Training Camp Check-In: WBO Super Bantamweight Champion Angelo Leo



Training Camp Check-In: WBO Super Bantamweight Champion Angelo Leo

It’s a new year and Showtime Sports is continuing the momentum from last year with a world title fight on the 23rd of this month.

WBO champion Angelo Leo (20-0) will be putting his undefeated record and title against Stephen Fulton Jr. (18-0).

I recently checked in with the WBO champion Leo to see what he has been up to, give the NYF readers an update on training camp and what they should expect from him on fight night.

AG: Angelo, thank you for taking the time to do this interview as you wind down your training camp. Can you give the NYF readers a quick BIO blast and how it was growing up in Albuquerque? Also, what was it like in the Leo household?

AL: Growing up in Albuquerque, NM was a little tough because I didn’t have a mother figure and my dad had to do all of the work. When I was six, my dad received full custody over me, so parents were really never together. Luckily, I had my Grandma around, so I was either with her or my dad. When I was around seven or eight, my dad got me into boxing as he was a fan of the sport. It wasn’t a passion of mine at first, but it grew on me once I started to win fights. I quickly realized this was something that I can do so I stepped up my boxing. I kept racking up wins and tournaments so me and my dad decided to keep at it.

Angelo Leo, the fighter, as a toddler, with his father, on Halloween.

Angelo Leo as a toddler, dressed for Halloween with his father.

When I was fifteen or sixteen, me and my dad decided to move to L.A because he didn’t like the environment in Albuquerque. Being in L.A was also tough but there was an opportunity there to purse my boxing career. We started training at Wild Card and gained a lot of good experience while also graduating from high school. Things got rocky as L.A is an expensive city to live in.

With my dad being the only source of income, he had trouble keeping us in an apartment, so he borrowed some money from my grandma and bought an RV. We lived in an RV for two months with no electricity or plumbing. It was just a place to rest our heads. It was pretty tough but luckily, we had some good company around us that allowed us to take a shower and provided a place to relax.

After those two months, we moved to Las Vegas but the place we were going to rent wasn’t ready and my dad didn’t have much money left so we slept in the car for about a week. At first, we were at the Walmart parking lot for a few days, but the security would knock on the window and tell us to move. We then went to one of the casino parking lots.

My dad got fed up and then we moved back to Albuquerque to start my pro career.

AG: You went through the amateur ranks and turned pro in 2012. What was that transition like going from the amateurs to the pros?

AL: It wasn’t hard at all because I have always wanted to be a pro fighter. My team trained me for a professional style. In the amateurs, it’s more points, hitting and moving and that really wasn’t my style. So it wasn’t that difficult especially since I was getting in sparring with guys like Leo Santa Cruz when I was in L.A.

Angelo Leo poses with Leo Santa Cruz. Leo sparred with pros when he was amateur, so he got seasoned quickly.

Leo has been getting quality sparring from world champions since he was younger. Here he is with Leo Santa Cruz.

AG: Fast forward to 2017, when you moved to Vegas and signed with Mayweather Promotions. What stood out to you that pointed you in the direction to sign with them over the other promotional companies?

AL: We were seeing that other promotional companies weren’t giving us the time of day and when we would contact them, they would tell us, “we will get back to you.” They never did, so me and my dad decided to move to Las Vegas and train out of the Mayweather Boxing Club. Then we saw that Mayweather Promotions had really good up ‘n coming fighters like Gervonta Davis while also being connected to PBC and Showtime. We started to get the attention of the staff from the gym and that got back to Floyd and then we were signed to him after that.

AG: It was last summer where you were all ready to face Stephen Fulton Jr. but then COVID hit. How did that affect you mentally, knowing that you now had to prepare for someone else on short notice?

AL: In the first few hours after being told, I was a little disappointed. You prepare for a guy for 2-3 months while putting in the hard work only to find out you’re not fighting him. It was disappointing but at the same time, I wanted to become a world champion. They threw in Tremaine Williams, it took me a few rounds to adapt but once I did, it was all me.

AG: You now have Fulton Jr. on the 23rd. When preparing for this fight, did you do anything differently than the original training camp for the summer fight?

AL: Definitely! The game plan is the same but everything else is so much more solidified because I have had so much time to prepare for him. We are ready for whatever he brings! For this fight, I worked on my strength and conditioning a lot more. I also worked on my power and feel like it’s a lot more explosive for this fight. I corrected the mistakes from the Williams fight, so we are ready to go.

AG: Come fight night, what should fans expect from you if they missed your previous fights?

AL: The fans should expect fireworks. My style is fan friendly and I like to come forward but can also box. It can be technical or rough depending on the fight. You’re going to see a little bit of everything in this fight.

AG: Finally, where can fans follow you on social media?

AL: You can follow me on Instagram @angeloxleo.

My Three Cents:

Angelo Leo is a young, hungry champion who knows that he is being put into the lion’s den right away. Leo knows that a signature win against Fulton Jr. will certainly make a statement within the Super Bantamweight division. Can Angelo Leo put it all together against a fighter who is just as hungry as he is?

You do not want to miss this fight as it has all the potential of being a really good one. They fight live on January 23rdon Showtime.

You can follow me on Twitter @abeg718 and follow @nyfights on Instagram.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, Abe grew up in a family who were and still are die-hard boxing fans. He started contributing boxing articles to NYF in 2017. Abe through his hard work, has made his way up the ranks and is now the editor at NYFights. He is also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).