By: Hans Themistode
2021 played out exactly how Stephen Fulton envisioned it.
The Philadelphia product began his year by achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a world champion. Despite Angelo Leo promising to put a halt to Fulton’s hype train, the former WBO super bantamweight titlist was thoroughly out-boxed by Fulton, resulting in a wide unanimous decision defeat.
With the WBO 122 pound trinket now around his waist, Fulton immediately jumped at the opportunity to unify titles against, former WBC belt holder, Brandon Figueroa, at the tail end of the year. Although their contest was close, Fulton ultimately eked out a close majority decision victory.
If things were completely up to him, Fulton would love to lace his gloves against fellow unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (MJ). After stripping former unified champion Daniel Roman of the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles in January of 2020, MJ has gone on to successfully defend his titles on two separate occasions. Most recently, the Uzbekistan product easily defeated Jose Velasquez via unanimous decision.
Although a clash between the pair is unlikely for Fulton’s next trip to the ring, he appears content with waiting until the second half of 2022 to face his unified contemporary. Considering that the super bantamweight division has never yielded an undisputed champion, Fulton’s sole focus is to become the first man to do so.
“My plans are getting another fight in the meantime until we get the MJ fight to become undisputed. I’m just ready to become undisputed,” said Fulton to FightHype.com. “To become the first undisputed super bantamweight champion of the world, ever, the first? I have to accomplish that and I can do that.”
Though Fulton has been lauded for his grit, tenacity, and overall skills – the Philadelphian has seldom shown one-punch knockout power. With only 40% of his contests ending before the final, Fulton isn’t worried about his lack of power moving forward.
If Fulton is successful in his bid to become an undisputed world champion, he’ll immediately drop all four 122 pound titles and move up in weight. When that time comes, Fulton believes that with the added weight and girth, he’ll be much more explosive.
“I just want to become undisputed and move up,” continued Fulton. “I feel like I’m still getting stronger, I’m getting bigger, I’m getting better and when I move up to 26 – y’all are going to see a helluva lot of knockouts.”
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