PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - November 27, 2021  
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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Sean Michael Ham / TGB Promotions


Philadelphian Stephen Fulton Jr. unified two shares of the junior featherweight title on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Fulton, who entered the fight as the WBO 122-pound world champion, won a 12-round majority decision over Texan Brandon Figueroa, then the WBC champ. After 12 extremely close and competitive rounds, Fulton emerged as the two-belt champion. The fight, held at the Park Theater in Las Vegas, was promoted by TGB Promotions and broadcast live on Showtime. 

The fight was very high level contest, with both boxers clearly the two very best in the division. The boxers began swapping rounds early on and as the fight entered the final leg, the match was basically even. Fulton closed the fight with two strong rounds and, on my scorecard, locked down the narrow victory. The three official judges awarded him the win by majority decision.

Judge David Sutherland saw the fight even at 114-114, while Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham both scored the fight 116-112 (8 rounds to 4) in Fulton's favor. My card was a round closer, 115-113 or 7-5 in rounds.

With the win, Fulton improved his record to 20-0, 8 KOs, and established him as Philly boxing's current top dog. More importantly, he firmly set himself atop the 122-pound rankings and entered the Pound-for-Pound discussion. Figueroa was convinced he'd clearly won the bout and refused to accept the decision at the end. His first pro defeat left his record at 22-1-1, 17 KOs.

Fulton sounded open to a rematch, but Figueroa suggested that he would move up to the featherweight class in his next fight. For Fulton, there are two more 122 belts to collect. Both the WBA and IBF titles are held by champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev, 10-0, 7 KOS, a California-based fighter from Uzbekistan. 

Fulton's victory against Figueroa along with his January WBO-title winning effort against Angelo Leo, all but locked-up his win of the Briscoe Award as the 2021 "Philly Fighter of the Year". That award will be announced at the beginning of 2022.




John DiSanto - Las Vegas (via Showtime) - November 27, 2021