WBO Junior Featherweight World Champion Angelo Leo and unbeaten rising star Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton Jr. previewed their long-awaited championship showdown throughout a digital press convention Wednesday as they put together to battle reside on SHOWTIME Saturday, January 23 in a Premier Boxing Champions occasion from Mohegan Solar Area in Uncasville, Conn.
The primary SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast of 2021 begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and contains a co-main occasion pitting two extra undefeated 122-pound boxers in opposition to one another as Ra’eese Aleem and Victor Pasillas face off in a 12-round bout for the interim WBA title. Within the telecast opener, rising prospect Rolando Romero squares off in opposition to Justin Pauldo in a 12-round light-weight bout for Romero’s interim WBA title. The mixed ring report of the six fighters on the cardboard is a exceptional 96 wins with only one loss.
The occasion is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions.
Leo and Fulton have been initially scheduled to satisfy on SHOWTIME for the vacant title in August, earlier than Fulton obtained a constructive COVID-19 check. Leo went on to defeat Tramaine Williams by unanimous determination to seize the title and can now make his first protection in opposition to the unbeaten Fulton.
Here’s what the press convention contributors needed to say Wednesday:
“That is going to be an excellent combat. I do know Fulton is coming to combat and I’m coming to combat too. We now have two contrasting types. I see it type of as an East Coast vs. West Coast factor, so it’s going to be fireworks. That is going to be among the best fights of the yr and I can’t await you all to see it.
“I’m not stunned in any respect that Vegas has Fulton because the slight favourite. I do know that he has a number of supporters. I’ve been an underdog earlier than. I’ve been in these footwear earlier than, so it’s no shock to me. It simply provides me extra gasoline for the fireplace. I’m in no way offended that he’s the favourite. That is boxing and Fulton is an effective fighter, however I’m trying to show on January 23 that I’m the place I belong and that I’m world champion for a purpose.
“I’m recognized for throwing a number of physique punches and for my stress. That’s no secret. I really feel like folks haven’t seen all of me but. I’ve so much to show. I nonetheless have a number of appears to point out and are available January 23, I feel Stephen Fulton will carry that every one out of me. I feel it’s vital, in each combat, to go to the physique. Like they are saying, go to the physique and the top will fall, but when he needs to maneuver round and put stress, I’ve a treatment for all that.
“Floyd [Mayweather] has been in my ear, solidifying the sport plan with me. He’s been telling me precisely what I must do to win this combat. I noticed him shortly on Monday. It was transient however he simply stopped in to say whats up and see how I used to be doing.
“Being champion is one thing that I at all times wished to be so now that I’ve the belt, I’ve the arrogance I would like. However I don’t take my foot off the fuel simply because I’m champion. They are saying that after you’re champion, it’s really more durable. As unhealthy as you need it, now all people else needs it simply as unhealthy as you do. My mentality is similar now that I’m world champion and I’m gunning for extra world championships. I’m not the hunted. I’m nonetheless looking.
“I’m going to point out Stephen that it’s completely different once you get within the ring. There’s much more components that play out. Not simply stress. Not simply physique work. There are a number of issues I’ve up my sleeve that lots of people haven’t seen but and I’m going to showcase all my expertise on January 23.
“Johnny Tapia is the satisfaction and pleasure of Albuquerque. He’s one of many biggest fighters from that metropolis and to be talked about together with his title is an honor. Johnny Tapia was a very good particular person, very charismatic and he confirmed all people love.
“This combat is nice for boxing. You have got two undefeated fighters, each of their prime – what extra would you like from two fighters on this boxing period? That is the marquee combat proper right here. That is the combat followers need to see.
“With this efficiency I need to let all people know that I’m right here to remain. I feel lots of people are doubting me simply because I fought Tramaine Williams they usually say he simply had three days’ discover. However he was preparing for a combat as nicely. I’ve a number of doubters that I need to show unsuitable and on this combat, I feel I’ll have the chance to.”
“January 23 goes to be fireworks. Leo is the champion and has that spark and fireplace. We’re each coming hungry and ready to make this an excellent combat. This combat is definitely a bit underrated as a result of we’re smaller guys, however we’re each within the high 5 of this division. Leo and I each have one thing to show and I’m able to get it on.
