Stephen Fulton positive for Covid 19- off Showtime main event
Premier Boxing Champions was looking to resume their fight series with a bang Saturday night on Showtime Premium cable by featuring up and coming Super Bantamweight, Stephen Fulton, fighting for the vacant WBO belt. Instead, Fulton is out and a different rising prospect will take his place.
First, Fulton was informed earlier Wednesday afternoon that his latest Coronavirus test has come up positive. Jonathan Leir of the “Ring Walk” podcast had the info earlier Wednesday night after Fulton confirmed to him that he received the tested positive notice,
Breaking: Stephen Fulton Jr. and two of his coaches tests from this afternoon have returned positive for Covid and he has been removed from the fight against Leo.
He had an antibody test as of today after rumors of positive that said he was clear. Tested again-positive test. pic.twitter.com/zLRX6f2AEH
— Jonathan Leir (@ringwalkjon) July 29, 2020
This reportedly came after several tests over the last couple of weeks showed Fulton to be negative for Covid-19. The Philly native, 18 – 0, 8 KOs, was to have fought another unbeaten, New Mexico’s Angelo Leo (19-0), in the main event at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut Saturday night on Showtime premium cable’s return to boxing for the first time in five months.
Their fight was to be for the WBO 122 lb. title that had been vacated two weeks ago by Emanuel Navarrete.
Fulton eventually took to social media himself Wednesday night to confirm that he’s off the main event:
Beyond Hurt !!! I won’t be fighting for the world title Saturday night due to me testing positive for COVID. I never got anything easy, just a set back for a crazy return, pray for me if you can.
— Stephen Fulton Jr (@coolboysteph) July 30, 2020
PBC moved quickly to elevate fellow unbeaten contender Tremaine “The Mighty Midget” Williams, 19 – 0, 6 KOs, from his co-feature fight to the main event to fight Leo.
The Connecticut-native Williams was to have fought fellow unbeaten, Raeese Aleem, (16 – 0) for a WBO secondary Super Bantamweight Championship. Williams was last in action last July, when he scored a 12 round unanimous decision in Arlington, Texas, over Venifel Vicente.
Showtime released a Wednesday night statement confirming the news and the main event switch,
“Extensive protocols have been put in place to catch this very possibility and they’ve proven so far to be effective,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “We are supporting Stephen and his team as they self-quarantine off property and we will help with any medical assistance if needed.
“Fortunately, Williams was ready to move into the spot in the main event, which remains a battle of unbeaten young super bantamweights.
Saturday night’s show on the Showtime network kicks off a series of PBC main event title fights that are to take place over the final five months of 2020. All of the Showtime bouts will be from the Mohegan Sun Casino without fans present.
These include: WBC Super middleweight champion David Benavidez defending his title on August 15th. Then, in September the Charlo Brothers will each defend their World Titles in a double header Pay-per-View. And, then, probably most prominently for PBC and Showtime, unbeaten, hard punching two division World Champ, Gervonta Davis will meet three division World Champ, Leo Santa Cruz, for the WBA Lightweight Championship in an October pay-per-view.
PBC/Showtime’s early struggle mirrors what Top Rank Boxing and promoter Bob Arum have endured putting on shows in Las Vegas since early June. They have had numerous fighters and cornermen test positive for Covid 19 postponing or cancelling fights. This includes, WBO 130 lb. champ, Jamel Herring, testing positive twice to postpone both attempts to fight Jonathan Oquendo.
That Herring-Oquendo fight is now scheduled for a third time in September.