May 10, 2021

Angelo Leo-Tramaine Williams: Stats & Stakes

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One of the toughest parts of boxing’s return (and this is clearly an issue with all sports) is being able to count on the product the fans will be provided.

COVID isn’t interested in any best laid plans.

ESPN struggled to keep cards together throughout their summer series. Showtime’s return lost one half of its first main event straight out of the gate. Everyone reading certainly wishes the best to Stephen Fulton and anyone on his team recovering from the virus.

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They can still look forward to a new main event that retains much of the quality originally intended. We’ve still got an interesting clash of styles, we’ve still got two undefeated young fighters, and when Saturday’s main event (9 PM EST) is over we’ll have a new titlist (WBO) at Jr. featherweight. 

Let’s get into it.

Stats and Stakes

Angelo Leo

Age: 26

Title/Previous Titles: None

Height: 5’6

Weight: 121 lbs.

Stance: Orthodox

Hails from: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Record: 19-0, 9 KO

Rankings: #9 (Boxing Monthly, BoxRec), #10 (TBRB, Ring)

Record in Major Title Fights: 1st Major Title Opportunity

Last Five Opponents: 100-32-4 (.750)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: None

Vs.

Tramaine Williams

Age: 27

Titles/Previous Titles: None

Height: 5’4 

Weight: 121 ½ lbs.

Stance: Southpaw

Hails from: New Haven, Connecticut

Record: 19-0, 6 KO

Rankings: Unrated

Record in Major Title Fights: 1st Major Title Opportunity

Last Five Opponents: 128-62-3 (.671)

Current/Former World Champions Faced: None

The Case for Leo: Leo’s team was publicly confident about his chances against Fulton and remain so now. In their charge, they have a physical, fundamentally sound talent with a good body attack. Leo hasn’t been a big knockout artist to date but is skilled at finding openings for the left to the body and knows how to work in combination from there. Leo’s best path to victory may rely in part not just on maintaining a body attack but also maintaining an edge in output. Barring a surprising early stoppage, Leo is going to have to take some to get his offense going. As Williams is also not a regular knockout threat to date, Leo has to force the more selective Williams to work when he doesn’t want to. It will create offensive opportunities and create the chance for the impression Leo is setting the pace and dictating the nature of the fight.

The Case for Williams: Williams has what appear to be some physical advantages over Leo along with his own solid fundamentals. His hands and feet are quicker and his head and upper body movement make him an elusive target upstairs. Fighting out of a bit of a crouch, Williams holds his arms and elbows in a way that could work against Leo’s body punches. Williams throws straighter shots and can be explosive, meaning he could force the more flat-footed Leo to reset often. Williams can be a bit more selective with his punch choices and output and must avoid watching his work when he gets a good shot or two in but expect him to be first a lot early against a Leo who can be found looping blows.

The Pick: This is the sort of fight it’s terribly hard to pick. There’s not much in the way of proof in either career so the conjecture is based on what can be seen on film and the circumstances of the fight. Let’s start with the circumstances. Williams was preparing for his own clash with a different undefeated fighter, Raeese Aleem, on the undercard. Aleem, like Leo, fights from an orthdox stance giving Williams the advantage of at least having spent camp preparing for a right-handed fighter. Leo is switching from one talented foe to another but loses some of the work in his camp for the right-handed Fulton. As to what’s on film, it’s hard to say how either does against elite power yet but they don’t appear to be facing that in each other. Both look physically strong but the quicker fighter who is harder to hit and gets to the target in a straighter line looks like Williams and the pick here is Williams by decision.    

Rold Picks 2020: 7-3

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com