Angelo Leo not shaken by last minute replacement opponent, remains focused on title
Just over a week ago, the tension between unbeaten junior featherweights Angelo Leo and Stephen Fulton Jr. was palpable.
Both fighters traded barbs ahead of their slated August 1 battle for the vacant WBO 126-pound title. Fulton boldly predicted he would trounce Leo, while the 26-year-old calmly brought up that he has been hurt and on the floor, to boot.
When Leo learned Wednesday afternoon that Fulton had tested positive for COVID-19 and would not be fighting him, he was bummed at first but had to allow those negative emotions to evanesce into thin air to focus on his next opponent.
“It was a little disappointing because all these weeks we’ve been focused on Stephen Fulton,” Leo told The Ring Thursday afternoon. “When I heard the news, I was a little disappointed, but the show must go on.”
While a bout with Fulton will have to wait, the WBO belt is still up for grabs on Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Leo will square off against fellow unbeaten junior featherweight Tramaine “The Mighty Midget” Williams (19-0, 6 KOs), 27, who hails from nearby New Haven.
“I’ll do whatever it takes (to win that title),” he added.
While Leo revealed he is making small adjustments to adapt to Williams’ style, he expects the fight to go in his favor.
“It’s gonna be the same outcome,” Leo said. “He does like to fight on the inside a little bit more. If he wants to box, we can do that, too. Whatever it takes to get the (WBO title), I’m ready.
“I’m in the best shape of my life like I said, and I’m ready for whoever.”
As for what to expect on fight night, Leo said it would be evocative of a “Picasso-like painting.”
“Something really nice, like a nice picture,” he explained. “I want to leave the fans happy with a great performance and leave everyone knowing who Angelo Leo is.”
Leo has not fought since December 28 when he scored an 11th-round knockout of durable veteran and former junior featherweight title challenger Cesar Juarez in Atlanta. The bout took place on the undercard of the 12-round light heavyweight contest between Jean Pascal and Badou Jack.
“The game plan is still the same – the goal is still the same – the goal is to get that title,” he continued. “No matter who they put in front of me, that is my goal – to win that world championship.”