Super bantamweight Brandon Figueroa impressed against Luis Nery to win the WBC title, but he already has Stephen Fulton on his mind.
Days after his May 15 championship boxing bout with Luis Nery, Brandon Figueroa wasn’t basking in the glory of his round 7 TKO victory. He was looking ahead to his scheduled Sept. 11 unification contest with WBO champion Stephen Fulton.
Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) dropped Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) with a sensational left to the body from the southpaw stance that forced Nery to take the 10-count in defeat. The two fought at a frenetic pace that saw Figueroa take more punches than Nery.
Figueroa had to eat 209 of Nery’s punches to deliver 177 of his own, according to CompuBox statistics. The trade-off was worth it as Figueroa’s power and endurance won out.
Figueroa sported battle wounds after his fight. A few days removed from his win, Figueroa’s eyes were still swollen and bruised, but he came away fairly unscathed. He felt fully prepared for anything Nery had to offer.
“I mean, I felt tired,” Figueroa told FanSided. “I mean, I felt exhausted, but I felt like the training camp was more exhausting than the fight. But that’s the way it should be.”
It didn’t take Figueroa long after defeating Nery to turn his attention to Fulton. It was assumed that the winner of Figueroa vs. Nery would fight Fulton in a September unification bout.
“I keep watching the fight, said Figueroa. “I keep doing my homework and obviously, already working on the next game plan. I’m already mentally working on what I’m going to do for Stephen Fulton.”
Figueroa may be the reigning super bantamweight WBC and WBA “regular” champion, but he’s aware that Fulton could wipe out those accomplishments if he’s not at his best. That’s why Figueroa didn’t waste any time after vanquishing Nery. He wanted to break down his performance against Nery as quickly as possible to start making improvements in preparation for Fulton.
Brandon Figueroa is already working towards winning Stephen Fulton’s WBO title
“I kept watching the replay right after my fight,” said Figueroa. “A soon as I was able to get on my phone on my way back to the bubble, I was just watching the knockout on repeat, like, I don’t know how many times. Like 1000 times.”
Figueroa added, “I still couldn’t believe it that I was able to do that to a fighter of that level. But you know, it is just all due to hard work and dedication, to be honest.”
As strong as Figueroa looked against Nery, Figueroa believes he’s capable of more. He rated his performance a seven out of ten.
“I would say like a seven,” said Figueroa. “I know I could have fought a little bit cleaner. I could have done different things. But you know, at the end of the day, it worked. I mean, I could have gotten hit a little less, boxed a little bit more. But I felt like if I would have done that, then the results wouldn’t have came as it came. I feel like he would have gotten his air. He would have not beat me, but I feel like he would have had a better chance to win the fight, which, you know, I didn’t want to allow.”
Figueroa feels like the pressure was the key to defeating Figueroa, and the result supports that conclusion. Fulton is a different type of fighter. He’s a machine known for letting his hands go for the entirety of a fight. Figueroa is aware that Fulton is a different challenge than Nery.
“He’s a great fighter,” said Figueroa about Fulton. “I know he fights very differently than Luis Nery. And not only that, but you know, me and him. We’ve had history since our prospect days where we’re both coming up and both wanting to prove that we want a title shot. And now that we’re both champions, now it’s different. Now the hype is there. The money’s there. The belts are there. So now everything is on the line. And I’m just happy that it got to this point that we’re both gonna fight it out to see who’s the best.”
Fulton has already started talking about Figueroa in a less than flattering manner, but Figueroa thinks he’s in for a rude awakening.
“I feel like he can talk all he wants, but at the end of the day, he still has to face me in the ring,” said Figueroa. “He still has to prove what he says. And I feel like, if he doesn’t do that, then there’s no reason for him to be talking. I feel like when it comes to fight night, he’s gonna have a whole different opinion about that. And I feel like he’s going to be surprised, just as Nery was surprised.”