In a thrilling contest between two former world champions desperate to return to world title glory, Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa improved round-by-round to win a unanimous decision over Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo, capturing the vacant Interim WBC Featherweight Title live on SHOWTIME from Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA.
“Man, I just went out there and wanted it and took the fight right to him,” said Figueroa. “I wanted this fight so bad. He came back a little, but once I hit him with a body shot it affected him and I put pressure, pressure, pressure on him.”
In a fight that didn’t appear as one-sided as the judges’ scorecards, Figueroa (24-1-1, 18 KOs) won by scores of 117-109 twice and 118-108. SHOWTIME’s Hall of Fame unofficial scorer Steve Farhood saw the fight 114-112 in favor of Figueroa, with two Magsayo point deductions for holding the difference in the fight on his scorecard.
Figueroa, who averages 92 punches thrown per round throughout his career, was limited to 54 punches thrown per round against Magsayo (24-2, 16 KOs). Figueroa threw 60 more punches than Magsayo but landed three fewer punches and the fighters were separated by more than four landed punches in just three of the twelve rounds.
Figueroa started slowly and had to withstand Magsayo’s best shots early in the fight, demonstrating that he has one of the best chins in boxing. But Magsayo tired as the rounds went on and was twice penalized for holding in rounds eight and eleven, two points which ultimately proved fruitless.
Figueroa, the former 122-pound world champion, is now in line to face WBC Featherweight World Champion Rey Vargas next. Vargas was ringside Saturday night.