I’ve seen the new IBO Super Bantamweight Champion Stephen “Scooter aka Cool Boy Steph” Fulton sparring at Shuler’s Gym (named after James Shuler famed am/pro boxer) in West Philly on Brooklyn Avenue owned by PAB HOF inductee Buster Custus on various occasions which is certainly one of the toughest in the city. He is a pure boxer old school style. I met up with him pertaining to this article at the MET boxing show on October 18th when he was with Philly’s future world champion 15th ranked IBF unbeaten welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis.
Turning professional after a fine amateur career in October of 2014 Fulton’s unbeaten streak has reached to 17-0 with 8 stoppages. Though fighting in such Pennsylvania places like Chester which is just minutes from Philly at Harrah’s Casino twice, Valley Forge Casino and Resort, in King of Prussia, California University of PA, Bethlehem Sands in Bethlehem, PA, 3 times and Santander Arena in Reading, PA, he has only fought once in Philly at the 2300 Arena in his fourth fight.
“I hope to fight in Philly when I make my first title defense in January 18th,” said Fulton. His manager is Al Haymon and quite a few of his fights especially in PA were promoted by Kings Promotions, Marshall Kaufman who is one of Haymon’s busiest promoters. His trainer is Hamza Muhammad.
www.boxrec.com lists 29 amateur bouts all in the US but one, in Russia. He also fought in Germany, Italy and Ireland. He also had 3 World Series of Boxing bouts prior to turning pro.
In Fulton’s first four fights he fought once a month. He fought 5 times in 2015 but slowed down to only fight twice a year in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He’s had 3 fights in 2019. His last 11 opponents have had winning records. Of those, 6 were unbeaten. His opponent’s records in 10 of those bouts were 101-8 not counting the veteran German Meraz, 61-49-2. In his lone bout since winning the IBO title in May he knocked out in 6 rounds Isaac Avelar, 16-0, in August in Edinburg, TX.
Oddly enough he only had one scheduled 10 round fight before winning the IBO title on May 11th at the Eagle Bank Arena, in Fairfax, VA, defeating champion Paulus Ambunda, 27-2 (11), of Nambia, over 12 rounds. Fulton turned 25 two months later.
In March of 2013 Ambunda won the WBO Bantam title defeating Panya Uthok, then 43-1. After losing that title to Tomoki Kameda, 27-0 in his next fight and his other loss was to Moises Flores, 24-0 for the IBO title. He won it back in September of 2018 only to lose it to Fulton. So you can see Ambunda was in with tough opposition to the credit of Fulton. Ambunda won the vacant IBO Super Bantam title in August of 2015.
Fulton’s opponent in January has not been named yet. In the IBO’s top ten only two are from the US and that is the No. 1 ranked Brandon Figueroa, 20-0, and No. 9 Angelo Leo, 18-0. The No. 5 ranked is former WBO World Super Bantam champion Ghana’s Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe, 20-2, out of the UK, who won his title in Philly in April of 2018 knocking out Jesse Magdaleno, 25-0. He lost his title in December 2018 to Emanuel Navarrete, 25-1, and in a rematch lost again in May of 2019. The Dogboe fight if in Philly might be interesting.
Fulton was good enough to answer the following questions:
KEN HISSNER: Would you like to be more active in 2020 as the IBO champ whether its title fights or non-title fights?
STEPH FULTON: yes I would
KEN HISSNER: Would you be willing to fight out of the country if the price was right?
STEPH FULTON: yes, for I fought in Germany, Russia, Italy and Ireland in the amateurs
KEN HISSNER: The only majority decision win you had was beating Adam Lopez, 8-0, in December of 2017. Would you say that was your toughest fight? If not then with who?
STEPH FULTON: I didn’t really have what I consider a tough fight
KEN HISSNER: Do you think you will stay at super bantam or eventually move up to featherweight?
STEPH FULTON: I plan to move to featherweight in 2020
KEN HISSNER: Julian Williams and Tevin Farmer are the two other Philly world champs at this time. Do you think you should be getting as much credit winning the IBO World title?
STEPH FULTON: Everyone knows I am a champion and don’t worry about it the others.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for answering some questions and wish you a bright future in boxing and in life.
STEPH FULTON: thank you