WBA super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) performed like a superstar on Saturday night in beating WBC champion Luis ‘Pantera’ Nery (31-1, 24 KOs) in a body shot stoppage in the seventh round in their main event fight on Showtime at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Figueroa came into the fight with an odd game plan by fighting Nery’s fight by staying on the inside and banging with it out with the explosive puncher.
From the start, it looked like a plan that was doomed for failure, but surprisingly it worked to perfection.
Figueroa, 5’8″, used his size to wear down the 5’6″ Nery until catching him with a powerful body shot in the seventh round to put him down on the canvas. The fight was called off at 2:18 of round seven by the referee Thomas Taylor.
Interestingly, Figueroa had a harder time against former super bantamweight champion Julio Ceja a year and a half ago in fighting him to a 12 round draw in November 2019.
Figueroa took a beating against the heavy-handed Ceja in that fight, and his stock went way down afterward. But to Figueroa’s credit, he’s improved since that fight and looks to be a much better fighter than he was in 2019.
Tonight was the second poor performance from Nery since he moved up to 122, and it’s starting to become apparent that he isn’t the same guy he was when he was competing at 118.
If Nery can’t regain the form he had when he was fighting at bantamweight, he should perhaps try and return to the bantamweight division.
Figueroa’s next up will be a unification fight against WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton on Showtime Boxing on September 11th.
That’s not going to be an easy fight for Figueroa, but it’s a winnable one as long as he comes in with a good game plan like he did tonight.
In the co-feature bout on the card, a highly motivated former IBF/WBA super bantamweight champion Danny Roman (28-3-1, 10 KOs) proved many doubters wrong with his 10 round unanimous decision win over Ricardo ‘Hindu’ Espinoza (25-4, 21 KOs).
Roman, 31, had issues with Espinoza’s punching power early in the fight, but he came on strong in the second have of the contest using his boxing skills to get the better of the 23-year-old.
All three judges had it for Roman:97-93, 98-92, 98-92.
In other action on the card, unbeaten super featherweight contender Xavier Martinez (16-0, 11 KOs) beat Juan Carlos Burgos (34-5-2, 21 KOs) by a 99-91, 99-91, 99-91 score. The judges didn’t do justice to the way that Burgos fought, as he deserved better.