By Ryan Burton
Fast rising super bantamweight prospect Angelo Leo (16-0) will fight for the second time this year when he faces Neil John Tabanao (17-4) at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada. Leo plans on having a busy 2019.
The Mayweather Promotions’ fighter has fought at the venue several times but this is easily the biggest fight of his young career. Leo will be headlining a ShoBox triple header in what will be his first fight scheduled for 10 rounds.
“Training is going great. This is going to be my first 10 rounder. I have been working extremely hard for this fight and I have been increasing my running and the rounds of sparring. I feel in good shape and I am ready to go the whole 10 rounds if I have to,” said Angelo.
“I like the feeling of being active. It keeps me in shape. It keeps me sharp. It is better than taking 5 or 6 months off. When you do that it is hard to get back in shape and you just don’t feel the same.”
Tabanao, who fights out of the Philippines, has won 4 fights in a row after losing his previous 3. Leo has studied some of his previous fights and has a lot of respect for opponent.
“I have seen a few fights of his. He is a good fighter and a counter puncher. He likes to counter off the high guard. He has fought Isaac Dogboe who is a former world champ and he went the distance with him so he is no push over. He does have some pop in his punch so I will have to worry about that. Other than that I think I have an advantage on the footwork, the feints and in speed,” Leo explained.
Dogboe, who is a former world champion, is by far the best opponent that Tabanao has faced. Some fighters compare what other fighters do against common opponents as a measuring stick. While Leo would like to outperform Dogboe, he said that he isn’t putting any extra pressure on himself.
“In a way it does (add pressure) but at the same time I am not going to look for a knockout. If the knockout presents itself then I am going to take it,” Dogboe stated.
Leo believes that a win on a platform like ShoBox will be the springboard to launch his career. He is hopefully that a few more big wins will propel him to a title shot.
“With a win I would be 17-0 and then talks of a world title will be in the air. Let’s see what my promoter says but talks of a world title would be in the near future,” Leo told BoxingScene.com before breaking down the rest of his weight class.
“At 122 I think Rey Vargas is the top dog. I think it is a solid division. I definitely know I can compete with and beat all the fighters in the division. That is the way I work and I adapt my style to beat every style. It is not going to be easy but if me and my team come up with a good game plan then I can beat any champion and hopefully unify.”
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