UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Stephen Fulton is mostly known among boxing fans for his intelligence, his jab and his ring generalship.
The undefeated Philadelphia native has knocked out only 44 percent of his pro opponents (18-0, 8 KOs), but Fulton feels his power is the most underrated part of his game. In fact, Fulton expects to surprise Angelo Leo with his power at times Saturday night, when they’ll fight for Leo’s WBO junior featherweight title at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“My power is underestimated,” Fulton told BoxingScene.com. “People sleep on my power a lot. In interviews, he don’t even mention it, which means it’s not a key factor to him. That will be shocking. We’ll see if he can take it. And like I’ve said, I beat all those undefeated fighters. It wasn’t just off my jab and my IQ. Something had to back them off.”
Albuquerque’s Leo is not known as a puncher, either. The 26-year-old Leo (20-0, 9 KOs) has drawn praise for his persistent pressure and relentless body attack, the two foremost factors in his 12-round, unanimous-decision win against Tramaine Williams on August 1 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Williams (19-1, 6 KOs, 1 NC), a southpaw from New Haven, Connecticut, replaced Fulton in that fight on only three days’ notice, right after Fulton tested positive for COVID-19. Fulton is confident he’ll deal with Leo’s aggression much better than Williams was able to do.
“I see him trying to pressure me a lot,” Fulton said, “but me just having the answers to anything that he’s gonna bring and looking forward to doing.”
Fulton, also 26, is a slight favorite to beat Leo in the Mayweather Promotions fighter’s first defense of his 122-pound championship. Those odds don’t surprise Leo because Fulton was favored to win when they were supposed to fight five months ago.
“Eventually, I’ll get to him,” Leo said. “I’ve worked a lot on my footwork and a lot of other things, so we’ll get to him.”
The Leo-Fulton fight is the main event of Showtime’s tripleheader.
The telecast, scheduled to start at 9 p.m. EST, will begin with a 12-round lightweight bout between Las Vegas’ Rolando Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) and Philadelphia’s Avery Sparrow (10-2, 3 KOs, 1 NC). The second fight Showtime will air is a 12-round, 122-pound championship match that’ll pit Ra’esse Aleem (17-0, 11 KOs), of Muskegon, Michigan, against Vic Pasillas (16-0, 9 KOs), of Redwood City, California, for the WBA interim super bantamweight championship.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.