On Saturday January 23rd, Showtime will start the year off with a championship fight within the Super Bantamweight Division. WBO Champ Angelo Leo (20-0) will be going up against Philly’s own Stephen Fulton Jr. (18-0).
Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton Jr. is the subject of this article as we discuss everything from his upbringing to what fans should expect on the 23rd.
AG: Stephen, thank you for taking the time to conduct this interview as you have only a few days left until you get your world title opportunity. Can you give the NYF readers a quick BIO blast on what it was like growing up in Philly and what it was like in the Fulton household?
SF: It had its ups and down. Philadelphia is Philadelphia. It’s a tough city, when we care for each other, we care for each other and when we don’t, we don’t. Growing up in my household was a little rough because I grew up around only women. There was no father figure until my father came home when I was ten. He was the one that introduced me into the sport of boxing which was when things started to change for me. Other than that, there was just regular hood and street activity with street guys.
AG: Your father was in prison for the first ten years of your life, so it was you, your three sisters and mother. How was that for you and was there any lessons during that time that you carried over throughout your life?
SF: It was a little rough because I was around only females, so you pick up some female tendencies. During that time, I learned being around my mother and sisters on how to deal with my emotions and express myself. Us as men, we tend to say things like “men are tough..they don’t cry” which I understand but the reality is that God gave us those emotions for a reason. Going through that time actually taught me how to be the person that I am now today.
AG: You turned pro in 2014. What were your immediate thoughts after your TKO victory? Did you know right then and there that you were all in with boxing and working towards a title?
SF: I knew before that I was all in with boxing. I knew when I was overseas fighting in the World Series of Boxing that I was all in. After my pro debut, I was ready to see what was next for me.
AG: About a year and half ago, you stepped into the ring after WBA Champion Brandon Figueroa’s win and called him out. It seemed like that fight was in the not so distant future. What happened?
SF: Obviously, they wanted to go in a different direction. I was all for it and till this day, still all for it. Now, I just leave it alone because he is the WBA champion and I want to win this WBO title so that I can go after the WBC and IBF titles. I also want to go after the WBA Gold, Ring Magazine and IBO belt to add to the collection.
AG: July comes around and you test positive for COVID-19 only days before the fight. At the time, you naturally sounded frustrated about the situation. Being a few months removed, have your thoughts changed about that whole situation?
SF: I look at it now as everything happens for a reason. The training for this fight is way better than the one I had for that camp. It was a learning experience and I feel like it was God’s plan.
AG: Did you do anything in training camp differently then what you did for the original fight date?
SF: I worked on a lot as far as my punching, punch output, endurance, the pressure I apply and how I approach the fight mentally. I worked on a lot of things.
AG: You are headlining the first Showtime Championship Boxing card of 2021. What should fans expect from you on the 23rd?
SF: Fans should expect a slick, smart, smooth “Cool Boy Steph”. They should also expect a new and improved me as I am a lot better. They will also see me fight more instead of just box. I will be engaging more and not just boxing.
AG: For those that have been following you through your career. What do you want to say to them?
SF: I just want them to all cry together because it’s been a long road. Thank you and I will continue to fight for you all in every aspect.
AG: Where can fans follow you on social media?
I would like to thank Showtime, Stephen Espinoza, Chris Deblasio, TGB Promotions, Tom Brown, Al Haymon and Mayweather Promotions.
My Three Cents:
Fulton Jr. is a real talent who has been pinged by many as the next big thing in at Super Bantamweight. With rumors about an unofficial tourney within that division, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. First things first, he has to get by the champion Angelo Leo which is no easy task.
I reached out to Fulton Jr’s head trainer Wahid Rahim and he had this to say about how he sees this fight playing out:
“We are going to get him out of their around the 8th or 9th round. We respect him as a fighter as he is a good one but once in the ring, all respect goes out the window.”
Tune into Showtime on January 23rd and get ready for an exciting night of Championship boxing with a main event that will certainly capture your attention!