Boxing has been added by Showtime to the sparse January calendar. In the previously reported main event for Janaury 23rd, WBO 122-pound champion Angelo Leo meets Stephen "Cool Boy" Fulton Jr., at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., in a Premier Boxing Champions event. The other two Showtime bouts that night will be feature undefeated 122-pounders Ra'eese Aleem against Victor Pasillas in a twelve-round bout for the interim WBA title, and Rolando Romero against Justin Pauldo in a twelve-round lightweight bout. Both Aleem-Pasillas and Romero-Pauldo will be for WBA interim titles. The combined ring record of the six fighters on the card is a remarkable 96 wins with just one loss. The event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions.
Aleem (17-0, 11 KOs) can take a big step closer to a world title shot when he faces fellow unbeaten Pasillas for the interim WBA strap. Raised in Michigan and training out of Las Vegas, Aleem, 30, has stopped his past six opponents inside the distance as he continues to step up his competition. "This is a high-stakes fight and the winner will get a guaranteed world title fight," said Aleem. "It's going to be a good fight, but I am at the top of the heap. I knew I belonged at the top a long time ago and after my last fight that was proven. Winning this fight makes me the number-one contender, and the only thing left after this is to win the world title."
Pasillas (15-0, 8 KOs), who hails from East Los Angeles, is fresh off a dominating sixth-round knockout over then-unbeaten Ranfis Javier Encarnacion in September 2020. Like Aleem, the 28 year-old Pasillas also carries significant power. He has stopped his four most recent foes including a first-round knockout of Ernesto Guerrero.
"I've envisioned being in this position since I first stepped into a boxing gym at age eight and now it's time to seize the moment," said Pasillas. "I'm going to take full advantage of this opportunity and show the world, and everyone watching on Showtime, that I belong on the big stage with the elite fighters at super bantamweight. Aleem is a good fighter, but he won't be able to hang with me. I'm going to punish him until I knock him out. East L.A. in the house, let's go!"
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nev., Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) returns to Showtime following his controversial unanimous decision victory over Jackson Marinez in August. The 25 year-old captured the interim WBA lightweight title with that win and went the distance for just the second time in his professional career. Fighting under the Mayweather Promotions banner, Romero has been matched tough early in his career with just two losses among his four most recent opponents including the once-defeated Pauldo. "I'm going to approach this fight like I do any other fight, I don't feel the need to sell myself," said Romero. "I'm thankful for my fans who have been with me since day one. I fight for them, because a fan of Rolly is to be an underdog, to be doubted, and that's all I have ever been. Whether you're with me on January 23rd or against me, I know you will be watching."
Following a unanimous decision victory over Josec Ruiz in August 2020, Pauldo (14-1, 7 KOs) returns against the stiffest test of his career when he faces blue-chip prospect Romero. Hailing from Orlando, Fla. and training in Houston, Texas, Pauldo, 26, owns a four-inch reach advantage over Romero, who is the third unbeaten foe of his career.
"I'm thankful for this opportunity and I'm excited for all of my years of hard work to pay off on January 23," said Pauldo. "I was already training and in shape when I got the call for this fight, so I'm going to be 100% on fight night. Romero is a one-gear type of fighter who comes straight forward. I believe that I have the better skills and am the better all-around fighter. This is definitely going to be an interesting fight with contrasting styles, and I can't wait to show off my skills and bring this title home."