Ra’eese Aleem wants Stephen Fulton

After an impressive performance this past Sunday, Ra’eese “The Beast” Aleem (20-0, 12 KOs), lived up to his moniker as he clearly defeated “Magic” Mike Plania (26-2, 13 KOs), via a ten-round dominate unanimous decision, in a manner unlike any fighter had prior. Aleem ended Plania’s 11-fight winning streak on the undercard of Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Luis Ortiz.

It is clear Aleem wants unified super bantamweight champion, Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs), as he stated this after the fight.

According to Team Aleem, here are the reasons why he deserves a fight against Fulton:

World Rankings

Aleem is currently ranked #4 in the world according to BoxRec.com, and #2 in the United States behind Fulton by that same rating metric. Aleem also won a bout that made him WBO NABO champion, improving his ranking in the WBO 122 lbs. division, a division in which Fulton is the champion. Aleem previously was the #1 contender in the WBA world rankings as well.

An Easy Fight to Make 

Furthermore, Aleem is undefeated in twenty professional fights with twelve wins by way of knockout, having fought several times on Showtime, the same network that Fulton won his world title on. In addition, the fight is very easy to make since all the parties involved have all fought under the PBC banner.

“I wish the politics of boxing didn’t play such a big role in the sport, but it does and Murodjon Akhmadaliev, the other unified champion in the division, is on the other side of the fence with another network,” said Aleem. “I fight on Showtime and have fought on this network several times, including on the same fight cards as Stephen Fulton. I have served as a co-main event to his headlining bouts on two different occasions. I know fight fans really want to see this fight, especially after my last performance on Sunday. Now I just need the media to demand it.”

No Other Fighter Makes Sense for Fulton Right Now

No other fighter is available as Luis Nery, the #1 contender to face Fulton, is scheduled for a fight soon, and Akhmadaliev is looking to make a world title defense, along with network politics getting in the way of that fight.

In terms of a fight in the United States, no other fight for Fulton offers the anticipation as Ra’eese Aleem. Aleem is getting fans, and even veteran broadcasters like Al Bernstein, wondering what would happen if the two were to fight.

“We both fight on PBC, either he vacates, or he fights me, it is really simple,” said Aleem with frustration. “I think it’s funny he’s using that language, sounds like he’s deflecting, maybe he is scared to fight, in response to veteran broadcaster Al Bernstein’s tweet. I have never been one to trash-talk anyone, but it appears Fulton has a lot of nervous energy around this fight, and is lashing out at people who are excited by this potential match-up. People consider him the best fighter in the super bantamweight division, which is why I want to fight, because I believe I can beat him. This is a big money fight for both of us, and he should embrace it, instead he’s being spineless with his responses.”

Earned His Way Here

Aleem has waited for years for a title shot as he battled his way up from the club circuit, onto television, to get his chance to face the best. Aleem is a former WBA #1 contender who has faced faced five consecutive tough opponents.

Those opponents include:

  • Mike Plania, who was coming in on an eleven-fight winning streak.

  • Eduardo Baez, who would face Emanuel Navarrete in his next fight, and give him a hard fight as well.

  • Vic Pasillas, who was undefeated at the time, and being touted by veteran broadcasters as a future world champion.

  • Marcus Bates, a fighter who Aleem defeated to take his undefeated record, who he faced in a televised rematch, and was victorious a second time.

  • Adam Lopez was a tough contender who never fought again after being stopped by Aleem.

“I am motivated by the fans, broadcasters, and media members who are demanding to see this fight,” concluded Aleem. “Hearing the public say it, and the way he is behaving makes it clear, I am Stephen Fulton’s biggest threat in the division. In today’s world, we need the greatest fighters to chase glory, and see who is truly the best. I am tired of boxing being a second-tier sport that is ignored because we neglect the fans from getting the fights they want to see. I want to make the best fights possible but Fulton is running scared. Let’s be honest, it makes no sense for either of us to fight anyone else at this point. I rise to the occasion every time I step in the ring, and this will be no different. If given the chance I will be the man to beat Stephen Fulton.

