Home Boxing News Stephen Fulton confident of unifying titles against Brandon Figueroa

Stephen Fulton confident of unifying titles against Brandon Figueroa

Stephen Fulton

WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen ‘Cool Boy Steph’ Fulton Jr 19-0 (8) is set to make the first defence of his world championship belt against WBC champion Brandon ‘The Heartbreaker’ Figueroa 20-0-1 (17) at the Park Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

The 27-year-old from Philadelphia claimed the strap with a near shutout victory over Angelo Leo 21-1 (9) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut in January.

Fulton took the fight to the previously undefeated Leo to win by scores of 118-110 and 119-109 twice and announced his arrival on the world stage.

According to Compubox, Fulton landed 364 of 1183 punches (31 percent) and Leo connected on 262 of 810 punches (32 percent).

Victory over the talented Figueroa will consolidate Fulton’s claim as one of the best 122-pound boxer on the planet.

“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,” Fulton said.

“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.”

Figueroa, 24, of Weslaco, Texas, was impressive in his last outing, knocking out former world champion Luis Nery in seven frames. The scores at the time of the stoppage were 57-57, 55-59 and 58-56.

The only blemish on Figueroa’s record is his split draw against Julio Ceja 32-5-1 (28) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas one year ago.

Fulton is a slick boxer with fast hands but believes his power is overlooked. He showed against Leo that he is not afraid to stand in the pocket and trade despite a knockout ratio of less than 50%.

“My ability to adjust and outthink Figueroa is going to be the difference,” he said. “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 capitalise 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.”

If successful against Figueroa, there is the enticing opportunity of Fulton facing WBA and IBF champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev 10-0 (7) in a four-belt unification bout.