Stephen Fulton thinks Tramaine Williams would’ve beaten Angelo Leo if Williams had a better training camp prior to their fight five months ago.
Williams took that WBO 122-pound title fight on only three days’ notice, once Fulton tested positive for COVID-19. The left-handed Williams boxed well in the first three rounds, but the determined Leo’s persistent pressure and brutal body attack slowed Williams and helped him win by wide distances on all three scorecards August 1 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“In reality, I believe Tramaine is the better fighter than Leo,” Fulton, who will challenge Leo on Saturday night, told BoxingScene.com. “It’s just that his conditioning wasn’t where it was needed and where it was supposed to be because that’s not who he was originally supposed to fight. I think it would’ve went a lot different [if Williams prepared for a title fight]. I can say he probably would’ve beat him.”
Williams (19-1, 6 KOs, 1 NC), of New Haven, Connecticut, prepared to face Ra’esse Aleem in a 12-round WBA elimination match on the Leo-Fulton undercard. Aleem is unbeaten, but Fulton feels Williams wasn’t ready mentally to battle Leo.
“I believe he underestimated him a little bit,” Fulton said, “along with not knowing and being mentally prepared for Leo’s skill and mindset leading up to the fight. Leo already had the mindset to kill because he was getting ready to face me, and we’re two undefeated fighters. Not only that, it was for the belt, and he was way more focused.
“Tramaine wasn’t worried about a belt until the last minute. Had he been focusing and knowing he was fighting for a belt, then his stamina and everything would’ve been a lot better. He would’ve took that a lot more seriously than he did.”
Suspecting Williams wasn’t properly prepared, their fight unfolded the way Fulton expected. Judges Glenn Feldman (118-110) and Don Trella (118-110) scored 10 rounds apiece for Leo, who won nine rounds according to judge Don Ackerman (117-111).
“I thought it was gonna go how it was starting off for Tramaine,” Fulton said. “I thought he would win at least two more rounds. So, I thought Tramaine would keep that energy up to at least the fifth round. But I knew Angelo Leo was gonna apply the pressure, and keep coming and keep coming and keep coming. So, I kinda expected the fight to go how it went because that’s how they were gonna fight me.”
Albuquerque’s Leo (20-0, 9 KOs) versus Philadelphia’s Fulton (18-0, 8 KOs), a 12-round fight for Leo’s WBO junior featherweight title, will headline Showtime’s tripleheader Saturday night from Mohegan Sun Arena (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT).
Aleem (17-0, 11 KOs), of Muskegon, Michigan, and Vic Pasillas (16-0, 9 KOs), of Redwood City, California, will meet in the co-feature, a 12-round fight for the WBA interim super bantamweight title. The show will open with another 12-round battle between Las Vegas’ Rolando Romero (12-0, 10 KOs), the WBA interim lightweight champ, and Houston’s Justin Pauldo (14-1, 7 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.