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Sport Stephen Fulton outslugs slugger Angelo Leo to become champ

08:51  24 january  2021
08:51  24 january  2021 Source:   boxingjunkie.com

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Stephen Fulton not only dominated Angelo Leo, he beat him at his own game. That made the biggest victory of his career all the more gratifying.

a man standing on a stage © Provided by Boxing Junkie

Fulton outslugged the slugger to win a one-sided unanimous decision and take Leo’s 122-pound world title Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., the Philadelphian’s first major belt.

The fight was competitive and entertaining but – make no mistake – Fulton was the much better fighter, which undoubtedly got the attention of the other top junior featherweights

“The bully gets bullied,” Fulton said. “It always happens. I’m the newww …”

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Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs) was supposed to have fought Leo (20-1, 9 KOs) for the then-vacant title on Aug. 1 but had to pull out three days beforehand after testing positive for COVID-19, which left him devastated. He could only watch as Leo outpointed Tramaine Williams to win the WBO title.

However, the depression didn’t last long. The setback only made him more determined. And it showed in the ring on Saturday.

a man standing on a stage © Provided by Boxing Junkie

Stephen Fulton earned his victory over Angelo Leo on Saturday. Amanda Westcott / Showtime

Fulton threw an eye-popping 1,183 punches (landing 364), according to CompuBox. That’s almost 100 per round. And, after the final bell, he seemed as fresh as he was at the opening bell. He obviously put in tremendous work in the gym.

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Undefeated junior featherweights Angelo Leo and Stephen Fulton were originally set to fight for the then-vacant WBO super bantamweight title this past August. The fight represents an opportunity for Fulton to become world champion after holding some secondary and fringe titles in his first 18 fights.

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That’s how he was able to stand toe-to-toe with a rugged, volume puncher like Leo and actually throw and land more punches. Leo connected on 262 of 810 punches overall.

Fulton might’ve been able to outpoint Leo had he fought from the outside, where he could his jab, follow with occasional combinations and continually move out of harm’s way. He did that at times on Saturday.

However, that was the exception. He decided early in the fight that he was comfortable trading blows with inside. Leo had his moments – for example, he landed 142 of his signature body shots – but it didn’t matter where they stood in relation to each other: Fulton almost always got the better of the exchanges.

Thus, the scorecards weren’t surprising: 119-109, 119-109 and 118-110, all for Fulton. Boxing Junkie had it 117-111, nine rounds to three.

“The game plan was to box at first,” Fulton said. “But when I got in there and made a couple of mistakes, he landed the right hand clean a little bit. I had to get a little dirty and I did. I had to fight his fight to show him I’m the better man in his style. I had to flip the script a little bit.

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Stephen Fulton or Angelo Leo will be king of the 122-pound division after Saturday night. None of his previous foes has the resume of his next opponent, WBO junior featherweight champion Angelo Leo , who also is 26. That title will be on the line as Leo and Fulton clash in Showtime’s main event

UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Stephen Fulton felt a sense of relief when he stepped on the scale early Friday afternoon at Mohegan Sun. Five months after he was supposed to square off against Angelo Leo for the WBO junior featherweight title, Fulton finally weighed in for their 12-round

“I knew eventually I would make it a dogfight and bang with him. And that’s what I did.”

One question going into the fight was whether Fulton would show any ring rust because he hadn’t fought since he outpointed Arnold Khegai in January of last year. Well, if he was rusty, it sure wasn’t evident.

It goes back to losing his opportunity in August, he said. He turned the disappointment into motivation.

“There wasn’t any ring rust due to the things I’ve been through throughout the year,” he said. “… It’s been are rough year for all of us, 2020. … [That] made me love the sport a lot more because I l feel like I lost my opportunity. It gave me a chance to understand that when you have something taken away from you, you find your love for it. And that was boxing.”

Fulton knows exactly what he wants next: unification. And it doesn’t matter who he fights. Murodjon Akhmadaliev holds two of the remaining 122-pound title, Luis Nery one. Either opponent will do.

“The only goal I have … is to become undisputed champion,” he said. “That’s what I’m here for. That’s what I want to do.”

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