Michael Conlan now knows which American he will have to defeat to become world champion.
The Belfast super bantamweight has been ranked #1 with the WBO at 122lbs since confirming he was moving down the scales last year.
The ranking effectively makes the talented switch hitter mandatory for the strap and next in line for the champion.
However, up and until this weekend there was no clear path to a title shot for the London 2012 medalist. Conlan was awaiting to see who would emerge victorious from a proposed Angelo Leo vs Stephen Fulton world title fight.
When Fulton picked up Covid that clash was delayed, Leo took advantage and claimed the strap by defeating Tramaine Williams in August.
However, the American still had to defend against his fellow country man before being free to explore any other options.
Leo and Fulton went at it on Saturday night throwing more punches between them than all but two other super bantamweight world title fights.
Fulton, who threw 1,183 punches over 12 rounds came out on top – and thus becomes the man in Top Rank star Conlan’s sights.
AND THE NEWWW!!!CANTBEFUCKINGSTOPPED!!! PHILLY WE BACK. Shoutout to Angelo Leo we put on a hell of a performance last night and made history being 3rd in most punches thrown in our division!!! Shoutout to Al Haymon @ShowtimeBoxing @TGBpromotions @PacoValcarcel @WorldBoxingOrg pic.twitter.com/B55gvQWDsM— 100 Billion (@coolboysteph) January 24, 2021
The new WBO super bantamweight world champion and recent Carl Frampton sparring partner may have the chance to make a voluntary defense before having to open talks with Conlan.
Ireland’s first ever senior amateur world champion has said he is ready for the champ next, but has suggested an August Feile tilt.
That would allow the younger brother of former world title challenger Jamie Conlan and Bob Arum favourite get a return from injury fight in, in April, while opening the door for Fulton to have a voluntary defence.