Photo: Ryan Hafney/PBC

Stephen Fulton wants to be undisputed at 122 after win over Roman

WBC and WBO 122-pound world champion Stephen Fulton Jr. displayed his full complement of skills and made his case as a top pound-for-pound fighter in a dominant unanimous decision win over former unified champion Danny Roman Saturday night in the main event of action live on SHOWTIME in front of a sold-out crowd at The Armory in Minneapolis in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

“I made a hell of a statement tonight,” said Fulton, who improved to 21-0 with eight knockouts. “I prepared for this and I told y’all I was going to make it easy and fight depending on how I wake up, and I woke up feeling good.”

The Philadelphia-native closed out the bout in impressive fashion, moving to the inside for the final three rounds as he continued to batter and frustrate Roman. Overall, he held a 218 to 113 lead in punches landed according to CompuBox, including 112 to 68 in power shots. In addition, his nine jabs landed per round was more than double the average for the weight class. After 12 rounds, all three judges were in agreement on Fulton’s dominance, with final scores of 120-108 twice and 119-109.

“There’s no excuse,” said Roman, who dropped to 29-4-1 with 10 knockouts. “I think this fight proves who the best 122-pound fighter in the division is. Fulton did that tonight. He proved it. I wish him the best and I hope he goes and achieves what I couldn’t achieve. Go become undisputed. Like I said, this fight proved who is the best in the division. Fulton was the better man tonight.”

Known as “Cool Boy Steph”, Fulton was in control throughout the action, showing off expert movement against an aggressive opponent, while consistently finding openings for his offense. Roman pushed the pace early and often, initiating offense with power and body shots, but Fulton effectively countered him repeatedly and removed himself from danger.

“It was very important to control the distance tonight,” said Fulton. “Like I said before, in the last outing with Brandon Figueroa, I didn’t have the energy because I didn’t make the weight the right way. So shout out to my dietician. Any moment he had, I took it right away from him. I neutralized the threat.”

“Fulton knew how to use his distance,” said Roman. “It was hard for me to adjust to his distance because he was boxing. He came in and came out. He changed his style so it was hard for me to adjust.”

After unifying titles last November in an all-action showdown against  Figueroa, Fulton used more movement on his way to a wider decision in his first defense as unified champion. Fulton’s accuracy was a key throughout, as he held a 36% to 17% edge in connect percentage.

“I started walking him down because I saw that he had been slowing down,” said Fulton of the final rounds. “I feel like the more I kept boxing, the more I just got a little tired of boxing. Me trying to walk forward to him wasn’t going to happen all the time, but I definitely saw him slowing down. I wanted to stop him but I didn’t get that.”

In his post-fight interview with SHOWTIME’s Brian Campbell, Fulton set his sights on an undisputed 122-pound title fight against fellow unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev.

“You already know what’s next,” said Fulton. “I want M.J. I got to finish this up. But much respect for Danny Roman. Much respect.”

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Fulton on win over Figueroa: ‘I was landing a lot of clean shots’

In a non-stop action fight between undefeated super bantamweight world champions, Stephen Fulton Jr. unified WBO and WBC titles with a majority decision victory over Brandon Figueroa live on SHOWTIME Saturday night in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas.

This showdown was set up earlier this year with each fighter capturing a world title by defeating an undefeated opponent, as Fulton (20-0, 8 KOs) bested Angelo Leo in January to capture the WBO belt, while Figueroa (22-1-1, 17 KOs) stopped Luis Nery in May to earn his WBC title. The two champions put on a memorable display, combining to throw over 1,700 punches across 12 rounds according to CompuBox.

“I was catching him in between every shot he was throwing,” said Fulton. “He was making it sloppy and rough.”

“I hurt him like five or six times,” said Figueroa. “I put the pressure on for the whole 12 rounds, landed the cleaner shots and hurt him. I thought I only lost four rounds at the most.”

It was Figueroa’s activity (1,060 punches thrown) against Fulton’s accuracy (37% connect rate) squaring off throughout a narrow fight in which neither man was able to sustain momentum for long. In rounds four through seven, the fighters were separated by just two punches landed (103 to 101 for Figueroa).

“I was landing a lot of clean shots,” said Fulton. “He was throwing wild shots that the fans were enjoying, but he was hitting my arms a lot.”

