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 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) to end Philadelphia’s world title drought. 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 the left eye of Leo 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 ranks 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. I want all the champions. I want to be undisputed.”
Photos by Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME