After just 15 professional fights, Philadelphia boxer Stephen Fulton can have his first shot at a global title Saturday. At the same time, he faces Paulus Ambunda for the IBO top-notch-bantamweight championship at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Va.

Fulton, a 122-pound, a fleet-footed and effective growing prospect who survived a tough upbringing inside the location of West Philly referred to as “The Bottom,” could be prevented at the undercard of the junior middleweight name showdown among challenger Julian Williams, his James Shuler Boxing Gym stablemate, and IBF/WBA champion Jarrett Hurd.


The 24-12 months-vintage Fulton (15-zero, 7 knockouts) hopes a dominant victory towards Ambunda (27-2, eleven knockouts) will help catapult his name and celebrity electricity into the boxing stratosphere.

“Once I win this combat and get the belt, I’ll be able to call sure identify photographs as well,” Fulton stated. “Everyone wants to be an undisputed champion, and that’s my intention. So belt holders like Daniel Roman and Rey Vargas could come to get it. Once I grasp the mental part of the sport, which I don’t forget to be my greatest asset, I’ll be unstoppable.”

The 5-foot-7 Fulton stated he expects Ambunda, a frequently unknown Namibian who can be fighting for the primary time in the United States, to apply masses of pressure and bring staying power to the hoop. Ambunda is 14 years older and has to offer the touted prospect an interesting take a look at.

While he’s excited about his world-identify opportunity, Fulton is upset that his fight changed into scrapped from the Fox slate of programming due to time constraints.

“I’m very dissatisfied that I gained’t be on TV despite everything. I’ve worked so hard for my spot and opportunity, but it was taken away,” Fulton stated. “I mustn’t prove something to myself or all people else. They realize what I can do, and it’s all about executing now. I need to dig deep, fight hard and combat clever. I should be rapid and first and out-assume Ambunda to overcome him.”

TV time, or something else for that count, has in no way been passed to Fulton. He grew up without his father in his life till the age of 10 because Stephen Fulton Sr. Turned into serving jail time. Young Stephen and his three siblings had been raised with the aid of a single mother. He needed to hustle and earn the whole lot he wanted developing up, all even as enduring endless crime and violence around him.

“I had a hard upbringing,” said Fulton, who by the age of 15 knew 5 pals who have been killed. “I did not have a father discern or steering in my existence. I don’t know wherein I would be without boxing.”

Fulton never had a knack for faculty and said he’d both be a drug dealer or a rapper if he hadn’t discovered the candy science. Once his father was released from jail, he rescued his son from capacity pitfalls and served as the lacking force in his lifestyle.

When Fulton changed into 12, his father began reconnecting with old friend Hamza Muhammad after prayer services at a neighborhood mosque. Muhammad, presently Fulton’s instructor, took the teen under his wing quickly after their meeting and constructed the fighter from the ground up at Champ’s Gym, once domestic to Bernard Hopkins.

“Hamza got here from the battle, and we recognize how it feels to be down,” said Fulton, who now has a 2-12 months-vintage son. “We’re all loyal to one another. It’s a brotherhood, and we all assist every different.”

Once the gymnasium stored Fulton from a hassle-crammed life, he fought his manner thru a remarkable beginner career. He turned into the Ringside, Silver Gloves, National Golden Gloves, and Junior National Golden Gloves champion. He grew to become pro at age 19 and signed with Premier Boxing Champions. Fulton is managed by using Al Haymon, head of PBC and the mythical discern who has guided the careers of Floyd Mayweather, Deontay Wilder, and lots of other champions.

Now, the flashy Fulton can be Philly’s subsequent star. He is aware that any adoration he gets has to be earned from a town that is so steeped in its wealthy boxing tradition.

“It’s tough to get Philly’s aid due to the fact anyone is trying to make it out. It would help if you work your manner as much as to be liked, and I feel like I’m putting in the work,” Fulton stated. “I need to be taken into consideration one of the greats to pop out of Philly. I’m grateful to be in the position that I’m in now. I’m nonetheless beating the odds and developing sturdy.”