Daniel Roman relishes ‘ultimate’ opportunity against Stephen Fulton

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Daniel Roman knew he’d get another chance eventually.

The former 122-pound titleholder lost two belts to former amateur star Murodjon Akhmadaliev by a close-as-it-gets decision in January 2020, a heartbreaking setback that was followed by his inability to get an immediate rematch.

Two victories – over Juan Carlos Payano and Ricardo Franco – and two years later, Roman has an opportunity to regain his status and then some: He challenges unbeaten two-belt champion Stephen Fulton on Saturday night at The Armory in Minneapolis (Showtime).

“It’s a crazy thing,” Roman told Boxing Junkie, referring to the depths of losing his belts to Akmadaliev and then getting the opportunity of his life. “That’s why you have to stay in the gym all the time, to be ready for this kind of opportunity. It doesn’t come twice.

“You have to take advantage of it now that you have the chance.”

Roman (29-3-1, 10 KOs) already has had an impressive career.

The polished technician from Los Angeles had two losses and one draw in first 11 fights but then won 19 in a row, including a series of victories over fellow contenders and his run as a titleholder.

Hardcore fans know that Roman is an excellent boxer but he hasn’t been the kind of fighter who makes waves, as Fulton has.

That’s why the fight on Saturday night is so important for Roman. If he can take down a champion of Fulton’s caliber on such a large stage, even if it’s by a decision, fans will have no choice but take notice.

“It depends on what people are more attracted to,” he said. “Everybody loves a knockout, everybody loves seeing that. And some fighters talk a lot. I hardly talk. Maybe that’s why people don’t pay attention to me.

“Could this fight change that? Yes. He’s that type of fighter. People will be tuning in that night. He’s considered the best in the division.”

Now all he has to do is win, which won’t be easy.

Brandon Figueroa gave Fulton hell in November before losing a disputed majority decision and his title but Figueroa and Roman have different styles. The former is a relentless pressure fighter, the latter a boxer.

So in this fight it’s boxer vs. boxer, although both of them are more versatile that pure technicians.

“My style is different from Figueroa’s but I can do a little bit of everything, as well,” he said. “I can make adjustments during the fight, putting on pressure, staying in the pocket, anything that works to my benefit. It’s going to come down to who makes the right adjustments that night.

“… I have to say: This is the ultimate fight, going against the unified champion. I’m finally getting a chance after two years.”

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