This Saturday night on Showtime (Jan. 23, 9 pm ET), the 2021 boxing schedule will start to get moving a bit finally, as Premier Boxing Champions have a triple-header from Connecticut, featuring a 122-pound title main event between Angelo Leo and Stephen Fulton.
But also of real interest is the co-feature, another junior featherweight clash, this one between unbeatens Ra’eese Aleem (17-0, 11 KO) and Victor Pasillas (16-0, 9 KO). A lot of the buzz here centers on Pasillas, a 28-year-old one-time blue chipper whose pro career stalled, but he came back looking sensational in a televised win last September on FS1.
Pasillas has vowed to dish out a “major beatdown” in this fight on Saturday, but the 30-year-old Aleem is warning everyone to hold their horses, and not overlook him.
“Pasillas is a good fighter with a lot of skills, but he’s not on my level physically and mentally,” Aleem said from training camp. “I have the speed advantage, along with a better ring IQ, so I believe I’m the more polished fighter. This is going to be a dog fight and a lot of hard punches are going to be thrown by both of us. I envision myself dominating this fight and coming out victorious by any means necessary.”
The winner will have the WBA’s interim title, which again, does not really need to exist as the sanctioning body have an active “super world” champion in Murodjon Akhmadaliev and an active “world” champion in Brandon Figueroa. But whatever we feel about the trinket, it’s meaningful for the fighters and their careers, and puts them in good standing with one of the major sanctioning bodies. If anything happens with Akhmadaliev or Figueroa, the winner of Aleem-Pasillas will be right there.
“This fight is the turning point in my career being that it’s for the WBA interim title,” Aleem stated. “I’ve always said I want to fight the best fighters in the division and that’s exactly what I’m doing when I step in the ring with Victor Pasillas. I’m coming for all the belts and it starts on Jan. 23.”