In a memorable sixth frame, each fighter landed nothing but power shots with Figueroa connecting on 36 to Fulton’s 34. In a frantic 10th round, Figueroa looked to have Fulton hurt after numerous flurries of power punches. However, Fulton was able to recover in the final two rounds to win both the 11th and 12th on two judges’ cards.

That final push helped Fulton hold on with the score of 116-112 from two judges overruling a 114-114 card. After the fight, both fighters believed they had done enough to win and were open to battling again in a rematch. 

“It was an amazing experience,” said Fulton. “The judges made their decision and we can run it back.”

“It was the robbery of the year,” said Figueroa. “The fans who watched this live know who won. I always come to fight and I did that all night.”

 

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

In the co-main event, top super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem (19-0, 12 KOs) remained unbeaten with a majority decision over Mexico’s Eduardo Baez (20-2-2, 7 KOs) after 10 rounds of action.

“I’m coming off a long lay-off so I was a little bit rusty,” said Aleem. “I wanted to stop him, but he kept bringing it. I did what I had to do.”

Aleem showed off his versatile attack from the outset, flashing combinations combined with consistent activity that would carry him throughout the 10 rounds. Baez proved to be a sturdy challenge, and despite loading up for big right hands throughout the fight, he was able to land and keep Aleem from overwhelming him.

Aleem switched between southpaw and orthodox stances during the action to varying success, and overall held a 232 to 111 advantage in punches landed. Of those 232, Aleem connected on 90 body shots that helped him keep Baez at bay.

“I’m a dog,” said Aleem. “I grinded it out. I turned southpaw and got caught with some shots, but I hung in there. I can hang with anyone. It doesn’t matter who steps in there against me, I’m going to win.”

Baez fought valiantly through a cut on his forehead that opened up in the middle rounds due to an accidental headbutt. Aleem appeared to have Baez hurt in the ninth round with a counter right hand from the southpaw stance, but ended up holding on through round 10 to win the decision with scores of 98-92, 96-94 and 95-95.

“He was a tough Mexican fighter, but I got the job done,” said Aleem. “I want the winner of the main event. They can run but they can’t hide.”

 

 

Fulton, Aleem preview their fights on Saturday night

Undefeated WBO 122-pound world champion Stephen Fulton Jr. and unbeaten top contender Ra’eese Aleem previewed their respective showdowns during a Las Vegas media roundtable on Saturday, before they enter the ring in separate attractions live on SHOWTIME this Saturday, November 27 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas.

Fulton will square off against WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Brandon Figueroa in the main event, while Aleem battles Mexico’s Eduardo Báez in the co-main event of the telecast, which begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Here is what Fulton and Aleem, who are both training in Las Vegas for Saturday’s matchups, had to say at the media roundtable this past weekend:

STEPHEN FULTON JR.

“When I fought out in Nevada during the amateurs, I knew I would be back here fighting in Las Vegas one day as a pro. This has a totally different feel to it but I’m just focused on getting the job done and winning.

“I feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing right now. I’m here for a reason. I’m not going to let the bright lights get to me. I was made for this and I take that mindset into the ring.

“Once I turned pro, I was on the path to becoming world champion. I’ve won a world title in the division I turned pro in, and now I’m unifying in my first fight as champion. I want to keep pushing forward and become undisputed at this weight class.

“My ability to adjust and outthink Figueroa is going to be the difference. That’s not to mention my speed and underrated power. I know Figueroa is going to throw a lot of punches, but I’m going to make him miss and capitalize on his mistakes.

“Everyone has a different path and for me that’s been taking dangerous fights against undefeated opponents. That’s made me a better fighter. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken some of those fights, but now I’ve got this resume that can stack up against anybody.”

 

RA’EESE ALEEM

“I’m extremely excited to be back doing what I love to do and to be fighting on a big SHOWTIME card. I’ve been getting great sparring out here in Las Vegas and I’m absolutely ready for Saturday.

“I’ve been working on really taking my time in the ring. Even if I’m being aggressive, I’m still taking my time while doing that. If I had taken my time against Vic Pasillas in my last fight, I would have stopped him in the sixth round. I was pushing the pace when I didn’t have to.

“I would love to fight Stephen Fulton. I believe that I’m the best in the division and some people think that he’s the best. If he wins this fight and I win Saturday, that’s the fight I want next. I’m ready to make it happen.

