Angelo Leo, Tramaine Williams, Raíeese Aleem, Joe George
Marcos Escudero Media Availability Quotes
Boxing is back on SHOWTIME and five fighters taking part in
Saturdayís SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGģ tripleheader
participated in a media availability on Wednesday to discuss
the bouts Presented by Premier Boxing Champions and taking
place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Philadelphiaís 122-pound rising star Stephen Fulton Jr. will
headline Saturdayís tripleheader (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)
against talented, fellow undefeated contender Angelo Leo of
the Mayweather stable in a marquee 12-round matchup for the
vacant WBO junior featherweight world title.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast features Tramaine
Williams, of New Haven, Conn., clashing with Las Vegas-based
Raíeese Aleem in an intriguing, 50-50 matchup between
talented, undefeated prospects in the co-featured bout and a
light heavyweight rematch between Houstonís Joe George and
Argentinaís Marcos Escudero that opens the telecast.
Here is what the fighters had to say on todayís call. Due to
a scheduling conflict, Fulton was unable to participate.
ďThis is something Iíve worked my whole life for, so my
preparation has been the best Iíve ever had, both physically
and mentally. This is the day Iíve been waiting for and I
have to seize the opportunity.
ďFloyd was in the gym with me a couple of times giving me
pointers and helping work through my game plan. His wisdom
combined with my trainerís knowledge really meshed together
for me. Floyd just told me to just stay calm, treat it like
any other fight and do what I do best. I know the mental
strength that Floyd has, and Iíve learned from it. Iíve
learned from the best.
ďI definitely expect to be able to hurt Fulton. He talks a
lot about how heís fought a lot of undefeated fighters, but
if you look closely, heís been hurt before. I just want to
make that point clear that heís not untouchable.
ďThis would be a great win for my hometown of Albuquerque.
We havenít had a champion since Johnny Tapia and to become a
champion after him would mean a great deal to me and to the
ďItís possible heís overconfident. Heís been talking a lot,
and I know he has to have confidence, but I think heís a bit
overconfident. I donít really get effected by his talk or
people thinking Iím the underdog. Iím just focused on the
ďAs far as not having fans in the arena, I donít think it
will have an effect on this fight. Itís like sparring but
more intense. Iím the type of fighter that if I smell blood,
Iím going to go for the kill.
ďBeing in Las Vegas was probably the best move I made in my
career. Iíve seen Fultonís style in the gym and itís nothing
Iím not prepared for. Iíll adapt in the ring and make my
adjustments. Ultimately, Iím going to come out with the
ďI just need to vary up my attack. I have good footwork to
get on the inside. My head movement is strong, and all of
that is going to be key in this fight. I think he has some
trouble with fighters who move backwards against him, so Iím
going to use my boxing too. Weíre prepared for anything we
need to do in there.Ē
ďItís a bit of an unusual situation but I take every fight
as if were just another day in the gym or another sparring
session, so this will be nothing different. As boxers, as
fighters, as humans, we just have to adapt. No excuses,
whatever comes our way weíve got to figure it out and thatís
what Iím going to do on Saturday. Iíll adapt to no crowd and
you guys may hear me talk a little bit in the ring.
ďMy preparations changed a bit because of the social
distancing and you want to be careful with who you interact
with. If youíre sparring with a select few guys, you want to
make sure those guys are practicing social distancing as
well. It was kind of hard to get a lot of people to spar
with because you want to be careful.
ďI prepared for Aleem the same way I prepare for every
fighter. I stay focus and try to prepare for 10 or 12
rounds, whatever the fight may be, and focus three minutes
at a time. Heís a little awkward. You never want to
underestimate anyone so Iím treating him like he is a world
ďIím pretty sure Iíll take him to deep waters, and deep
waters doesnít mean the seventh, eighth, or ninth round
-deep waters means the third round and heís still got seven
ďAleem is much different from my last opponent (Yenifel
Vicente) because heís a cleaner fighter. You can tell heís a
respectful opponent and he comes from a good boxing lineage
in Detroit. Heís a lot different from Vicente, who came in
there just swinging for the fences and looking to land a
lucky shot. I had him frustrated so maybe he was looking for
an out or try to distract me but Aleem will be much
different from that.
ďIf I win this fight, I definitely think a title shot could
be next against the winner of Saturdayís main event. Or I
would fight Figueroa or [Murodjon Akhmadaliev]. Iíve been
ready for all of these guys. I should have already been in
the position that Fulton and Leo are at right now, fighting
for a world title.Ē
ďI feel like my win over Adam Lopez was definitely a big
upset. I feel like I made a big statement and I want to make
another big statement on Saturday night. As far as that
being my TV debut, there was no extra emotion behind it. I
was completely confident in myself and just ready to go in
there and do what I do.
