Top Rank Boxing for August 12: Raymond Muratalla vs. Diego Torres as Co-Feature to Emanuel Navarrete vs. Oscar Valdez
July 10, 2023
By: Kirk Jackson
Unified WBC and WBO 122-pound world champion “Cool Boy Steph” Stephen Fulton Jr. (20-0, 8 KO’s) and former unified champion Danny Roman (29-3-1, 10 KO’s) successfully made weight as they meet in the SHOWTIME main event this Saturday, June 4 from The Armory in Minneapolis in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
WBC & WBO 122-Pound Unified World Championship – 12 Rounds
Stephen Fulton Jr. – 121 ½ lbs.
Danny Roman – 121 ½ lbs.
WBA Super Middleweight Title – 12 Rounds
David Morrell – 166 ½ lbs.
Kalvin Henderson – 167 ½ lbs.
Statements from the Fighters:
STEPHEN FULTON JR.
“I’ve been recognized more since unifying the titles and it feels great to be able to take pictures with my fans.”
“It meant everything to me to unify the belts because I said I wanted to do that. When I won my first title in early 2021 and then unified later in the year, that was an amazing feeling because I’ve been through some things leading up to that fight. Not just my camp, but home. So there was a lot going on with me. But mentally I was there and I stuck through it and unified and now I’m here.”
“The last four fighters I faced were undefeated, so I’m used to this road. I always step up to the occasion. I always show up when I get to these stages. My whole life has been like that. Right now I am living in the moment. I haven’t been looking past anything. We’re living for today. So when Saturday comes, I’m going to live for it and have fun and I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to enjoy defeating him.”
“It feels good to be in the position and be the hunted. It feels good to be in this position because I’ve called him out when he had his titles and they didn’t look my direction. But then when they didn’t have the titles they looked my direction because I had it. Now I’m giving him the opportunity that he didn’t give me.”
“You’ve all seen I can fight on the inside, I can fight on the outside. I can fight whichever way I want. So how I wake up Saturday morning is going to determine how I fight Saturday night. I can do whatever I want. I don’t have one style to me.”
“He’s lost three times, and maybe one draw. There’s four ways to get to him. There’s no way to get to me yet. There’s no one who’s figured that out.”
“I’m more focused. I’m hungry. It’s gonna be a good fight. Just be there. I’m going to have fun. I’m going to have a ball in that ring. I feel like when I took it serious earlier in my career, I wasn’t having any fun. Now I’m taking the risk. That’s why I picked him and chose him.”
“This is the biggest opportunity of my life and we’re here to take advantage of it. I’ve had obstacles too. When I lost my titles to MJ, [Murodjon Akhmadaliev] there were politics involved. But that’s boxing and now I’m focused on who’s in front of me now and that’s Stephen Fulton. I’m not overlooking my opponent.”
“It’s been a year since I last fought, and I’m paying attention to that. This opportunity doesn’t come around twice so I know what I have to do to get that ‘W.’ I’ve been in his position before and you don’t want to lose those belts. I was a unified champion too. So I know what it takes. He’s going to try and look his best, and I’m going to go in there and give everything I have to get him.”
“This fight will be like a chess game and whoever can make the right adjustments will win the fight.”
“We’re going to have fun. I expect a great fight. He’s giving his best, I’m giving my best.”
“It means everything to represent my Mexican-American culture. We’re just another step away toward making history just like the great Mexican fighters. It means a lot.”
“We’re here to win, and we’re going to win.”
The press conference also featured WBA Super Middleweight Champion and Minneapolis fan-favorite David Morrell Jr. and Kalvin Henderson previewing their co-main event showdown on the SHOWTIME Championship Boxing.
DAVID MORRELL JR.
“I came here from Cuba in 2019 and I’m so happy that I was able to follow the guidance of Luis DeCubas Sr. and be embraced so much by the state of Minnesota. It has allowed me to pursue my dreams and be at a high level in my career as a fighter in Minneapolis. Every fight that I have here at The Armory becomes more meaningful. The support of the people here means absolutely everything to me.”
“I’m glad that Henderson has the confidence that he thinks he’s going to win. I appreciate that. But it’s a shame that he’s going to go home with a loss. I’m happy that he’s confident like that because we’re going to put on a great show. But at the same time, when he says that he’s going to come and win, that’s not going to happen.”
“Me and my team are totally focused on Henderson on Saturday night. After, if you want me to talk about David Benavidez, I know I can fight against Benavidez because I have the courage that’s necessary to fight against somebody like Benavidez. I have the guts. I’m a champion and I know I can do it.”
“This fight is all about opening more doors for me. In more than one way. First of all, this is my first time fighting on SHOWTIME. I won’t take that for granted. I know that if I perform well on this stage, doors will open for me with SHOWTIME and with my career. Winning this fight is going to allow me to fulfil the projects and the fights that I want to have later on in my career and later on this year.”
“My prediction for Saturday is that I will be happy. I don’t have time for pain. I’m too happy right now. My little brother asked me for a knockout between rounds one and five, and I guess I’ll have to come through for him. That’s my prediction.”
“This is a huge opportunity. I have a huge chance to come in here and try to dethrone the champ. I just want you guys to know that we’re not here to say, ‘We’re here for the experience.’ Or just to say, ‘We got an opportunity to fight for the title.’ We’re here to fight and we’re here to win.”
“All of the pressure is off of me. Everybody’s expecting me to come in here and lose and lay down. The pressure is on the champ. We’re in his hometown in America. Everybody is expecting him to do great things, so I just have to go in there and show out and do what I do best.”
“He’s supposed to feel that he’s going to win. He’s the champ. He’s 6-0 with five KOs. He’s already fought in Minnesota a few times. He’s supposed to feel that way. And I feel the same way too. So we’re going to see on Saturday night.”
“I don’t think he’s overlooking me. I think he’s taking this fight very seriously and he’s trained very seriously for this fight. But so did I. In the past, I’ve also messed up my opponents’ future plans for fights after that. That’s what we’re going to do on Saturday. Mess up all his future plans.”
“I ain’t worried about the crowd being pro-Morrell. It’s not my first time doing this and skills travel. My prediction for this fight is pain.”
The SHOWTIME Championship Boxing telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
For more information visit www.SHO.com/sports, www.PremierBoxingChampions.com, follow #FultonRoman, follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @PremierBoxing and @TGBPromotions, on Instagram @ShowtimeBoxing, @PremierBoxing and @TGBPromotionss or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ShowtimeBoxing.