MINNEAPOLIS – With his two championship belts draped over each shoulder, Stephen Fulton confidently stepped toward Daniel Roman to pose for pictures after they made weight Friday afternoon.
Philadelphia’s Fulton will defend his WBC and WBO 122-pound crowns against Roman, a former unified champion, on Saturday night. The mandated match between Fulton (20-0, 8 KOs), who is listed as at least a 5-1 favorite by most sportsbooks, and Roman (29-3-1, 10 KOs) will headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” doubleheader from The Armory.
Fulton, 27, and Roman, 32, both stepped on the Minnesota Office of Combat Sports’ scale at 121.4 pounds.
Roman is the mandatory challenger for Fulton’s WBC super bantamweight championship. The Los Angeles native also is ranked number one by the WBO in the 122-pound division.
Fulton beat Brandon Figueroa by majority decision in his last bout, a “Fight of the Year” candidate November 27 at Park MGM’s Dolby Live in Las Vegas. Fulton retained his WBO belt and won the WBC belt from Figueroa (22-1-1, 17 KOs) in that “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event.
Roman has won both of his fights since he lost his IBF and WBA 122-pound titles to Murodjon Akhmadaliev in January 2020. Uzbekistan’s Akhmadaliev (10-0, 7 KOs) defeated Roman by split decision in their 12-round fight at Meridian Island Gardens in Miami.
David Morrell Jr. and Kalvin Henderson met their contractual obligations a few minutes before Fulton and Roman made weight.
The Cuban-born Morrell, who resides in Minneapolis, stepped on the scale at 166.6 pounds. Henderson, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, came in exactly one pound heavier, at 167.6 pounds.
Caesars Sportsbook listed Morrell as a 20-1 favorite Friday to defeat Henderson in Showtime’s co-feature. Morrell (6-0, 5 KOs) will defend the WBA’s secondary super middleweight title against Henderson (15-1-1, 11 KOs).
Showtime’s telecast is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET with a replay of Gervonta Davis’ sixth-round, technical-knockout victory over Rolando Romero. Baltimore’s Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) abruptly ended what was a competitive bout with a single counter left hand that dropped Romero (14-1, 12 KOs) late in the sixth round of their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event last Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.