Stephen Fulton Jr.’s confidence is climbing through the roof following his unanimous decision win over Angelo Leo earlier this year, a victory that led to the Philadelphia fighter capturing his first world title.
The WBO super bantamweight champion Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs) will next face WBC and WBA champion Brandon Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) on Sept. 11 in a 122-pound unification match on Showtime.
The 26-year-old Fulton is high on his immediate future.
"Figueroa doesn’t use his range, he doesn’t use his height so technically I’ll be the bigger fighter, I’ll be the taller fighter, I’ll be the rangier fighter, he doesn’t use it,” said Fulton in an interview with the Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer.
“He doesn’t know how to use those abilities that he has, he only has one way to fight … yes for sure [the fight will end in a knockout win for me].”
Following the potential win over Figueroa, Fulton Jr. said he should be honored with a slew of accolades.
"When I become victorious over Brandon, I believe I’ll be considered in the pound-for-pound [list],” he said. “Not only that, I believe I will have the fight of the year candidate, and after that I see I could be fighter of the year.
"There’s never been an undisputed champion at 122, I need to be the first to do that … and then move up and probably face [Emanuel] Navarrete for that WBO [world title]."
Fulton took his aspirations and promises one step further when he started discussing a possible fight with the WBA, IBF, and Ring Magazine bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue.
"I see me wiping him out clean! [Inoue is] too small for me, he’s too short, his reach isn’t there, I’m not going to sit there for those power shots all the time. He’s good, but he’s not better than me. I believe what happened to Nery [when Figueroa knocked him out last month] will happen to him."
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com