Stephen Fulton has built both his brand and name by fighting the best fighters that the super bantamweight division has to offer. With the WBC and WBO titles dangling from his proud shoulders, the Philadelphia native has openly taken on all comers. However, even with Fulton defeating the likes of Daniel Roman, Brandon Figueroa, and Angelo Leo, Ra’eese Aleem is convinced that the unified champion is running scared from him.
“Style-wise, he doesn’t want to fight me,” said Aleem during an interview with BoxingScene.com. “Who has he fought like me? Nobody. Nobody with my foot speed, my accuracy, my hand speed, my power. He’s fought a lot of good fighters, a lot of tough guys. But this is a fight he isn’t jumping to take.”
Aleem, 32, has diligently worked his way up the hard way. In his latest voyage to the ring, the Michigan native easily outpointed longtime fringe contender Mike Plania. In doing so, Aleem (20-0, 12 KOs) immediately dared Fulton to take him up on his fight challenge. Nevertheless, a smiling Fulton has shown little to no interest in placating his new rival.
According to the Philadelphian, he has bigger fish to fry. With Murodjon Akhmadaliev holding the remaining two titles in the division, Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) has placed most, if not all, of his attention on becoming an undisputed champion.
Also, of grave importance to the 28-year-old Fulton, is a possible mouthwatering showdown against Naoya Inoue. The pound-for-pound star and current unified bantamweight titlist, is expected to move up in weight should he secure his own undisputed status in the coming months.
Still, despite what appears to be a jam-packed schedule, Aleem is anxious to shut the mouth of Fulton once and for all. While the two have shared an acrimonious relationship, Aleem reveals that, in actuality, he reveres the current unified champion. But, in any event, although Aleem is quick to give Fulton his flowers, he believes that he’s more than capable of plastering the first defeat to his well-established record.
“He’s a solidified world champion and I can’t take anything away from him. He’s earned that right. But do I believe I can beat him? 100%.”