Super bantamweight champions Stephen Fulton and Brandon Figueroa put in an obscene amount of work, but Fulton edged out the win on the cards.
Everybody anticipated that Stephen Fulton vs. Brandon Figueroa would be an active and exhausting fight, but they surpassed the highest expectations on Nov. 27.
Fulton and Figueroa came in as undefeated champions to unify the super bantamweight division. Fulton put his WBO title up against Figueroa’s WBC belt. It was nearly inevitable that someone’s unblemished record and belt would have to go.
Fulton and Figueroa are both volume punchers, which is why this fight was practically guaranteed to produce a pleasing result for boxing fans. Fulton and Figueroa traded punches from bell to bell and displayed superior conditioning and skill.
Fulton (20-0, 8 KOs) tried to fight Figueroa using Figueroa’s gameplan of applying pressure. By round 3, Fulton was starting to back up Figueroa, but that only lasted for so long.
Stephen Fulton got the win over Brandon Figueroa and could see Raeese Aleem next
Figueroa started to get into a rhythm by round 6, but Fulton continued to meet Figueroa’s pressure. Many rounds were challenging to score and could have gone either way. Figueroa appeared to hurt Fulton in rounds 8 and 10, but Fulton boxed beautifully in round 12.
A draw would have been a logical outcome, but the judges returned scores of 114-114 and two of 116-112 for Fulton. Again, the fight could have gone either way, but 116-112 is a wide margin for such a close contest.
Figueroa was visibly upset after the fight and argued the outcome with Fulton while being interviewed by Showtime’s Jim Gray. Figueroa thought he clearly won the bout. He initially asked for a rematch but then told Gray he wanted to move up to featherweight.
The fans at Park Theater in Las Vegas thought Figueroa won the fight. Expect Figueroa to move up and leave this fight in the rearview mirror. He’s 24 and has plenty of time to regain more titles.
Fulton controls half of the division, and Murodjon Akhmadaliev has the other two belts. A unification bout would make sense, but the boxing business is often illogical. Expect Fulton vs. Raeese Aleem to be on deck.