“I just have to keep winning and make big statements in every fight. I’m going to keep earning more recognition. I’m just starting to show people who I really am and I can’t let up.”

Figueroa-Fulton set for 11/27 in Las Vegas

Undefeated 122-pound world champions are set for a unification clash as WBC champion Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa and WBO champion Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton Jr. will battle in the SHOWTIME main event Saturday, November 27 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Park Theater at Park MGM in Las Vegas.

Figueroa and Fulton were originally scheduled to face each other on Saturday, September 18, before the fight was pushed back due to a positive COVID-19 test for Figueroa.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and also features undefeated super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem battling Mexico’s Eduardo Baez in the 10-round co-main event. Opening the telecast, unbeaten rising bantamweight contender Gary Antonio Russell takes on Mexico’s Alejandro Barrios in a 10-round showdown. The event is promoted by TGB Promotions.

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

# # #

Fulton on fight with Figueroa: ‘I don’t feel any extra pressure going into this fight’

With just over two weeks until his highly anticipated super bantamweight unification fight on SHOWTIME, undefeated WBO 122-pound world champion Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton Jr. has relocated to Las Vegas to put the finishing touches on his summer-long training camp. Fulton Jr. will face WBC champion Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event on Saturday, September 18 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Park Theater at Park MGM in Las Vegas.

“I am trying to get used to everything in Vegas,” said Fulton Jr. “I wanted to get away from home, be away everyone and get myself a little uncomfortable to finish up camp.”

Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Pa., Fulton Jr. (19-0, 8 KOs) is the city’s only world champion following a triumphant win over then-unbeaten Angelo Leo in January on SHOWTIME. This will mark the first title defense for Fulton and Figueroa, who have been on a collision course for many years and finally meet to determine the king of the 122-pound division.

“I don’t feel any extra pressure going into this fight,” added Fulton Jr. “I don’t know why people expect me to feel more pressure entering my first defense and this huge unification fight, but I don’t let any of that get to me. I know there are people doubting me and I can’t wait for them to watch what happens on September 18.”

The 24-year-old Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) captured his world title from former two-division champion Luis Nery via devastating seventh-round knockout in May on SHOWTIME. Immediately following his win, Fulton entered the ring for a face off with the newly minted champ which set up their September unification. Figueroa is well-known for his hard-charging style while Fulton Jr. is lauded for his boxing prowess, setting the stage for an excellent clash of styles.

“I feel like this is a classic boxer-brawler matchup, but I showed in my last fight that I can brawl too,” explained the 27-year-old champ. “He can’t become a pure boxer now though, it’s too late in the game to teach him that. I am more than prepared for him to come in and try to walk me down but if he has a different game plan, I have the adjustments ready.”

The fight marks Fulton’s first fight as a professional in Las Vegas, the site of boxing’s biggest title fights in history. Figueroa will make his second appearance in Vegas where he suffered his lone pro blemish – a split draw against Julio Ceja in 2019.

“This is my first professional fight in Las Vegas,” stated Fulton Jr. “I fought in Nevada as an amateur. I fought in the Junior Golden Gloves here and won the whole tournament.”

Trained in his hometown by coach Wahid Rahim, Fulton has adopted a new approach to his training camps when preparing for his last two fights.

“I trained alone for this camp and I feel like this is how it needs to be moving forward as a championship fighter,” added Fulton. “Due to the COVID situation, I just tried to stay away from everybody.

“I was locked down like this when training for the Angelo Leo fight, too. I like it better to be in the gym by myself or with less people. I like it better because I get to focus more on myself. I have the ring to myself; I have the bags to myself. You don’t have to worry about taking turns or waiting for anything when you are the main priority. You get your job done faster, easier, and more efficiently.

“I worked harder. I sparred more, I focused more on my endurance. The world will see September 18 on SHOWTIME.”

The three-fight boxing event will open SHOWTIME’s combat sports doubleheader on September 18. Immediately following the main event from Las Vegas, BELLATOR MMA will air live from San Jose, Calif. with a three-fight event headlined by light heavyweight contenders Phil Davis and Yoel Romero.

