Friday, June 02, 2023  |



Stephen Fulton tests positive for COVID-19, Angelo Leo to face Tramaine Williams for 122-pound belt

Stephen Fulton is The Ring's No. 3-rated junior featherweight. Photo by Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

Junior featherweight contender Stephen Fulton and two of his coaches have tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, The Ring’s No. 9 rated 122-pounder will not fight for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title on August 1 against Angelo Leo.

The news was first reported by Jonathan Leir of The Ring Walk podcast on Twitter. Leir has been in contact with Fulton (18-0, 8 KOs) since Wednesday morning after initial reports falsely claimed he had tested positive for the virus.

At 1 p.m. Fulton informed Leir that he was on his way to get tested and would provide a rundown. At 3:59 p.m., the 26-year-old texted Leir that he and two coaches tested positive for the virus.

“Beyond hurt!!!” Fulton stated on social media. “I won’t be fighting for the world title Saturday night due to me testing positive for COVID. I never got anything easy, just a setback for a crazy return, pray for me if you can.”

According to Leir, Leo (19-0, 9 knockouts) is still scheduled to fight on Showtime at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, for the vacant title. Tramaine Williams (19-0, 6 KOs), an undefeated 126-pound southpaw from nearby New Haven, will to step in to challenge Leo, who is The Ring’s No. 10-rated junior featherweight.

Williams, who has not fought since July 2019 when he outpointed Yenifel Vicente over 10 rounds in Texas, was initially tabbed to take on Ra’eese Aleem in a WBA 122-pound title eliminator on the Fulton-Leo undercard. Now, instead of being a mandatory challenger with a victory, the 27-year-old has an opportunity to become a champion instead.

According to a release from Showtime, Aleem will remain on the card. He will square off against 26-year-old Marcos Bates (11-1-1, 8 KOs), of Washington, D.C., in an unexpected rematch. In April 2018, Aleem outpointed Bates over eight rounds in Philadelphia. Since dropping that fight, Bates has won three bouts in a row. 

Leo, 26, who hails from New Mexico, but trains out of Las Vegas, is coming off an impressive four-win campaign in 2019. On December 28, he scored an 11th-round knockout of Cesar Juarez on the undercard of the light heavyweight title fight between Jean Pascal and Badou Jack in Atlanta, Georgia.