2023 has already been an incredible yr for motion fights contained in the boxing ring. Brandon Figueroa figures he’ll add to the fast-growing checklist of Fight of the Year contenders on Saturday when he clashes with Mark Magsayo for the interim WBC featherweight championship (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET).
“This may very well be one other Fight of the Year candidate,” Figueroa stated at a media day forward of the battle. “I’m prepared to point out off my abilities. The followers love after I battle as a result of they know it is by no means boring. I wish to battle the very best of the very best and hold proving to everybody that I belong at this degree.”
His evaluation will not be inaccurate. Figueroa is able to producing thrilling motion, working in exhausting blitzes on the within and continuously pressuring opponents. That fashion helped Figueroa produce one half of the most effective fights of 2021, an exciting battle with Stephen Fulton Jr. that value Figueroa his 122-pound championship.
After the slim choice loss to Fulton, Figueroa made the transfer as much as featherweight, selecting up a sixth-round TKO over Carlos Castro in July 2022. Now, he seems to be to determine himself as a participant within the new division and arrange a conflict with WBC champion Rey Vargas, who might be returning to featherweight after a failed bid to win the vacant tremendous featherweight title in February.
Standing in Figueroa’s method is one other strong motion fighter in Magsayo.
Magsayo is aiming to make use of a win over Figueroa to pressure a rematch with Vargas. The pair first met in July 2022, with Vargas taking a break up choice and successful the WBC belt one battle after Magsayo gained it with a majority choice over Gary Russell Jr.
The loss to Vargas was the primary time Magsayo had tasted defeat as knowledgeable. He has not competed since dropping the title.
Just like Figueroa, Magsayo is predicting an action-packed battle on Saturday.
“The winner of this battle goes to be the followers,” Magsayo stated at a media occasion. “I’m coming again stronger than ever. I’ve been coaching since October for this battle and it has been nice. I’ve been doing a number of rounds in sparring. This goes to be a terrific battle.”
Figueroa vs. Magsayo battle card, odds
Bandon Figueroa -300
Mark Magsayo +240
WBC interim featherweight title
Jarrett Hurd -470
Armando Resendiz +360
Elijah Garcia -130
Amilcar Vidal +110
Magsayo has heavy fingers and might definitely join cleanly sufficient to knock most males out. Figueroa’s chin has been otherworldly in his profession, nonetheless, and even at the next weight, there’s an expectation he stays in a position to take up harm and work to the pocket the place he does his finest work.
Figueroa is also the larger and longer man, which may turn out to be useful if he decides to pressure durations of mid-range motion earlier than pushing ahead into durations of cellphone sales space brawling. Magsayo has struggled at instances with fighters who’re of a barely decrease high quality than Figueroa whereas Figueroa has gone toe-to-toe with a supremely gifted fighter like Fulton.
Look for Figueroa to take his time breaking Magsayo down earlier than forcing a late stoppage by near-constant physique work and energy pictures whereas absorbing a little bit of return hearth from Magsayo in return. Pick: Brandon Figueroa by way of TKO9