Stephen Fulton Labels Ra’eese Aleem as Corny and Overrated
You can’t talk about the junior featherweight division without mentioning Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs). The 28-year-old unified champion from Philadelphia holds the WBO and IBF belts. In his last outing, Fulton was dominant in a decision over the previous unified champ, Daniel Roman (29-4-1, 10 KOs), in June 2022.
A popular fighter among the hardcore boxing sect, you’re starting to hear chatter within that crowd wondering who Fulton will fight next. A possible opponent could be world-ranked 122-pounder Ra’eese Aleem (20-0, 12 KOs), a fighter who is not shy about expressing his desire to fight Fulton. During an appearance on The PBC Podcast, “Cool Boy Steph” was asked about his thoughts on Aleem.
NOT IMPRESSED AT ALL
“My thoughts of him as a fighter is that he’s corny to me. To the media and casual fans and boxing fans, he may be nice to them. But to me, he’s corny to me […] He sounds desperate to get a fight […] He has yet to fight a name.”
Aleem is ranked by all four sanctioning bodies (8th WBC, 12th WBA, IBF/6th WBO) and is inching towards a world title shot. He’s coming off an impressive ten-round decision win over Mike Plania (26-1, 13 KOs) on September 4 on the undercard of the Andy Ruiz v Luis Ortiz PPV event. It was a critical win. Heading into the bout, Plania was ranked second by the WBO. At worst, Aleem would rise in the WBO rankings. At best, the sanctioning body may elevate the 32-year-old to a mandatory contender.
WHO COULD HAVE A MUTUAL INTEREST?
On paper, it could be an entertaining contest. Aleem is a physically strong and aggressive fighter with decent boxing skills. The champ is a multi-faceted fighter who prefers to box on the outside. But if he has to grit his teeth and stand and trade, the pride of Philadelphia has shown a willingness to do just that.
Fulton outwardly has little respect for Aleem. Still, a fight between the two would catch the attention of the lower-weight divisions. Aleem is a known quantity given his regular appearances on SHOWTIME and other PBC-promoted cards. The promotional and television outlet could be interested in putting that match together later this year. Do not be surprised if they already have something brewing.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.