled just changed my mindset,” Fulton said. “I felt like I lost everything. It made me train even harder. I took that rage and anxiety and used it every day in training. From losing that opportunity and now coming back, it’s made me better physically, mentally and emotionally.”
“Going through the experience of having the fight against Leo cancelled just changed my mindset. I felt like I lost everything. It made me train even harder. I took that rage and anxiety and used it every day in training. I’m just ready to fight.”
Fulton knows the meaning of being a fighter from the storied city of Philadelphia and getting a shot a world title. Next Saturday, he wants to make it known that he is part of the next series of fighters from that city that will make an impact on the sport but is keeping his cool until fight time.
“I’m one of the guys leading the new era of Philadelphia boxing, but I can’t get ahead of myself,” he said. “I just have to stay smart, calm and do my job. I’m going to solidify what everyone already knew about me.”