“I don’t suppose the layoff will have an effect on me in any respect. I feel it makes me much more prepared. I can’t wait to get within the ring and get again to doing what I really like.
“My sport plan stays the identical as if I used to be preventing him in August. We’re at all times able to make changes, however I consider I’m a lot better than if I had fought in August. From dropping that chance and now coming again, it’s made me higher bodily, mentally and emotionally.
“Going by means of the expertise of getting the combat in opposition to Leo cancelled simply modified my mindset. I felt like I misplaced the whole lot. It made me prepare even more durable. I took that rage and nervousness and used it day-after-day in coaching. I’m simply able to combat.
“To me, it means the whole lot to be a world champion from Philadelphia. That is what I’ve been working for my complete profession. To my metropolis, it will present folks from my neighborhood that there’s a manner out. However I don’t really feel any stress due to it. This sport teaches us the self-discipline to carry out in moments like this. The stress is simply part of my job.
“My streak of taking fighters’ ‘0’ goes to proceed on January 23. Fighters have their factor that they’re recognized for: Gervonta Davis knocks folks out, Chris Colbert reveals off his flashy expertise, and I take fighters’ ‘0’s. Come combat evening, we’ll each be ready and prepared. I’m able to placed on a present and I consider Leo shall be able to do the identical.
“I’m one of many guys main the brand new period of Philadelphia boxing, however I can’t get forward of myself. I simply have to remain good, calm and do my job. It’s all about doing what I got here there to do.
“I’m that subsequent wave and I’m simply able to stamp it by getting this belt. I’m going to solidify what everybody already knew about me. I’ve the famous person high quality in me and I’ll present it on this combat.
“Leo’s efficiency in opposition to Williams was what I anticipated. I knew he was going to return ahead and be a canine, however I don’t suppose Williams anticipated it. He’s a very good fighter, he earned his manner right here, and now we simply should combat.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“On this foremost occasion now we have a extremely anticipated combat that the followers have been ready for because it was first introduced. This can be a significant combat for the 122-pound division. This is likely one of the hottest divisions in boxing, with a lot of fighters which you could combine and match to make quite a few nice matchups.
“Angelo Leo is coming off an amazing victory to win this title in opposition to Tramaine Williams. That was his popping out social gathering. He was actually spectacular and made an enormous assertion. With regards to Fulton, you realize he doesn’t lack confidence. He’s younger, undefeated, gifted and he appears like this shall be his best payday thus far. He believes he’s going to stroll by means of Leo.
“This foremost occasion has two younger undefeated fighters dealing with one another of their primes. That’s what makes an excellent combat. It’s additionally fascinating that Fulton is definitely a slight betting favourite, regardless of Leo being the champion.
“We open the telecast with Mayweather Promotions’ personal Rolando Romero. ‘Rolly’ is coming off a lower than spectacular efficiency when he gained the interim title, so he’ll be trying to make an enormous assertion for followers. That is going to be an excellent card from high to backside and we will’t wait.”
TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions
“You gained’t discover many younger fighters which have been in opposition to as a lot spectacular competitors as Stephen Fulton has. Seven of his victories out of his 18 wins are over undefeated fighters. It’s very spectacular. He’s coming to seize what he believes is his and what ought to have been his again in August.
“The co-feature is the combat I’m actually enthusiastic about with Ra’eese Aleem and Victor Pasillas. This can be a crucial matchup with very official contenders. A 50-50 combat between two undefeated prospects within the sizzling 122-pound division. Each fighters have made it clear that they need the elite of the division and they’re prepared to place all of it on the road January 23 to make that occur. The winner of this combat shall be within the driver’s seat for any of the 122-pound champions.
“Within the opener, they are saying types make fights and Justin Pauldo has a mode that might actually give Rolando Romero some matches. He’s obtained an excellent jab and he’s in nice form and down in Houston coaching with Ronnie Shields. He’s coming to win. Out of the six featured fights now we have just one loss between them, so we’re going to see some ‘0’s go on January 23. We’re wanting ahead to it.”