Philadelphia’s Stephen Fulton Jr stayed unbeaten with a very sound win over Arnold Khegai in a WBO junior featherweight eliminator tonight on Showtime, winning a clear and deserved unanimous decision in Brooklyn.
Fulton (18-0, 8 KO) worked behind a consistently sharp jab and some good body work, flustering the more aggressive Khegai (16-1-1, 10 KO) over the course of the fight, taking scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111. BLH had the fight 117-111 and 118-110 for the 25-year-old Fulton.
Fulton really showcased a nicely rounded game in this fight, and Khegai found himself outboxed pretty early, but you have to credit the Ukrainian for also never giving up on things, even when it was clear that Fulton had pulled away on the cards. Khegai fought hard through the end, including a really good 11th round, and he even tried to get into Fulton’s head a bit by making things a little rough in there physically.
But Fulton kept his composure, kept on a plan that definitely was working, and didn’t let Khegai rattle him at all. The win sets Fulton up for a possible shot at the belt currently held by Top Rank’s Emanuel Navarrete, which wouldn’t be an easy fight to make, but surely not impossible, and could be a highly intriguing style clash if it does happen this year.
“I felt great,” Fulton said after the win. “He was a tough opponent, I just felt good. I stayed on my game plan, kept boxing, didn’t get pulled into his game. I kept my composure because that’s what we paid for. He’s a tough guy, we knew he’d come to fight. My jab is always effective. I try to be smart with it and utilize it a lot.”
And “Cool Boy Steph” absolutely wants his title shot sooner than later.
“I’m ready for that WBO world title,” he confirmed.
For what it’s worth, Navarrete (30-1, 26 KO) is currently slated to return on Feb. 22, facing Jeo Tupas Santisima on the Wilder-Fury 2 card, so timing should line up fine if the WBO force the issue.