Stephen Fulton has quietly become one of boxing's most exciting fighters en route to capturing the WBC and WBO titles at super bantamweight. On Saturday night, Fulton returns to the ring to take on yet another fascinating test in the form of former WBA and IBF champion Danny Roman (9 p.m. ET, Showtime).
Over the past couple of years, Fulton (20-0, 8 KO) has repeatedly been placed into the ring with pressure fighters who try to negate arguably Fulton's greatest strength, a piston-like jab that, when rolling, allows Fulton to control distance and disrupt his opponent's rhythm. But with the steady diet of face-first pressure opponents has come another revelation: Fulton has a mean streak when the fight enters close range.
In his most recent fight, "Cool Boy Steph" went to war with Brandon Figueroa in one of the best fights of 2021. The two men spent much of the fight toe-to-toe, exchanging brutal combinations of power shots. In theory, that was exactly the wrong fight for Fulton and played into Figueroa's strengths. Fulton didn't back down from the fight, however, and edged out a deserved majority decision victory.
Roman (29-3-1, 10 KO) doesn't have the story of most fighters who make it to the elite level. In his first 11 fights, he picked up two losses and one draw. Then came a run of 19 consecutive victories and the unification of two world titles.
That run came to an end against Murodjon Akhmadaliev, the man many think is the top super bantamweight in the world. Roman gave a good account of himself, losing by split decision in a very competitive fight that many thought would lead to a rematch for the WBA and IBF titles.
The undercard features an interesting showdown at 168 pounds when WBA "regular" champion David Morrell takes on Kalvin Henderson. Morrell, who could become a mandatory challenger for Canelo Alvarez with a win on Saturday, is just 6-0 so far in his career with five knockouts. He's coming off three straight stoppages with relative ease, including a fourth-round TKO of Alantez Fox in December.
The event will begin with a replay of last weekend's thrilling PPV between Gervonta "Tank" Davis and Rolando Romero. Davis won by thrilling knockout in the sixth round after Romero was able to establish himself in the early portion of the fight.
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Instead, Roman steps into the ring on a two-fight winning streak with a shot at the other two world titles in the division.
Fulton vs. Roman fight card, odds
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
Stephen Fulton (c) -550
Danny Roman +400
WBC, WBO super bantamweight titles
David Morrell (c) -2000
Kalvin Henderson +1000
WBA "regular" super middleweight title
Roman is a very good fighter and one of boxing's "good guys." This is really good matchmaking at the elite level in the division. That said, Fulton has proven himself capable of winning fights against tough opposition no matter where the fight takes place. Roman is going to want to get inside and work Fulton to the body but Fulton knows he can survive -- and even thrive -- when forced to battle it out inside. And to get inside, Roman is going to have to get past Fulton's brilliant jab.
There are simply too many ways for Fulton to win compared to Roman who has to jump through several hurdles just to get to where he wants to be. And even if he gets there, it's likely a 50/50 fight at best. Pick: Stephen Fulton via UD