Stephen Fulton eager to unify super bantamweight division

Stephen Fulton matured in a location of South Philadelphia understood informally as The Forgotten Bottom. His daddy remained in jail when he was born, and he matured with his mom and 3 sis where the noise of shooting in the evening was the background sound of option.

He’s one of the numerous who credits boxing for conserving his life.

“There’s no doubt about it that boxing saved me,” Fulton informed Yahoo Sports. “There was so much violent crime where I grew up. When I finally got into boxing, I got away from it. I would hear that something happened and if I hadn’t been at the gym training, or on the road at a tournament, I’d have been right there with them guys. It would have been me.

“But once I found boxing, it took over and I committed myself. And so I wasn’t around when the trouble was happening and that really saved me. It gave me the opportunity to do something.”

The most substantial thing he’s done is to win the WBO extremely bantamweight title in an engaging bout Saturday on Showtime versus Angelo Leo. Fulton tossed more than 1,000 punches and while Leo never ever stopped, the continuously pressure Fulton used slowly used him down.

It was a redemption of sorts for Fulton, who had a hard time both psychologically and physically after getting COVID-19 and having his very first chance at the title held off.

He was expected to eliminate Leo on Aug. 1, and he was taking all the essential safety measures. However a member of his group that he would not call did refrain from doing the exact same, and the outcome was that Fulton evaluated favorable for the coronavirus.

“Physically, it messed my body up,” Fulton stated. “My lungs, it was rough breathing. It was just rough all the way around. Mentally, it was just depressing. That was one of the lowest moments of my life. Mentally, it was hard to get myself back together. Physically, I knew I had to relax and take some time off and then slowly and surely work my way back. But mentally, it was hard. For so long, I had worked toward this goal and then I get this [virus] and it just plays tricks on your head.”

He took his time and ultimately recuperated and turned his attention towards winning the title.

And while he was excellent in besting Leo and catching the belt, there is lots of competitors at 122 pounds. Fortunately is that marriages shouldn’t be tough. WBA champ Brandon Figueroa, WBC champ Luis Nery and IBF champ Murodjon Akhmadaliev, are all, like Fulton, with the Premier Boxing Champions.

All are likewise unbeaten with a combined record of 79-0-1 with 54 knockouts.

Fulton stated he’ll do whatever he can to merge the belts.

“I want to unify and be undisputed, and I don’t want to just fight anyone,” he stated. “I want the best fights. This is the time to make my mark.”

He made his mark on those who saw him on Showtime on Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. There was no crowd in the audience since of the pandemic, though had actually there been fans, it would have been roaring.

Fulton handled to get around even the absence of fans.

“I use my imagination so much and so what I did was I got into that zone and I imagined there was a crowd there,” he stated. “Honestly, it felt like there was a big crowd there. I don’t know if it was the media team or the crew or what, but they made me feel like it was filled and there was a big crowd. I know they would have been standing if they’d been there, but it felt to me like it was.

“They would have had one hell of a night, but there are going to be more of those down the road.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 25:  Stephen Fulton looks on during his WBO Intercontinental junior featherweight championship bout against Arnold Khegai at Barclays Center on January 25, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Stephen Fulton searches throughout his WBO Intercontinental junior featherweight champion bout versus Arnold Khegai at Barclays Center on Jan. 25, 2020 in New York City City. (Picture by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.