Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Unimpressed Stephen Fulton: I'm A Huge Step Up For Khegai

NEW YORK – Stephen Fulton feels Arnold Khegai isn’t ready for what awaits him Saturday night.

The confident champion from Philadelphia predicted he’ll be entirely too much for the unbeaten Ukrainian when they square off in a 12-round, 122-pound title fight Showtime will air as the opener of a tripleheader from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

“I’m a huge step up for him,” Fulton told prior to a press conference Thursday in Brooklyn. “I’m a huge step up for him because I have experience in the amateurs and on the professional stage. He’ll be the seventh undefeated fighter I’ve fought. We can’t say the same for him. He’s never been in that ring with anyone like me.”

fulton-khegai (1)_1

The 25-year-old Fulton (17-0, 8 KOs) abruptly ended his last fight when he snuck a perfectly placed left hook to the body around Isaac Avelar’s guard. That shot sent Avelar to his gloves and knees, and it ended a fight FS1 televised August 24 from Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, Texas, at 1:26 of the sixth round.

Mexico’s Avelar (16-1, 10 KOs) was the sixth unbeaten opponent Fulton has defeated since he turned pro in October 2014. The 27-year-old Khegai (16-0-1, 10 KOs) has defeated veterans Adam Lopez, Jorge Diaz and Vladimir Tikhonov in fights that have aired as part of Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series since May 2018.

Khegai is 1-0-1 against undefeated foes. He knocked out Valery Tretyakov (then 11-0) in the 10th round of their November 2017 bout in Moscow, but Khegai settled for an eight-round split draw with Yerzhan Zalilov (then 4-0) in April 2016, also in Moscow.

Khegai’s handlers still are certain their fighter will be the most difficult opponent of the skillful Fulton’s career when they square off for Fulton’s IBO super bantamweight championship. They also sense Fulton is underestimating the aggressive, rugged Khegai.

“I don’t mind when fighters are confident, but he has like a dismissive confidence to him,” said Dmitriy Salita, Khegai’s promoter. “He really hasn’t accomplished enough yet as a fighter to have that type of attitude. But what matters is what happens when you show up in the ring, whether you can walk the walk like you talk the talk.

“Arnold didn’t say a lot of words, but he’s confident. He knows what this fight means for his career. He knows who he is in with. I think that if Arnold executes the game plan, he’s gonna come out victorious. I also think this is the best and most evenly matched fight on the card.”

Fulton-Khegai will be broadcast immediately before former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champ Jarrett Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, faces Francisco Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs), of Santa Barbara, California, in a 10-rounder. In Showtime’s main event, Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) and Ukraine’s Ivan Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) are set to meet in a 12-round welterweight fight. 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by PBR Streetgang on 01-25-2020

I hope it's a good fight. I like both guys but Fulton does seem borderline overconfident with his comments. Khegai is strong and a solid fighter with good basic skills but he doesn't seem to carry alot of power. I've…

Comment by Tatabanya on 01-25-2020

It's exactly that kind of dismissive attitude that I'm hoping Fulton will bring into the ring. If that's the case, Khegai might very well beat him up (and win me some money while we're at it). For some reason, this…

Top Headlines
Fortuna's Promoter Wants Luke Campbell First, Then Devin Haney Kerman Lejarraga Accepts The Challenge of Sergio Martinez Hearn: Joshua Would Embrace Underdog Role in Fury Fight Derrick Jefferson Transferred Out Of ICU, Continues To Recover From COVID-19 Top Rank Prez: Crawford Wants Spence or Pacquiao, Brook is Option Liam Smith Reflects on Street Fighting Days, Rivalries With Brothers Jose Ramirez: I'm Going To Stay Active In A Very Precautioned Way James: Spence Made Bigger Statement Beating Porter, Garcia At What They Do Best Adrien Broner Ready To Focus 120% On Boxing; People Bank On Me To F--k Around Andrade: Liam Williams Is Not Gonna Be The One To Stop This Train Fernando Vargas Compares His Generation To Current Era Benavidez vs. Angulo: Sampson Secures License in Arizona Canelo's Coach: We Want GGG at 160 - But We'll Make A lot of Noise at 168! Jarrell Miller: A Fight Against Tyson Fury is Inevitable WBA Prez Discusses The State of Boxing During The Pandemic Boxing Will Be Back, But How Much Will It Cost? Canelo's Trainer: I Promise, Golovkin is Getting Knocked Out! Frampton vs. Herring To Land in Late Summer or Early Fall Warren: Tyson Fury Glove Allegations Are Pathetic, It's Stupid! Stevenson: I'm Moving Up To 130 For Sure, Unless It's Warrington Next Carlos Cuadras Eager For Revenge Against Juan Francisco Estrada Sergio Martinez Wants Kerman Lejarraga as Comeback Opponent Devin Haney Reinstated As WBC Lightweight Champion Fury: Coronavirus Can Take Anyone Out, Regardless of How Invincible We Feel Hearn: Joshua Has To Box By Mid-August To Fight Twice in 2020 Mares: I Still Want To Perform At The Highest Level Like I Always Have Parker's Manager: Junior Fa's Demands Were Stratospheric Barry Hearn Has Surgery After Suffering Minor Heart Attack Teofimo Lopez: Davis Can't Even Knock Out an Old Gamboa! Devin Haney Only Moving Up To 140 For Mikey Garcia Keith Thurman Welcomes Rematch With 'Predictable' Danny Garcia Navarrete: I Want Naoya Inoue, Vargas, Luis Nery, Akhmadaliev Demetrius Andrade Angles For Hometown Title Defense Nazarena Romero Changes Life For The Better Through Boxing Callum Smith: I Have No 'Canelo' Regrets Top Rank Prez: No Indication Wilder Would Step Aside For Fury-Joshua Aaron Aponte: Tremendous Feeling To Know My Life is Gonna Change Real Soon Joshua: As a British Fighter - I Don't Get Respect From World Media! Team Pulev Aim For Contingency Plan To Stage Joshua Fight AIBA Pays Off Massive Debt, Implementing Changes Demanded By IOC
Latest Forum Threads