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Figueroa: ‘We’ve been waiting for this fight against (Stephen)Fulton’

Undefeated rising star Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa scored a career-best victory and captured the WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship with a seventh-round knockout of unbeaten two-division champion Luis Nery Saturday night in the main event of action live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

“It feels amazing, this is a dream come true,” said Figueroa. “I know everyone doubted me, but here I am with the belt. It’s all thanks to hard work and dedication.”

The fight between undefeated champions lived up to its billing with Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) implementing his smothering strategy early, forcing a firefight with Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) from the opening bell. Nery appeared to control much of the early action, owning edges in punches landed (209 to 177) and punch accuracy (34% to 27%) throughout the fight, according to CompuBox.

But it was the 24-year-old Figueroa’s persistence in coming forward that eventually began to wear on Nery. Better fourth and sixth rounds for Figueroa showed cracks in Nery’s armor and were a harbinger for what would come soon after.

“The plan was to break him,” said Figueroa. “My corner told me to pressure him and that he wouldn’t last. That’s exactly what happened. I knew he was getting tired, he was trying to box me. I saw him breathing heavy. My team just said it was time to go get him.”

In the seventh round, Figueroa appeared to hurt Nery early with a series of powerful hooks, as Nery altered his strategy and began to clinch. Continuing to press inside, Figueroa was eventually able to land the decisive punches in the form of a combination punctuated by a left hook to the body.

“You saw tonight what I can do,” said Figueroa. “I brought it to him and the hard work paid off. We did our homework. We did a great job in the gym and just took it to him.”

Nery had a delayed reaction to the powerful body shot, but once he hit the canvas, he was unable to beat referee Thomas Taylor’s count, ending the fight 2:18 into the round. Figueroa’s triumph sets him up for a unification showdown on Saturday, September 11 on SHOWTIME against WBO 122-pound champion Stephen Fulton Jr., who joined Figueroa in the ring after the fight.

“We’ve been waiting for this fight against Fulton and it’s finally going to happen,” said Figueroa. “I knew I had to get through Luis Nery first. Everything has its time. I envisioned that I was going to beat Nery and now I see myself beating Fulton. I know he’s coming with everything he’s got and that we’re going to give the fans a hell of a show.”

“Great performance by Brandon tonight,” said Fulton. “That’s what I predicted would happen. This is my time now though. I’ve been waiting for this moment to finally fight Brandon. I knew that Brandon would fight how he always fights. I’m just ready for my time against him. We’re going to put on a hell of a performance. Congratulations to him tonight, but I’m coming next.”

In the co-main event, former super bantamweight unified world champion Danny Roman (29-3-1, 10 KOs) dominated the second half of the fight to win a 10-round unanimous decision over Ricardo Espinoza (25-4, 21 KOs).

“This win is a step closer to getting back on top and getting a world title once again,” said Roman. “I knew he was a tough fighter who hit hard, so I had to fight smart and make adjustments.”

After a close first half of the fight, the Los Angeles native Roman began to figure out the awkward and hard-charging attack of Mexico’s Espinoza. In round seven, Roman connected on a vicious combination of double left uppercuts, punctuated by a sweeping left hook, that bloodied the nose of Espinoza.

“I felt good overall in there,” said Espinoza. “I could have pressured him a bit more and closed his angles, but it was a good fight. Danny is a tough fighter who withstood a lot of shots to the head. He’s a quality fighter.”

Espinoza had actually out landed Roman 124 to 119 across the first six rounds of the fight before Roman’s adjustments led to a 101 to 66 edge in punches landed in his favor across the final four frames.

“I started to get my distance and started fighting my fight and controlling the ring,” said Roman. “Once I did that, everything started to fall into place. I was surprised he went the distance, but he has a lot of heart. He’s a tough fighter.”

The bloodied nose immediately became a target for Roman, as Espinoza had to be checked by the doctor before beginning the ninth round before continuing to take the brunt of the punishment in the fight. Roman’s performance in the second half of the duel was enough to give him the victory, as he prevailed on all three judges’ scorecards with tallies of 97-92 and 98-92 twice. All three judges gave Roman the final six rounds of the fight.

“I’m the mandatory so I want a title shot now,” added Roman after his victory. “I want the winner of the main event.”

In the opening bout of the telecast, rising super featherweight contender Xavier Martinez (17-0, 11 KOs) remained unbeaten with a unanimous decision victory over former title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (34-5-2, 21 KOs) in an action-packed 10-round fight.

