In Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton’s mind, he is already the champion. He envisioned himself defending the 122-pound title around this time, but instead, he’ll be the challenger.
A positive COVID-19 test from Fulton resulted in his removal from a main event fight against Angelo Leo on Aug. 1. Five months later, the two are set to meet Jan. 23 on Showtime for the WBO junior featherweight title at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
“Leo vs. Fulton is a true 50-50 matchup between two rising stars entering the primes of their careers,” Tom Brown, president of TGB Promotions said in a statement. “Fulton’s chance at capturing the title was delayed but his opportunity finally comes January 23 on Showtime. Leo worked incredibly hard to capture the world championship in August and will come prepared and determined to defend it successfully.”
Leo (20-0, 9 KOs) defeated Fulton’s replacement, Tramaine Williams in a unanimous decision. After the fight, Fulton tweeted, “this was a easy win for me,” indicating his confidence against Leo.
That’s just one tweet in the war of words between the two boxers. Before the scheduled Aug. 1 fight, both fighters boldly expressed their confidence against the other.
“I am going to beat him because he hasn’t been tested,” Fulton said in July. “No one he fought has brought any competition to him.”
“I am hungrier than him. I have seen what he has, and I know I can break him down,” Leo said in a July news conference. “He doesn’t have the will and the heart like I do.”
Fulton (18-0, 8 knockouts) is a West Philadelphia native from “The Bottom.” Philly boxers Julian Williams and Danny Garcia lost championship fights in 2020, so Fulton would be Philadelphia’s only current champ with a win.
But that won’t come easy. Not only is Leo the most accomplished opponent Fulton has faced, but it’ll be Cool Boy’s first match in a year. He last fought Arnold Khegai on Jan. 25, 2020.