ďThe super bantamweight division is a very stacked division.
Itís tough because a lot of the champions have been champs
for years. The big money fights are there, they just need to
be made and right now is the perfect time to make those
fights because we have to give the fans what they want. Iím
ready for the big fights right now.
ďThis is a huge opportunity for me to catapult myself into
the top spots. Itís going to raise me in the rankings and
even if my next fight isnít for a world title fight, Iím
going to be next. Itís a huge opportunity and Iím really
looking forward to it.
ďLeo and Fulton are both great fighters so to be able to see
them up close is great because I want to fight both of them.
Either one, it doesnít matter. Whoever wins, thatís who I
want. I have to show up and show out because just winning
isnít good enough for me. I have to dominate and that will
really solidify what Iím about.
ďTramaine Williams is a really smart fighter. He has really
fast hands, fast feet. I think my biggest advantage going
into this is heís never fought a fighter like me. I just
have to be cautious. I donít believe heís a big puncher but
I have to be cautious of his skill and his boxing IQ. I
donít feel like heís faced a real dog. Somebody who is
showing up to win, somebody who has faster hands and feet
ďIím telling myself I have 10 rounds to knock him out. You
can expect a lot of action from me on Saturday night. I
donít think my opponent really wants a lot of action, but I
definitely want to get him out of there. But Iím going to
let it come to me, Iím not going to just go in there and
force it. It will come, though. It wonít go the distance.
Iím prepared to go the distance but my ultimate goal is to
get him out of there.Ē
ďIím in better shape for this fight compared to our first
fight. Weíre working on fighting off of the ropes better and
fighting in the center of the ring more effectively.
ďA knockout is always good, but I like to take it one round
at a time. If the knockout comes, it comes, and weíre going
to take advantage. Iíve been dropping fighters in camp, so
the chance of a knockout is pretty high.
ďHe was an okay opponent. He had a chin and was in shape.
His punches werenít effective though. I made sure my punches
landed and I hurt him a few times, I just couldnít really
ďThis fight will be different because Iím going to work off
the ropes more instead of letting him gain momentum with his
punches. Last fight was just him being really active and
having a good chin -thatís all that stopped him from getting
knocked out. If I was in better shape, I could have finished
him. If I get the opportunity this fight, Iíll finish it.
ďI expect to see a slight difference in Escudero. If you
change trainers, then you should have made some changes. I
had a good hard camp and whatever he brings, Iíll be ready
ďSome people think that Escudero won, and thatís their
opinion. But I knew what I was doing. He wasnít effective. I
think just by me being on the ropes it made some people
think that I was losing. But for me, Iím very comfortable
fighting on the ropes.
ďI didnít really spar with people my weight in camp, it was
either with heavyweights or guys who are lighter. The
lighter guys helped with my speed and the heavyweights
helped with my power. It worked out perfectly and I got the
best of both worlds.
ďMy manager Trent Williams is a young athlete so he knows
how this goes. He knows the things to do and what to say.
You never see him angry or frustrated, the only time heís
aggressive is when heís training or on the field. His work
ethic is incredible and thatís motivation in itself. Heís a
great role model and I learn a lot from watching him.Ē
ďEveryone saw what happened in the first fight. I believe I
did enough to get the win, but it is what it is. Iíve
changed my team and am working with Kevin Cunningham now and
that is going to make the biggest difference heading into
this rematch. Everyone is going to see a different fighter
than the first fight on Saturday night.
ďWith Coach Kevin weíve watched the tape of the first fight
over and over again. We knew we needed to take care of
little details, be more effective and that we couldnít leave
it up to the judges. I have to be more intelligent in my
game plan and change my angles. I think those were the most
important things we worked on.
ďObviously we plan to bring the fight to George and make it
entertaining. I know that I have enough power to make sure
it doesnít go to the cards. Thatís what weíre looking for.
ďIíve known Kevin for a while. Heís worked with a lot of
world champions and Iíve seen how different it is to have a
strong team on my side. To be a great fighter you need to
have a great team supporting you.
ďIím much more confident heading into this fight than the
last one. He knows that he lost the fight. I know that I did
enough work to get the victory. Now in the rematch, Iím
going to show my confidence in the ring. My only goal is to
beat Joe George. I am working toward becoming a world
champion, so I had to get this rematch settled before
anything else. After Saturday night, weíll keep moving