“I could have boxed him more but I wanted to give the fans action,” said Martinez. “There’s nothing to complain about – I got the victory. I made it tougher on myself but I will learn from it. It’s back to the drawing board but it’s a great victory.”

“I am happy and excited to put on a good show,” said Burgos. “All in all, I am just glad that the fans enjoyed the fight.”

The veteran Burgos looked to press his opponent from the outset, but Martinez was up to the task and found spots to land counter left hooks early and often. Martinez rode his counterpunching success to a 294 to 245 advantage in power shots landed throughout a fight that was dominated by power punches.

“I wasn’t surprised he came forward,” said Martinez. “He’s a tough competitor. I thank him for taking the fight, he was tough as hell. These kinds of fights are going to help me get better.”

Martinez also held the edge in accuracy, landing 37% of his punches to his opponent’s 31% connect rate. It was the body attack that kept Burgos in the fight, as his best moments came when racking up his 54 to 44 lead in body shots landed.

“He was a great opponent,” said Burgos. “I was brought in on late notice just two weeks in advance. That’s not an excuse but just the reality. Martinez fought a hell of a fight. He is definitely one of the best opponents I have ever faced.”

The two men punctuated their action fight with wild exchanges in the 10th round, as Martinez landed big shots that seemed to only make Burgos more eager to continue pushing forward. After the final bell, all three judges saw the fight in favor of Martinez, by the score of 99-91 three times. SHOWTIME’s unofficial ringside scorer Steve Farhood scored the fight 98-92.

“I was surprised by the scores,” said Burgos. “I did not think I only won one round. The public opinion and the fact that the fans were booing is what I take with me today. The fans spoke louder than the cards. I am glad to have given them an exciting fight.”

“It was a fun fight,” said Martinez. “I know the fans enjoyed the fight. I thought I could have done better, but I was landing clean, hard shots throughout. Even when he was throwing, I was slipping a lot of them and catching him. I showed I can hang in there with tough fighters.”

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Ra’eese Aleem believes he can defeat Stephen Fulton

Undefeated super bantamweight contender, Ra’eese “The Beast” Aleem (18-0, 12 KOs), who captured the WBA Interim title in his last fight, will be sitting ringside at today’s highly anticipated showdown between Luis Nery (31-0, 24 KOs) and Brandon Figueroa (21-0-1, 16 KOs).

Aleem, who is currently ranked WBA #1, is targeting all the champions at 122-pounds, especially WBO Champion, Stephen Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs). Since unified champion, Murodjon Akhmadaliev, who holds the IBF and WBA titles, fights for another network, Aleem says Fulton should be fighting him before he steps in the ring with the winner of Nery-Figueroa.

“Stephon Fulton is a great fighter, a good boxer, but if we step in the ring, I’ll give him his first loss.” Aleem stated. “He’s waiting on the sidelines for the winner of Nery-Figueroa, and we should be fighting, and the winner of Fulton and I should be fighting them. Let’s keep it real, every time I’ve stepped up, I’ve dominated. The biggest duck in the division is definitely Fulton.”

Aleem, who is managed by Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing and promoted by Marshall Kauffman’s Kings Promotions, is a on a mission to become the undisputed champion at super bantamweight, and won’t stop calling out all the champions until he gets his shot.

PBC, Showtime announce schedule, including cards headlined by Davis, Charlo Twins

SHOWTIME Sports and Premier Boxing Champions today unveiled a loaded five-month boxing schedule of nine high-stakes world championship events beginning Saturday, May 15, live on SHOWTIME. The schedule delivers two events per month through August. Thirteen matchups have been announced thus far with no less than seven world title fights, and 12 fighters defending undefeated records. The lineup features many of boxing’s best young fighters taking on career-defining challenges in their primes. All fights on the schedule will take place before a live audience, keeping with applicable local COVID-19 safety protocols.

The sizzling summer run features the dynamic Charlo twins as undefeated electrifying champion Jermall Charlo defends his WBC middleweight world title against Juan Macias Montiel in a special Juneteenth homecoming in Houston on Saturday, June 19, live on SHOWTIME.

