Showtime make their move back into boxing for the first time since the Coronavirus Pandemic began, but a major setback has wiped out the original main event.
The Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut is the place where the action will unfold.
Philadelphia resident Stephen Fulton (18-0, KO8) was looking to make a statement in 2020/21, after seeing his progress checked by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Philadelphia resident has seen his World title dreams shattered though, as a positive test for Coronavirus for Fulton and two members of his team have forced him out of his biggest opportunity for now.
On paper, Fulton had an evenly matched assignment for his return to action, with Las Vegas based ‘El Chinito’ Angelo Leo (19-0, KO9) his opponent, and the vacant WBO Super-Bantamweight title the prize for the winner.
The belt was vacated recently by Emanuel Navarette, who moved up in weight to compete at Featherweight.
Leo remains in the main event and a challenger for the vacant strap and opportunity now knocks for the wonderfully monikered ‘Mighty Midget’ Tramaine Williams (19-0, KO6).
The undefeated Connecticut Super Bantamweight was due to compete in a 50/50 affair of his own with Las Vegas based Raeese Aleem in what was supposed to serve as an eliminator to face the winner of Fulton v Leo.
Williams now finds himself stepping up immediately to World title level with Fulton forced to withdraw.
27-year-old Williams has been a professional since 2012, and has been at ten round level since 2017, beginning with a first round knockout of William Gonzalez in July of that year.
Williams has been the distance in his other four scheduled ten rounders, and his last two outings have seen him secure back to back points wins while manoeuvring within the WBO rankings.
His last fight came in July last year, when he outscored Yenifel Vicente to pick up the WBO NABO belt, along with the USBA title. The NABO strap was then vacated, and that was where Leo won the same title just five months later.
Floyd Mayweather promoted Leo has been a professional since 2012, where his father, who also serves as his manager and trainer, would have to convince promoters to feature his son on cards.
His fortune changed as he began training at the Mayweather Gym as he was snapped up by Floyd at the back end of the year.
Leo has fought much more regularly since then, boxing eight times from January 2018 to his last fight at the very end of 2019. He was last seen in December 2019, dropping Cesar Suarez three times en route to an eleventh round stoppage win, where he picked up the WBO NABO belt to help enhance his ranking.
Prediction: With Leo preparing for Fulton, this becomes a wide open fight, where Williams will now see this as a life changing chance, and should perform accordingly.
I think the chance may have come too soon for Tramaine though, and I lean towards Leo to solve the puzzle from around halfway to take a clear, unanimous win on the scorecards.
The aforementioned Raeese Aleem (16-0, KO10) still takes part on the card, but now faces Washington’s Marcus Bates (11-1, KO8) in what still serves as an eliminator for the WBO Super-Bantamweight title.
The contest is a rematch of an April 2018 meeting between the pair, which took place over eight rounds.
Aleem comfortably took the win on the cards by seven points on two cards, and by nine on a third.
Although Bates has won three on the spin since that defeat, the pick here should surely be another straightforward points victory for Aleem.
At Light-Heavyweight, Houston, Texas’ Joe George (10-0, KO6) and Argentina’s Marcos Escudero (10-1, KO9) square off over ten rounds.