Showtime’s first card back after coronavirus hiatus is set for Saturday night still, but two fights on the lineup have changed after scheduled main eventer Stephen Fulton Jr tested positive for COVID-19.
Fulton (18-0, 8 KO) was to face Angelo Leo (19-0, 9 KO) for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title, but the 26-year-old Leo will now instead face Tramaine Williams (19-0, 6 KO), with the vacant belt still on the line. It’s not as good a fight, being honest, but these are frankly not good times to be trying to put together boxing shows. Top Rank lost several fights between June 9 and July 21, and upcoming cards will lose fights, too.
“Extensive protocols have been put in place to catch this very possibility and they’ve proven so far to be effective,” said Tom Brown, promoter for the event. “We are supporting Stephen and his team as they self-quarantine off property and we will help with any medical assistance if needed.”
Williams, 27, had originally been slated for the co-feature against 30-year-old Ra’eese Aleem (16-0, 10 KO), who will also still be in action against Marcus Bates (11-1-1, 8 KO), a 26-year-old from DC looking to get a break here with the bump onto the Showtime card.
“Fortunately, Williams was ready to move into the spot in the main event, which remains a battle of unbeaten young super bantamweights,” Brown added. “In addition, Marcus Bates was in excellent shape and answered the call to face Aleem in a title eliminator. He is an aggressive super bantamweight who will make the most of this opportunity. I expect him to be on everyone’s radar after Saturday night.”
The opener for the triple-header, a rematch between light heavyweights Joe George and Marcos Escudero, is still in place.