The following Saturday, June 26, unbeaten Mayweather Promotions star Gervonta “Tank” Davis moves up two weight classes for a chance to become a three-division world champion when he takes on fellow undefeated champion Mario Barrios for his super lightweight world title in what will be Davis’ second pay-per-view showdown.

The next month, WBC, WBA and IBF 154-pound charismatic world champion Jermell Charlo looks to make boxing history when he takes on WBO junior middleweight world champion Brian Castaño in a mega-fight to crown the first four-belt 154-pound world champion. The World Championship Unification bout takes place on Saturday, July 17, live on SHOWTIME.

The SHOWTIME boxing schedule features eight editions of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and one premier SHOWTIME PPV event, all presented by Premier Boxing Champions:

  • MAY 15 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Luis Nery vs. Brandon Figueroa, WBC Super Bantamweight World Title Fight
    • Danny Roman vs. Ricardo Espinoza Franco, Super Bantamweight Fight
    • Xavier Martinez vs. Abraham Montoya, WBA Super Featherweight Fight
  • MAY 29 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire, WBC Bantamweight World Title Fight
    • Subriel Matias vs. Batyrzhan Jukembayev, IBF Super Lightweight Title Eliminator
  • JUNE 19 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel, WBC Middleweight World Title Fight
  • JUNE 26 – SHOWTIME PPV
    • Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios, WBA Super Lightweight World Title Fight
    • Erickson Lubin vs. Jeison Rosario, WBC Junior Middleweight Title Eliminator
  • JULY 3 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Chris Colbert vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa, WBA Super Featherweight Interim Title Fight
  • JULY 17 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castaño, Undisputed IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO Junior Middleweight World Title Unification Fight
  • AUGUST 14 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. John Riel Casimero, WBO Bantamweight World Title Fight
  • AUGUST 28– SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • David Benavidez vs. Jose Uzcategui, WBC Super Middleweight Title Eliminator
  • SEPTEMBER 11 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Stephen Fulton, Jr. vs. winner of Nery-Figueroa, Super Bantamweight World Title Unification Fight

The boxing action begins on SHOWTIME on Saturday, May 15 with the highly anticipated WBC super bantamweight world championship fight between Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa. The battle of two unbeaten champions who have been on a collision course for supremacy in the 122-pound division headlines a three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast. Rounding out the May 15 event, former unified super bantamweight world champion Danny Roman faces the tough, hard-hitting Ricardo Espinoza and super featherweight rising contender Xavier Martinez takes on the experienced Abraham Montoya.

Two weeks later on Saturday, May 29, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will present the long-awaited title tilt between Nordine Oubaali and future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire for the WBC bantamweight world championship. The undercard will feature Subriel Matias taking on undefeated Batyrzhan Jukembayev in the stiffest test of their professional careers as they meet in an IBF super lightweight title eliminator.

This summer, the thrilling Charlo twins will headline separate SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING events to defend their titles.

In a Juneteenth Day celebration on Saturday, June 19, in his hometown of Houston, unbeaten WBC middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo takes on the power-punching Juan Macias Montiel. After claiming a championship in the 154-pound division, Charlo moved up in weight and has been just as dominant. The battle against Montiel will be Charlo’s fifth defense of his 160-pound title. Charlo is coming off a career-defining victory over Sergey Derevyanchenko in September.

On Saturday, June 26, current two-division world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis looks to become a three-division world champion when he returns to headline his second SHOWTIME PPV event. Davis, 26, will jump up two weight classes from his last contest to face unbeaten super lightweight world champion Mario Barrios. Davis is coming off a career-best victory over world champion Leo Santa Cruz. The co-main event that evening will feature a high-stakes WBC junior middleweight world title eliminator between Erickson Lubin and former unified 154-pound world champion Jeison Rosario.

Then, on Saturday, July 17, one month after his brother’s fight, Jermell Charlo looks to make boxing history when he defends his WBC, WBA and IBF junior middleweight world titles against undefeated WBO world champion Brian Castaño in one of the most highly anticipated and important matches of the year. Charlo aims to achieve something that has never been done in boxing history by becoming the first fighter to be undisputed champion at 154 pounds in the four-belt era. Charlo has held the WBC title since 2019 and added the WBA and IBF titles with a stunning knockout victory over Jeison Rosario in his last fight in September.

