Unbeaten bantamweight Damien Vazquez will take on the toughest test of his career in former world champion Juan Carlos Payano in Premier Boxing Champions Prelims on FS1 this Saturday from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California.
Prelims begin at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT and lead into a PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes show that’s headlined by WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter making his first title defense in primetime against mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com.
Here is what Vazquez, who is the younger brother of former three-time world champion Israel Vazquez, had to say about training, his matchup and more:
On his recent training camp:
“I’ve had a phenomenal training camp going into this fight. Bones Adams and Joel Casamayor are two of the best boxing minds in the sport. I’m soaking up everything they’re showing me. I’ve also been sparring with Isaac ‘Canelito’ Avelar, a big strong featherweight who brings it every day. I’m confident and victory is on my mind.”
On his upcoming matchup with Payano:
“This is a big step up for me. Payano is a former world champion who is very dangerous, but I’m confident in myself, in my talent, and I’m going to leave everything in the ring. After March 9, the world will know who I am and what I’m about. There is no doubt in my mind, I’m coming out on top!”
On making his nationally televised debut on FS1:
“Fighting on FS1 is going to be a huge blessing for my career, because the whole world will be able to watch me perform. I’m very grateful for this opportunity. Boxing fans tuning in will see two warriors going for the kill.”
On what a victory will do for his career:
“Beating a former world champion like Payano will get me closer to that world title shot I’m seeking. I’m the future of the bantamweight division and it’s my time to shine.”
Born in Colorado and training in Las Vegas, Vazquez (14-0, 7 KOs) is the younger brother of former three-time champion Israel Vazquez. The 21-year-old has fought professionally since 2013 and picked up two wins in 2018. He most recently won his first 10-round fight with a unanimous decision over then unbeaten Luis Gollindano last April.
Payano (20-2, 9 KOs) became a world champion in 2014 when he defeated Anselmo Moreno by technical decision before defending and then losing the title in a pair of exciting fights against Rau’shee Warren. Originally from the Dominican Republic, but training in Miami, Payano put together three-straight victories before losing a title challenge to unbeaten Naoya Inoue last October.
After representing his native Lithuania at the 2016 Olympics, Stanionis (7-0, 5 KOs) relocated to Southern California where he has trained while compiling his unbeaten record. The 24-year-old took a step up in competition last time out and dominated tough veteran Levan Ghvamichava to earn an eight-round unanimous decision last August on FS1.
The 28-year-old Figueroa (11-1, 4 KOs) returns to action for the first time since defeating Ismay Eynullayev in March 2017. The Puerto Rican fighter had picked up wins over previously unbeaten foes Javontae Starks and Fernando Paliza before suffering his only defeat to Miguel Cruz in May 2016.