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Angelo Leo becomes first male world champion from Albuquerque since Johnny Tapia

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBO super bantamweight champion Angelo ‘El Chinito’ Leo 20-0 (9) says his consistent pressure was the difference in his world title winning effort against Tramaine ‘The Mighty Midget’ Williams 19-1 (6) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday night.

The 26-year-old targeted the body of southpaw Williams for much of the fight, running away the winner by scores of 117-111 and 118-110 twice.

With the win, Leo became the first male boxing world champion since Hall of Famer Johnny Tapia in 2002.

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“It feels good. It still hasn’t sunk in yet, it just feels surreal,” said Leo. “The first few rounds I was just feeling him out, getting his timing, getting the feel of him.

“I felt him kind of loosening up and breaking down, and that’s when I started putting the pressure on him a little more.

“That was the key factor in this fight, the bodywork and the pressure.

“I’m pretty sure Albuquerque is celebrating tonight. I think they have four world champions, because you can’t exclude Holly Holm.

“You have Johnny [Tapia], Danny [Romero], Holly and now me. There’s four champions in that city and I think I’ve made history there.

Leo was originally slated to face Stephen Fulton for the title vacated by Emanuel Navarrete before the Philly boxer failed a COVID-19 test.

Williams, 27, stepped in to replace Fulton after being slated to face Raeese Aleem on the undercard.

“At first, the first couple hours after the opponent change I was a little disappointed. But then I was like, ‘Hey this is what I came here to do’,” Leo said.

“I came here to win a world title and that’s exactly what I did. When I set my mind to it, I do it.”

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