Also in July, undefeated rising star Chris Colbert of Brooklyn, N.Y. will defend his WBA super featherweight interim title against three-division world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in a crossroads bout on Saturday, July 3. The 24-year old Colbert is coming off a career best victory, a knockout win over Jaime Arboleda in December 2020. The Cuban-born Gamboa seeks to reassert himself by moving back down to super featherweight where he has excelled throughout his career.

August will feature another pair of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING events. On Saturday, August 14, two of the best bantamweights in the world will meet when former unified world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux faces John Riel Casimero for Casimero’s WBO bantamweight world title.

Two weeks later, on Saturday, August 28, undefeated two-time former super middleweight world champion David Benavidez will face former super middle champion Jose Uzcategui in a fight that will put the winner one step closer to a world championship opportunity. Benavidez, 24, made boxing history when he became the youngest super middleweight world champion at age 20 with a victory over Ronald Gavril in 2017.

On Saturday, September 11, the red-hot 122-pound division will take center stage once again on SHOWTIME as the WBO junior featherweight world champion Stephen Fulton, Jr. will make the first defense of his title against the winner of the May 15 clash between undefeated champions Nery and Figueroa. The unification fight will be the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

Fulton: ‘To me, it means everything to be a world champion from Philadelphia’

WBO Junior Featherweight World Champion Angelo Leo and unbeaten rising star Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton Jr. previewed their long-awaited championship showdown during a virtual press conference Wednesday as they prepare to battle live on SHOWTIME Saturday, January 23 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

The first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast of 2021begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features a co-main event pitting two more undefeated 122-pound boxers against each other as Ra’eese Aleem and Victor Pasillas face off in a 12-round bout for the interim WBA title. In the telecast opener, rising prospect Rolando Romero squares off against Justin Pauldo in a 12-round lightweight bout for Romero’s interim WBA title. The combined ring record of the six fighters on the card is a remarkable 96 wins with just one loss.

Leo and Fulton were originally scheduled to meet on SHOWTIME for the vacant title in August, before Fulton received a positive COVID-19 test. Leo went on to defeat Tramaine Williams by unanimous decision to capture the title and will now make his first defense against the unbeaten Fulton.

Here is what Fulton had to say Wednesday:

“January 23 is going to be fireworks. Leo is the champion and has that spark and fire. We’re both coming hungry and prepared to make this a great fight. This fight is actually a bit underrated because we’re smaller guys, but we’re both in the top five of this division. Leo and I both have something to prove and I’m ready to get it on.

“I don’t think the layoff will affect me at all. I think it makes me even more ready. I can’t wait to get in the ring and get back to doing what I love.

“My game plan remains the same as if I was fighting him in August. We’re always ready to make adjustments, but I believe I’m much better than if I had fought in August. From losing that opportunity and now coming back, it’s made me better physically, mentally and emotionally.

“Going through the experience of having the fight against Leo cancelled just changed my mindset. I felt like I lost everything. It made me train even harder. I took that rage and anxiety and used it every day in training. I’m just ready to fight.

“To me, it means everything to be a world champion from Philadelphia. This is what I’ve been working for my whole career. To my city, it would show people from my neighborhood that there’s a way out. But I don’t feel any pressure because of it. This sport teaches us the discipline to perform in moments like this. The pressure is just a part of my job.

“My streak of taking fighters’ ‘0’ is going to continue on January 23. Fighters have their thing that they’re known for: Gervonta Davis knocks people out, Chris Colbert shows off his flashy skills, and I take fighters’ ‘0’s. Come fight night, we’ll both be prepared and ready. I’m ready to put on a show and I believe Leo will be ready to do the same.

“I’m one of the guys leading the new era of Philadelphia boxing, but I can’t get ahead of myself. I just have to stay smart, calm and do my job. It’s all about doing what I came there to do.

“I am that next wave and I’m just ready to stamp it by getting this belt. I’m going to solidify what everyone already knew about me. I have the superstar quality in me and I’ll show it in this fight.

“Leo’s performance against Williams was what I expected. I knew he was going to come forward and be a dog, but I don’t think Williams expected it. He’s a good fighter, he earned his way here, and now we just have to fight.”