In the long-awaited battle between unbeaten junior featherweights, Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton Jr. captured his first world title via unanimous decision over Angelo Leo.
The battle took place in the main event of 2021’s inaugural SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast, live on SHOWTIME from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs) turned in a masterful performance as he bested Albuquerque, New Mexico’s unbeaten world champion Leo (20-1, 9 KOs). Philadelphia’s world title drought is over.
With his win over Leo, the 26-year-old Fulton has now toppled eight undefeated fighters in his young professional career. The ringside judges scored the fight 119-109, 119-109, and 118-110.
“It feels good,” said Fulton, following the biggest win of his professional career. “I told you that I would engage more in this fight.
“I boxed a little, but I engaged more to show him that I’m better than him at what he does best. I’m used to dealing with fighting inside the gym, inside the ring.
“Everyone I’ve fought tried to bully me. This time I did to them what they try to do to me. And I got the job done.”
An accidental clash of heads in the opening round opened a cut over Leo’s left eye, but it ultimately did not play much of a role in the fight.
The two fighters combined to throw 1,993 punches throughout the back-and-forth 12-round fight, which was fought largely at close range in the middle of the ring.
Fulton threw 913 power punches, which rank third all-time in the junior featherweight division’s rich history.
Fulton added, “I wore him down by attacking his body and pushing him back. I had to change the whole narrative, push him back, and dropping those uppercuts in.
That’s how I got the job done. From like the fifth round, that’s when I knew I was going to take off. I never got tired from engaging.
“After a year off, I feel I did a good job, but I could be a lot better, a lot sharper. I want Luis Nery, Brandon Figueroa. And I want all the champions. I want to be undisputed.”
In the co-main event, Ra’eese Aleem (18-0, 12 KOs) handed Victor Pasillas (15-1, 8 KOs) his first professional loss with an impressive 11th-round technical knockout.
Aleem, 30, entered the fight ranked in the top-10 by the WBA and IBF at 122 pounds and captured the vacant interim WBA world super bantamweight title with his win over Pasillas.
It was the seventh straight stoppage victory for the Michigan native, who now lives and trains out of Las Vegas, and hopes to get a world title shot in 2021.
Only down twice in his career before this fight, Aleem sent Pasillas to the canvas four times en route to the stoppage in the penultimate round.
The two fighters combined to throw 1,212 punches throughout the fight, with Aleem out-landing Pasillas 185 to 143.
Aleem controlled the pace throughout the fight with an onslaught of body shots (64), which totaled 34% of his total punches landed.
“I was dominant,” said Aleem. “I wanted to put an exclamation point with this performance.
“It feels absolutely amazing. It just confirms what I knew in my head, that I have elite power. He’s one of the top fighters in the division, so to knock him out means I’m a true threat.
“I think a lot of people were sleeping on me and my power. But I wasn’t surprised that I stopped him. I didn’t think he’d be able to go the distance with me.
“I think a lot of the fighters in this division should really be on notice.
“It doesn’t matter who I fight next. I’m ready to fight any world champion. Whether it’s Fulton or if Murodjon Akhmadaliev wants to come out of hiding.
“Any current world champion that’s willing to fight, I’m ready. I’ve got the pen. Send the contract.”
Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions promoted the event.