UNCASVILLE, Conn. –– In the long-awaited battle between unbeaten junior featherweights, Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton Jr., captured his first world title via unanimous decision over Angelo Leo in the main event of 2021’s inaugural SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast, live on SHOWTIME from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs) turned in a masterful performance as he bested Albuquerque, New Mexico’s unbeaten world champion Leo (20-1, 9 KOs) to end Philadelphia’s world title drought. With his win over Leo, the 26-year-old Fulton has now toppled eight undefeated fighters in his young professional career. The ringside judges scored the fight 119-109, 119-109 and 118-110.
An accidental clash of heads in the opening round opened a cut over the left eye of Leo but it ultimately did not play much of a role in the fight. The two fighters combined to throw 1,993 punches throughout the back-and-forth 12-round fight which was fought largely at close range in the middle of the ring. Fulton threw 913 power punches which ranks third all time in the junior featherweight division’s rich history.
In the co-main event, Ra’eese Aleem (18-0, 12 KOs) handed Victor Pasillas (15-1, 8 KOs) his first professional loss with an impressive 11th-round technical knockout. Aleem, 30, entered the fight ranked in the top-10 by the WBA and IBF at 122 pounds and captured the vacant interim WBA world super bantamweight title with his win over Pasillas. It was the seventh straight stoppage victory for the Michigan native, who now lives and trains out of Las Vegas, and hopes to get a world title shot in 2021.
Only down twice in his career prior to this fight, Aleem sent Pasillas to the canvas four times en route to the stoppage in the penultimate round. The two fighters combined to throw 1,212 punches throughout the fight with Aleem outlanding Pasillas 185 to 143. Aleem controlled the pace throughout the fight with an onslaught of body shots (64) which totaled 34% of his total punches landed.
In the opening bout of the evening, Rolando Romero (13-0, 11 KOs) remained unbeaten against late replacement Avery Sparrow (10-4, 3 KOs) with a dominating performance that led Sparrow’s corner to call an end to the fight in seventh round. All three judges had the fight scored 60-51 at the time of the technical knockout stoppage, as did SHOWTIME’s unofficial ringside scorer Steve Farhood.
Romero, 25, set the tone early in the fight sending Sparrow to the canvas with a well-placed left hook within the first minute of the first round. Born and bred in Las Vegas, and fighting under the Mayweather Promotions banner, Romero landed 86 of his 175 power punches which more than doubled Sparrow’s total punches landed in the fight (40). In the closing minute of the sixth round, Sparrow went down with an apparent knee injury and upon the return to action referee Johnny Callas deducted two points from Sparrow for an intentional low blow. Sparrow’s corner confirmed that Sparrow’s knee injury was the reason for stopping the fight.