Undefeated WBO junior featherweight champion Angelo Leo (20-0, 9 KOs) takes on unbeaten Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton Jr. (18-0, 8 KOs) in the main event of the first Showtime Championship Boxing telecast of 2021 on January 23 from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The telecast also features two WBA interim title fights.
Leo, who fights out of the Mayweather Promotions stable, was originally scheduled to face Fulton for the vacant WBO junior featherweight world title last August in the first Showtime boxing event following the pandemic shutdown of the sport, but Fulton was forced to withdraw following a positive COVID-19 test. Leo then defeated late-sub Tramaine Williams by unanimous decision for the belt.
Angelo Leo: “It’s been a crazy year for everyone but to say I walked out of 2020 a world champion is truly incredible and humbling. I spent 16 years training for that moment to become a champion, and here I am, preparing for my next camp for my first defense top of 2021. That’s a blessing, and I thank Mayweather Promotions and my team for that. My experiences with Floyd last camp going to really put me in a great position going into this fight.
“My father Miguel has been instrumental in keeping me grounded and reminding me that all of these fighters are eyeing my spot. My goal in 2021 is to remain champion and get more belts and Fulton is that next test.”
Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton Jr: “Training is going great. I feel like everything happens for a reason because I’m 10 times more ready now than I was the first time around. I’m excited to fight for the title and I expect nothing but Angelo Leo to be himself and fight his fight on January 23.”
The co-main event pits two more undefeated 122-pound boxers as Ra’eese Aleem (17-0, 11 KOs) meets Victor Pasillas (15-0, 8 KOs) in a 12-round bout for the WBA interim title.
Ra’eese Aleem: “This is a high-stakes fight and the winner will get a guaranteed world title fight. It’s going to be a good fight, but I am at the top of the heap. I knew I belonged at the top a long time ago and after my last fight that was proven. Winning this fight makes me the number-one contender, and the only thing left after this is to win the world title.”
Victor Pasillas: “I’ve envisioned being in this position since I first stepped into a boxing gym at age eight and now it’s time to seize the moment. I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity and show the world, and everyone watching on Showtime, that I belong on the big stage with the elite fighters at super bantamweight. Aleem is a good fighter, but he won’t be able to hang with me. I’m going to punish him until I knock him out. East L.A. in the house, let’s go!”
The telecast opener features WBA interim lightweight champion Rolando “Rolly” Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) against Justin Pauldo (14-1, 7 KOs).
Rolando Romero: “I’m going to approach this fight like I do any other fight, I don’t feel the need to sell myself. I’m thankful for my fans who have been with me since day one. I fight for them, because a fan of Rolly is to be an underdog, to be doubted, and that’s all I have ever been. Whether you’re with me on January 23 or against me, I know you will be watching.”
Justin Pauldo: “I’m thankful for this opportunity and I’m excited for all of my years of hard work to pay off on January 23. I was already training and in shape when I got the call for this fight, so I’m going to be 100% on fight night. Romero is a one-gear type of fighter who comes straight forward. I believe that I have the better skills and am the better all-around fighter. This is definitely going to be an interesting fight with contrasting styles, and I can’t wait to show off my skills and bring this title home.”