Ra’eese Aleem Favors His Advantages in ‘Turning Point’ Fight Against Vic Pasillas
Ra’eese Aleem envisions himself dominating fellow unbeaten Super Bantamweight Victor Pasillas live on Showtime Jan. 23, and then moving on to the division’s champions
In a perfect a world, rising undefeated Super Bantamweight Ra’eese Aleem could conceivably be climbing into the ring January 23 to fight for his first world title. He did his part for such an opportunity.
Back in August Aleem’s sharp execution – in the co-main of Showtime’s first card during the COVID-19 pandemic – led to a one-sided stoppage of previous opponent Marcus Bates. His original opponent, Tramaine Williams, was elevated into that show’s main event – a fight versus Angelo Leo for the vacant WBO 122-pound championship.
I have the speed advantage, along with a better ring IQ, so I believe I’m the more polished fighter. – Ra’eese Aleem on his next opponent Vic Pasillas
Leo’s original opponent, Stephen Fulton, tested positive for COVID-19 during fight week. Leo and Aleem both won their fights decisively. The WBO decided that the Leo-Williams winner must fight Fulton next.
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Aleem’s ability to adjust in the ring had to be applied to the blows boxing often throws at up and coming fighters outside of the ring. The 30-year old Muskegon, Mich. native’s only option became waiting to see what opportunities would arise following a pair of solid outings on a stage like Showtime. Another silver lining was Aleem’s Top 10 ranking in two of the four major sanctioning bodies in one of boxing’s hottest divisions.
That next opportunity arrives Saturday night – back in Uncasville, Conn. at Mohegan Sun Arena live on Showtime. Aleem (17-0, 11 KOs), now a Las Vegas, Nev. resident, faces a dangerous foe in confident and well-rounded Victor Pasillas.
Pasillas (16-0, 9 KOs), highly-decorated LA-based amateur, stormed onto the scene after his last fight in which he quickly broke down and stopped previously unbeaten Ranfis Encarnacion in a Featherweight bout. The sixth-round stoppage was part of a Premier Boxing Champions event that aired on Fox Sports 1 in late-September.
This Saturday’s event headlined by the Leo vs Fulton WBO championship bout is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions.
Aleem took time during his final preparations with coach Bobby McCoy in Las Vegas to share some thoughts on facing Pasillas, as well as his possible future moves if he’s triumphant.
“Pasillas is a good fighter with a lot of skills, but he’s not on my level physically and mentally. I have the speed advantage, along with a better ring IQ, so I believe I’m the more polished fighter. This is going to be a dog fight and a lot of hard punches are going to be thrown by both of us. I envision myself dominating this fight and coming out victorious by any means necessary.
The peaking Aleem is aware of the magnitude of this fight in terms of realizing his ultimate goal of becoming a world champion.
“This fight is the turning point in my career being that it’s for the WBA interim title. I’ve always said I want to fight the best fighters in the division and that’s exactly what I’m doing when I step in the ring with Victor Pasillas. I’m coming for all the belts and it starts on January 23.
“There’s nothing like fighting on Showtime and I hope they see that I’m a fighter that brings a lot of excitement to the big stage. I want to thank my manager Greg Hanley, my promoter Marshall Kauffman, and everyone else who has helped me get to the point. I’m honored that PBC and Showtime are giving me this opportunity, and I can’t wait to see my hands raised in victory after this fight.
As mentioned Aleem appeared in Showtime’s return to boxing after the ongoing pandemic halted all sports in 2020. Now Aleem and Pasillas will clash on the first Showtime Championship Boxing telecast of 2021. The show begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and the telecast opener features rising prospect Rolando Romero taking on Justin Pauldo in a 12-round Lightweight bout for Romero’s interim WBA title.
All photos by Prince Ranch Boxing