Uncasville, Conn. – July 29, 2020 – Ahead of Showtime Boxing making its return with this Saturday’s Championship tripleheader five of the fighters involved participated in a virtual press conference on Wednesday to discuss the bouts presented by Premier Boxing Champions, and taking place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Philadelphia’s 122-pound Stephen Fulton Jr, an emerging star in the division, will face talented, fellow undefeated contender Angelo Leo in the main event (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Leo is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico who trains and fights out of Las Vegas, Nevada under the Mayweather Promotions banner. The winner claims the vacant WBO junior featherweight world title.
The Showtime Championship Boxing telecast also features Tramaine Williams, of New Haven, Conn., in a Super Bantamweight title eliminator versus Las Vegas-based Ra’eese Aleem in a compelling, 50-50 matchup between skilled, undefeated prospects in the co-featured bout. Houston’s Joe George and Argentina’s Marcos Escudero open the telecast in a 10-round Light Heavyweight rematch.
Here is what the fighters had to say on today’s call. Due to a scheduling conflict, Fulton was unable to participate.
Bite Down Boxing: With other combat sports going on the past couple of months, has watching any of that allowed you to gauge how fighting without a crowd might impact you?
Leo: As far as not having fans in the arena, I don’t think it will have an effect on this fight. It’s like sparring but more intense. I’m the type of fighter that if I smell blood, I’m going to go for the kill.
BDB: Stephen Fulton appears to have a style that you haven’t faced to this point. Being that you’re based in Las Vegas, did that afford you the opportunity to get in any work with fighters capable of giving you some similar looks?
Leo: Being in Las Vegas was probably the best move I made in my career. I’ve seen Fulton’s style in the gym and it’s nothing I’m not prepared for. I’ll adapt in the ring and make my adjustments. Ultimately, I’m going to come out with the victory.
Bite Down Boxing: You’ve faced some of the division’s toughest fighters, defeating a few guys with 30 wins or more on their record. What kind of advantage do you feel that gives you in comparison to 16-0 record?
Williams: I’m pretty sure I’ll take him to deep waters, and deep waters doesn’t mean the seventh, eighth, or ninth round -deep waters means the third round and he’s still got seven to go.
Bite Down Boxing: What’s your outlook on what’s becoming really loaded division in Super Bantamweight/Junior Featherweight?
Ra’eese Aleem: The super bantamweight division is a very stacked division. It’s tough because a lot of the champions have been champs for years. The big money fights are there, they just need to be made and right now is the perfect time to make those fights because we have to give the fans what they want. I’m ready for the big fights right now.
BDB: What does ‘title eliminator’ mean for your expectations? Or, is it a kicker that with Williams ranked in 3 of the 4 sanctioning bodies, a win either positions you for a title fight or elevates you in the other rankings?
Aleem: This is a huge opportunity for me to catapult myself into the top spots. It’s going to raise me in the rankings and even if my next fight isn’t for a world title fight, I’m going to be next. It’s a huge opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.
BDB: Is it a benefit to fight in the same building as Fulton and Leo, and to be able to scout them ringside, if possible?
Aleem: Leo and Fulton are both great fighters so to be able to see them up close is great because I want to fight both of them. Either one, it doesn’t matter. Whoever wins, that’s who I want. I have to show up and show out because just winning isn’t good enough for me. I have to dominate and that will really solidify what I’m about.
Bite Down Boxing: Tons of great boxing throughout Texas, but it seems like a lot of the talent is from 154, 147 and down. Being that you’re at Light Heavyweight, what kind of work were you able to get in for your preparation?
Joe George: I didn’t really spar with people my weight in camp, it was either with Heavyweights or guys who are lighter. The lighter guys helped with my speed and the Heavyweights helped with my power. It worked out perfectly and I got the best of both worlds.
BDB: What is the dynamic like in interacting with your manager All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams? His background is from an extremely aggressive game, and he plays a violent and physical position as an offensive lineman. Has there ever been any pointers offered that could be used for inside fighting in the ring?
George: My manager Trent Williams is a young athlete so he knows how this goes. He knows the things to do and what to say. You never see him angry or frustrated, the only time he’s aggressive is when he’s training or on the field. His work ethic is incredible and that’s motivation in itself. He’s a great role model and I learn a lot from watching him.”
Bite Down Boxing: With this being the first time working with coach Kevin Cunningham, was any consideration given to going with this rematch versus looking to move forward in another direction?
Marcos Escudero: I’m much more confident heading into this fight than the last one. He knows that he lost the fight. I know that I did enough work to get the victory. Now in the rematch, I’m going to show my confidence in the ring. My only goal is to beat Joe George. I am working toward becoming a world champion, so I had to get this rematch settled before anything else. After Saturday night, we’ll keep moving forward.
All photos by Showtime